Montipora are found in a variety of locations throughout the Indo-Pacific. Even so, the frags of Montipora sold here are aquacultured by ORA. These corals are grown in aquariums instead of being collected from the ocean, which comes with benefits that we will discuss later.
The Confusa Montipora is a plating Montipora with prominent green ridges divided by brown polyps. The ridges have intricate maze like designs, making the coral pleasing to look at. The highlight is the bright purple growth edge. Sometimes, the coral will grow thick vertical branches, but it is not clear what causes this growth form. It certainly makes the coral more interesting if it happens.
Montipora are not the easiest nor the most difficult SPS coral to keep. They have specific care requirements, but a dedicated beginner could keep them successfully. In case you are unfamiliar with keeping this coral, let’s go over the basic care requirements.
To start, Montipora are light loving corals, similar to Acropora. They prefer a PAR range of 200-300 micromoles. They don’t need as much light as some Acropora, but generally the two corals prefer a similar amount of light. The nice thing about Montipora is that the color will stay relatively the same under different kinds of lighting. Better lighting will result in better coloration than poor lighting, but a red coloration won’t typically turn green with Montipora. Before placing your Montipora under high light, acclimate it first by starting it in low or moderate light, then slowly moving it into higher light over a month or a few months. This will greatly reduce the chance of bleaching.
Next, let’s talk about flow. Montipora, especially plating species, need strong flow to prevent detritus from settling on them. Water movement is also needed to provide nutrients and base elements to the coral. Provide strong, irregular flow to avoid dead spots and promote proper growth. However, be careful not to provide so much flow that the coral is pushed off the rock. The plating structure can act as a sail for the water flow, sometimes causing the coral to lift off the rock.
Let’s talk about some general parameter ranges. For nutrients, aim for nitrates of 1-5 ppm and phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. Keep your temperature between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable.
Maintain elevated levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium with as little fluctuation as possible. Montipora are less sensitive to fluctuations than Acropora, but you should still keep the levels as stable as possible. One thing to note is that Montipora are particularly sensitive to low magnesium. If you’re having issues with this coral, test your magnesium levels and dose accordingly.
Finally, let’s discuss feeding. Montipora don’t require feeding because they are considered photosynthetic. Although, they can benefit from dosing phytoplankton and amino acids.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: Middle to top
Lighting: Medium to high.
Flow: Moderate to strong.
Parameters: 72-78° F, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 32-35 ppt
Calcium: 350-450 ppm
Alkalinity: 8-12 dKH
Magnesium: 1,250-1,350 ppm
Because this coral is aquacultured, it is better adapted to aquarium conditions such as lighting, flow, and water quality than corals collected from the ocean. It is also overall hardier and more likely to survive and thrive in your aquarium. Aquacultured corals are far less likely to carry pests and disease, though you should still dip and/or quarantine them to be safe. On top of all that, buying aquacultured corals and fish decreases the impact our hobby has on the ocean!