Acan Coral: Care, Placement, Growth, Lighting (Beginners Guide)

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In this beginner’s guide, you will learn about acan coral care

In addition, you will find out what is the best placement for keeping acans, what to feed your acan corals, and what kind of lighting you need for fast growth. 

And if that’s not enough, we will look at the different types of acans, learn about the causes of death, and where you can buy healthy corals. 

Sounds good enough? 

Let’s start. 

Acan Coral


Acan Coral Care 

Acanthastrea echinata commonly referred to as the Acan Corals or simply Acans, are Large Polyp Stony Corals, very popular among saltwater aquarium enthusiasts. 

And it’s easy to see why they are so popular. 

Acan Corals are one of the easiest LPS corals to take care of, and with a wide range of colors, surely deserve a spot in the saltwater aquarium hobby. 

In the wild, they inhabit areas of water in depth between 0 and 50 meters. Acan Corals are primarily found in the Indo Pacific Ocean, mostly in lagoons, where they form colonies up to several meters across. 

They are nocturnal animals which means that they are more active at night. You’ll assume that can be a problem in home aquariums, however, most of the acan corals kept by hobbyists are well adapted and acclimated, so feeding them through the day should not be a problem. 

When searching for healthy specimens, always look for Acans with fluffy appearance. 

Fast-growing, easy to propagate, and easy for keeping make these types of corals such a good choice for beginners. 

They are a must-have for every beginner, as well as serious reefers.

Acan Coral Placement & Lighting

Where to place Acan Coral? It’s one of the most common questions people ask when they get in touch for the first time with this beautiful coral. 

Even though Acan Corals are fairly easy to take care of, they still have some special requirements. 

Let me explain why. 

Acans are aggressive corals, capable of extending their stomachs out to attack other corals near them. Mainly because that’s their way to expand and make more room to grow. That’s why the first thing you should do is to find a good spot for placement. Preferably, a couple of inches away from other corals if you want to stay on the safe side. 

You can place your acans on rocks, the bottom on the tank, or on the sand band. If you want to have success with this particular corals, placing them on the bottom of the tank is the best practice. Acans don’t like too much light, so placing them higher will make them lose coloration, or even worse they will bleach. 

That’s not a common scenario, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

However, even though they don’t need it too much, they still need proper lighting to grow.

As far as flow concerns, they need moderate flow.

Acan Coral Feeding & Growth

Like I’ve mentioned earlier in this article, even though they don’t need too much light, they still need good lighting. 

Let me elaborate on why. 

Acans, like any other corals, are photosynthetic animals. That means that they get a portion of their diet through the light of your aquarium, provided by the zooxanthellae algae within their bodies. 

In addition, if you have a well-established reef aquarium acan corals can feed themselves through the water column consuming zooplankton. 

Generally speaking, Acan corals don’t need additional feeding. However, it will greatly benefit from it. You should start feeding it at least twice a week, and increase the frequency if you want to see faster growth. 

Don’t be alarmed if your acans refuse food at first. Usually, it takes a couple of weeks to acclimate when presented in a new aquarium. 

When is ready to eat, it will extend its tentacles and accept the food. It’s advisable to target feed them, to make sure they are well fed. 

Acan can eat shrimp, zooplankton, copepods, or other commercially available foods.

Acan Coral Dying (Possible Causes)

The first thing you should do when you notice some negative changes to your Acan is to check if the water parameters are on point. If everything is alright, then you can search for different causes. 

Another reason that can make your Acan slowly die is having too much light. 

Remember? They are very sensitive to high lighting.

Usually, that is the most common reason for Acan death. 

High water flow can be one of the reasons too. In this case, the solution is simple. Just move the coral in areas with lower flow. 

Monitor your acans on a daily basis. That way you can have time to prevent or to save them if problems occur. 

Acan Coral Types 

Acan Corals come in different varieties and different colors. You can choose from orange, purple, or even pink color.

The Australian Lord Acan is one of the most popular types. Usually, the Acans from that region have vibrant red and orange colors, which make them a nice addition to every reef tank.

If you are interested in different varieties, I am sure you can find some rarer types online.

Where to Buy Acan Corals? 

Supporting Local Fish Stores is a crucial part of making this hobby progress. So if you have the chance to find healthy corals at shops near your home, make them a favor and purchase some corals.

That way you can encourage them to invest in better equipment, better live stocks, which in the end will certainly benefit us, the hobbyists. After all, visiting aqua shops is always a fun thing to do. Well, at least for us Aqua Nerds. 

On the other hand, there are other ways such as exchanging corals with fellow hobbyists or buying corals online. 

Nowadays, it’s very easy to buy corals online. However, make sure to always purchase corals from reputable online shops. 


Where do you put ACAN coral in the tank?

The best placement for Acan corals is on the bottom of the tank, with at least 4-6 inches of space between the Acan and the other corals. Acans don’t like too much light, so putting them in a higher position will make them lose coloration, or even worse, they will bleach.

Are Acans hard to keep?

Acans are one of the easiest corals to keep. They need low to medium light, accept a wide range of foods, and are excellent corals for beginners.

Are ACAN corals good for beginners?

Acan corals are one of the easiest LPS corals to take care of, making them suitable corals for beginners. Available in different varieties and amazing colors, the Acan corals certainly make every saltwater aquarium more beautiful.

How fast does ACAN coral grow?

The growth rate of your Acan coral will depend on many factors, mainly the type of acan, the lighting, and the food you provide. In general, target feeding may help you accelerate your acan growth, but nothing is certain.

How much light do ACAN corals need?

Acan corals prefer low to medium light intensity. Experiment with the position until you find the best spot. Be careful, and don’t expose your acan to high light intensity because it can be detrimental for the acan overall health.

Why is my ACAN coral dying?

There might be several reasons why your acan coral is dying. Some of the reasons are low levels of nutrients, too much flow, or too much high light intensity. The most common reason, though, is the high amount of light in the tank, of which acan corals are very sensitive.

How often should I feed my ACAN coral?

You should start feeding your acan corals at least twice a week and increase the frequency if you want to see faster growth. In general, Acan corals don’t need additional feeding. However, it will significantly benefit from it.

Want to know more about other types of corals? Check our other coral guides!


Now, you have a basic understanding of keeping acan corals. I hope you learn some new things as well. 

Now I like to hear from you. 

What’s your experience with Acan Corals? Did you have any problems? Or, you are yet to buy?

Let me know in the comment section below!

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