Acroporas such as the Red Dragon started becoming popular a few years ago, but it took some time for the craze to catch on. Many of these deeper water species acroporas tend to be fragile when first imported and take a great deal of acclimation and care to realize any success or even survival. Adapting to artificial light and a closed system is believed to cause these types of corals some stress due to the metabolic shift and symbiotic algae (or zooxanthellae) adaptation that needs to occur for them to achieve proper nutrition. The differences in plankton and microbial life population and density is thought to be the cause as is the actual difference in the light source. The metabolic shift occurs slowly and if water quality is excellent, success with these deep-water corals can be attained. The Red Dragon was one of the first to become popular and my research has shown that this coral has become noticeably hardier as the years in captivity increase. It is now a fast grower and a coral that has a great survivability when seed fragments are used to start new colonies.
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