August Coral of the Month - Rainbow Acanthastrea Echinata! Scientific Name: Acanthastrea echinata Type: Long Polyp Stony (LPS) Origin: Indo-Pacific Common name(s): Rainbow acanthastrea, Rainbow acan, acan echinata, Pineapple coral Family: Mussidae Temperament: Semi-aggressive Aquarium Needs Lighting: Low Intensity Water Quality: Moderate Current: Low to Moderate Supplemental Feeding: Brine shrimp, cyclopeeze, cyclops sp., zooplankton, squid. Any meaty food will do as long as it's chopped to meet it's mouth size. =) Growth Rate: Slow. When fed regularly, it can expedite it's growth rate rather quickly. Frag Difficulty: Easy Tank Placement: Bottom or substrate Personal Observations This coral is extremely hardy and can bounce back from demise rather easily. Of course, given that it has no serious infection or any type of fast tissue loss (necrosis). Providing good water quality and regular feedings along with good lighting will help this coral keep it's luster and overall health. I have observed that, like any other Acan Echinata, it loves to eat! It is recommended to keep regular feedings to keep this coral thriving! Of course, it is not necessary as this coral has the symbiotic algae: zooxanthellae. Providing this coral with sufficient light will suffice in keeping it healthy. This coral spreads by budding or lateral extension. It will overlap rock or old skeleton and build a new polyp. Boy have I noticed this already. ;D When I first got this coral, it was on a downward spiral. Two healthy polyps, two half way dead and one so on the brink of death, that it had a tiny bit of mouth with two sweepers. When I acclimated the piece, the echinata didn't even wait to acclimate to the light, it opened up the very next day! It accepted foods right away as well! I did notice that they were extremely weak and their sweepers werent as sticky and could barely hold food. I had to hold the food on their tentacles for a while before they got the strength to hold on to it themselves. I have had it for a little over 2-3 months and both polyps that were 1/2 dead have now developed a complete mouth with a central disc and are now working on their outer tissue. They are now overlapping an old skeleton from a previously dead polyp. Now, they eat foods like crazy! They have even swallowed squid the size of an eraser on a no. 2 pencil!! If you come across this coral, dying or living: it's well worth it. Really easy to care and extremely beautiful! If you want a coral that you want to feed every now and then and can survive without the feedings, this is your coral! Also, this coral is pretty pricey. It is usually sold as small frags due to it's expensive price tag, but again, it's well worth it! A must for any Acan fan!