Coral of the Week 8/25/2015 – Blue Ice Acropora tenuis from Unique Corals

Acropora tenuis, blue

Acropora tenuis, blue

The featured coral of the week comes to us from coral importer and farmer, Unique Corals.  Unique Corals is owned and operated by Joseph Caparatta and Scott Fellman, two well-known and highly respected names in the marine aquarium industry.  With a lifetime of aquatic experience behind them both have written, lectured, and traveled extensively in support of the hobby and industry.

About Unique Corals Unique Corals follows the philosophy of offering conscientiously handled, sustainably-sourced, and responsibly cared-for marine life to the aquarium hobby.  Unique Corals operates out of a 6,000 square foot facility in Van Nuys, CA, with over 14,000 gallons of saltwater devoted to the procurement, quarantine, and propagation of marine life. Unique Corals provides livestock to hobbyists, retail stores, and public aquaria nationwide.

The backbone of their facility consists of six 30-foot long, 2000 gallon “raceways” with independent life support systems. Each raceway incorporates a special water movement design that provides optimum flow for the health of their corals. Unique Corals employs a variety of growth promoting techniques specific to the animals housed within each raceway.  Their dedicated fish holding system is designed to accommodate a variety of marine fishes in a stable, healthy environment.

Acropora tenuis –   Blue Ice Tenuis is a stunning blue Acropora species from Indonesia, with great corallite coverage and slow to moderate growth. This tenuis strain is provided to Unique Corals from Bali Aquarium in Indonesia. They come from mari-cultured specimens that are small in size and highly sought after in the trade.  The mature colonies display a “corymbose” structure, with neat, evenly spaced branchlets and long, axial corallites.

We have found that the frags grow rather quickly, encrusting firmly on their plugs under proper environmental conditions.  This species does quite well under our Radium metal halide lighting, displaying a color intensity not found in many other Acro species. In fact, we consider this to be the most intense blue coral we offer!

In addition to patience, the key to success with this highly colored tenuis is to provide stable environmental conditions; in particular, alkalinity (8-10 DKH) and low but detectable nitrate and phosphates. These corals need supplemental nutrition in order to grow and attain their best color. Unique Corals continuously doses their cultivation raceways with Triton “Base Elementz”, a balanced 4-part ionic solution that includes macro and trace elements in proper proportion. “We believe that the stability provided by this continuous supplementation, along with careful feeding, helps this coral achieve the spectacular color and growth it has become known for.”

Pictured above is a multi branched frag which would typically sell as a wysiwyg for $88.00.  If you are looking for something of this size please call Unique Corals and they should be able to frag off a larger piece for you to heal.  Typical frag size will be 1 or 2 nice branches and slightly encrusted on a frag plug.

  • CARE LEVEL:  Intermediate
  • TEMPERAMENT: Peaceful
  • PLACEMENT: On Rockwork or Rubble
  • LIGHTING:  Bright

HUSBANDRY NOTES: Unique Corals keeps these corals under 400 watt 20,000k Radium metal halides on light movers. The coral does appreciate regular feedings of fine-sized foods.


About Author

Scott Groseclose is the owner of AquaNerd, Aquarium Specialty, Aqua Specialty Wholesale, BioTek Marine, & The Carolina Reef Experience. He has a degree in Biology from St. Andrews University and he has been a passionate reef keeper since 1988.