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Red Dragon Acropora is a coral that's worthy of the hype

By Johnathan Carvallo - Posted Jun 20, 2012 09:00 AM
The Red Dragon Acropora is a coral that holds a special place in the heart of SPS keepers, and seeing a new photo of Sanjay Joshi's Red Dragon colony is a quick reminder of why we love it so much.
Red Dragon Acropora is a coral that's worthy of the hype

Red Dragon Acropora colony via Sanjay Joshi

The idea of "trendy" corals is a contentious topic, but one can't deny the beauty of some of these coral; It's easy to understand why they often demand high(er) prices. The Red Dragon acropora is a perfect example. This Acropora has a color and growth pattern that is quite unique: thin, smooth corallites colored in fuchsia with purple tips and white polyps. If you have the ability to obtain and grow this coral, it certainly doesn't disappoint. The color is great, but at least for me, the growth pattern is what makes this coral stand out the most.

The exact species of this Acropora genus is undetermined; Is it Acropora carduus, A.walindii or maybe even A.halmaherae? We may never know with certainty. Judging by the growth characteristics of this coral, we can guess that it hails from deeper water and does not necessarily demand intense levels of light. Based on my personal research and experience, I have concluded that the color of this coral (in captivity) is greatly dependent on the amount of light it receives. In reality, I think the coral appears more plum/fuschia then red, but I've also come across photos online where the coral looks like it took a bath in Kool Aid.

So where in North America did the Red Dragon Acropora originate? From what we're told, this coral was imported from Bali to Reef Raft (Canada) back in the early 2000s and grown by several advanced aquarists in the greater Toronto Area. A piece of this coral was then sold to select coral retailers like Coral in the Reef and ReefFarmers before makings it's way down the pipeline into reef tanks across the US and beyond.

With professional aquaculture facilities such as LiveAquaria/Divers Den now growing and propagating this coral; we are optimistic that the price on this gem will gradually decline to a more affordable price point and even more hobbyists will be able to enjoy this coral in their homes.

Do you have any experience keeping the Red Dragon? If so, tell us your experiences in the comment section below!

Author: Johnathan Carvallo
Location: Northeast

Johnathan is a proud marine hobbyist who spent many years working in a local fish store while managing an online coral site. He enjoys all facets of the marine aquarium industry, but especially loves the technological side and is constantly working on improving and advancing it. He currently maintains a 34 gallon nano aquarium as as well as a coral propagation system. Jon is currently an employee at EcoTech Marine, owner of the up and coming NortheastCorals.com and a staff blogger here at Advanced Aquarist.

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