These days rainbow Acropora tenuis are very popular among SPS collectors. Many of these corals are shown under blue lights to highlight their florescent colors. Furthermore, some vendors will “photoshop” their pictures to create even more unrealistic images of the corals.
Add in a fancy name to stoke the marketing hype and the result is premium pricing for these SPS. But not all rainbow tenuis are unworthy of their hype. The Walt Disney and Jason Fox Homewrecker have been around for a while and are easy on the eyes under many types of lights. Prices have gone down as supply has grown.
I have both corals under 400W 20K Radium bulbs and the colors really do pop. Of course they pop a bit more in my other tank lit by LED’s when the spectrum is more blue during the morning and evening.
Jackson’s Rainbow Tenuis
Another A. tenuis that deserves some attention is Jackson’s Rainbow Tenuis. This coral was named by Rich Columbo (a.k.a. jackson6745), a hobbyist in the New York metropolitan area who purchased a 1-1/2″ frag from another hobbyist back in 2013. It apparently originated from Australia.
Over time this blue-colored tenuis morphed into something special, developing striking red and pink corallites. Rich was able to bring out the best colors under 400W 20K Radium bulbs with PAR in the 500 to 600 range. Nitrates in his tank were approximately 15 ppm and phosphates were around .03.
Key Challenge – Bring Out the Reds and Pinks
Other folks who obtained this piece could not always bring out the red and pink colors. I was able to snag a frag about four years ago and it did take a while for the pinks and reds to develop. Interestingly, my frag was only getting 250 to 300 PAR under a 400W 20K Radium bulb. My nitrates were about 2.5 ppm and my phosphates were close to .03.
In my peninsula tank, which is lit by LED’s, I have a frag up high that is probably getting close to 500 PAR. The nutrients are similar to the levels in my other tank with halides. This piece is starting to exhibit some pink and red coloration.
Factors For Color Development Besides Lighting
Other factors besides lighting and nutrients are probably in play to maximize colors for this coral. Strong flow does seem to help. What I do know for sure is this acropora is gorgeous in person. In fact, I think it may have the Walt Disney and Homewrecker beat. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Below is a comparison of the three corals under a 400W 20K Radium bulb. No Photoshopping! You be the judge.
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.