Palmers Blue Mille

SPS Deep Dive: Acropora millepora

There are so many eye catching SPS corals in this hobby but beauty, as the saying goes, is in the eye of the beholder. Some might dig Acropora tenuis corals while others are into Acropora tortuosas. I do like many varieties of SPS but if I had to pick one group it would be Acropora milleporas.

They come in a rainbow of colors and sport long polyps that undulate in the current. Did I mention the colors? Pink corals really grab my attention and when I first started to collect SPS I was obsessed with pink millies, especially ones with yellow tips. Some of my favorite aquacultured pink specimens include the Snipers Bubblegum Mille and Rocky Mountain Diablo Millie.

Rocky Mountain Diablo Millie

I also really dig the Tyree Rouge Millie, AquaSD Rainbow Millie, Palmer’s Blue Millie and the SunnyX Sunset Millie. These may be “old school” millies but many are still popular today.

AquaSD Rainbow Millie

Acropora Millepora – Care Requirements

Millieporas are more demanding corals and should only be added to an established reef tank. They require moderate to strong lighting and will do fine when given the proper PAR under T5s, metal halides or LEDs. Frags should be placed in the top half of a tank and be given medium to strong flow. Growth will be optimized when the proper calcium (400-440 ppm), alkalinity (8-9 dkh) and magnesium levels (1350-1450 ppm) are maintained.

Nutrient levels should also be elevated to avoid starving millies and other corals. I shoot for nitrates between 2.5 to 10 ppm and phosphates in the .03 to .07 ppm range. As mentioned, part of the appeal with millies are their long polyps. To maximize polyp extension one should avoid adding any fish that might nip at the polyps. Certain angelfish can be problematic. For example, the Centropyge species, commonly called dwarf or pygmy angels, are known to nip and are high risk.

It is also important to keep key parameters stable, especially alkalinity. Big swings will cause corals to lose color and impact polyp extension. You should also keep an eye out for Acro Eating Flatworms (AEFW) and Red Bugs to make sure they are not stressing out corals.

Additional Resources

If you would like some help with a new tank build, including help designing a custom aquarium, or help re-configuring your current setup then you can visit this page for more information. And if you are looking to add some equipment, I do sell GHL, Pax Bellum, Reef Octopus Calcium and Kalk Reactors and Royal Exclusiv products, including Dreamboxes, which is the equipment I use and recommend. I also sell Reef Brite metal halide and LED fixtures as well as Maxspect & IceCap Gyres.

As for additional insights and information, please explore my many other reef tank and SPS related articles as well as my YouTube channel. For an even deeper dive into reef tank care you can check out my Reef Keeping Master Class. This online course is an immersive and one of a kind educational tool designed to help reef aquarium hobbyists build and maintain a beautiful SPS reef tank. The course is a series of video presentations with some supplemental video from my YouTube channel. There are also quizzes to help students retain and understand the information presented in the course.

Need some frags…..I can help with that as well 🙂 Please visit my SPS Frag store to see what is available.

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