Let’s face it. When many reef hobbyists think of natural reefs, they are envisioning large tracts of “Small Polyped Stony” corals. Yup, another hobbyist-coined term, used to broadly classify reef-building stony corals. “SPS” corals, specifically Acropora, are quite possibly the reason why many hobbyists start a reef tank in the first place. Arguably, they are the poster child for our addiction, and the target of our geeky obsession. Perhaps they are the “official corals of the reef hobby”? Typically, “SPS” corals are found on reefs: On the rocks, blasted by strong current, and bathed in light. They are the crazy-colored, testosterone-charged, calcium-fed corals of our dreams. Although many are easy to keep, some are extremely challenging, and require the highest levels of care to thrive in captivity. They require stable environmental parameters, excellent water quality, and high levels of calcium and alkalinity ( at least 380-450 ppm Ca, and over 2.5-4 meq/L alkalinity, respectively), not to mention, strontium, magnesium, and trace elements. “SPS” corals may be loosely classified into several different growth forms: *Branching and Columnar: (example- Acropora, Montipora, Hydnopora) *Plating/Tabling: (example- Acropora, Monitpora, etc.) *Encrusting: (example- Montipora, Acropora, Porites) And guess what? If you haven’t noticed, several species of “SPS” corals come in multiple growth forms! Not that we want to confuse you or anything… The bulk of the “SPS” corals that we work with favor intense lighting (halides or LEDs), to do their best. We illuminate our coral raceways under 400- watt 14,000k metal halides on light movers, as well as 150- watt LED spotlights. Our flow is provided by low wattage pumps configured to create what might be the largest “horizonatal gyre” flow (at 29 feet) yet built in our industry. We don’t mess around! We love our corals! We offer “SPS” corals in small, medium, and large sizes. All of our frags will be healed and encrusted before they are shipped to you. Nothing freshly glued will leave our warehouse, except for our guys and their fingers on occasion (trust us, it happens!). Remember to allow plenty of space on your reef when placing your corals, particularly the frags. That little frag you receive today will be a 6” show stopper faster than you know it! At unique, our goal is to provide a variety of “SPS” corals that have been either captive propagated, or sustainably collected from wild reefs. Although we bring in a some wild materials, we frag and propagate most of them for some time before offering them for sale. We are big supporters of a sustainable coral industry, and encourage you to be, too, by supporting suppliers (yeah, not just Unique!) who offer responsibly-sourced coral specimens. It’s not just for the good of the hobby- it’s for the health of the reefs, and the survival of our planet. It’s the right thing to do.
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