Jeremy’s Montipora was obtained from Jeremy Russell of Coral Reef Aquarium by ORA. ORA aquacultures this coral, offering hobbyists a great alternative to corals caught from the ocean. Aquacultured corals come with many benefits, which we will talk about later.
This Montipora has relatively large polyps growing densely together. Its branching growth form resembles M. digitata, but this coral is not as fast growing. This coral typically has green polyps with white growth tips. However, the exact coloration depends on your lighting and water conditions. Sometimes the polyps may appear more yellow-green with a whitish-tan base.
While the frags sold here are aquacultured, Montipora originates from the Indo-Pacific and is one of the most common corals in the ocean.
Montipora requires strong lighting to display the best coloration. Ideally, you should provide this coral with 200-300 micromoles of PAR. This coral can survive under more moderate lighting, but the color will not be as vibrant. Before placing your coral under high lighting, you must acclimate it first. Please start the coral under dimmer light and gradually move it up. Acclimating your corals to light will significantly reduce the risk of bleaching and color loss.
Montipora do best with strong water flow, but moderate flow is acceptable. Flow is vital for keeping the coral clean and preventing algae growth. Water movement also provides the coral with needed nutrients and essential elements. Provide irregular water movement to avoid dead spots and promote proper growth.
Montipora does not need feeding because the zooxanthellae within provide the coral with most of its nutritional needs. Also, feeding might be counterproductive, as this coral appears to take in minute amounts of food if any. You can dose your aquarium with live phytoplankton and amino acids if you need to provide something. This will increase the coral’s coloration, growth rate, and overall health without raising your nutrient levels.
When keeping stony corals, you need to pay attention to your calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium levels. Ensuring these parameters are stable is crucial. Montipora is not super sensitive, but large fluctuations can be devastating. If your aquarium has many stony corals, you may need to supplement your essential elements using a calcium reactor, two-part dosing, or kalkwasser. However, take extra care to avoid overdosing, which causes most large fluctuations.
As for other parameters, keep your nitrates around 1-5 ppm and your phosphates close to 0.01 ppm but not 0. You can certainly have success with levels higher and lower than this, but this is a safe range. Keep your temperature around 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable.
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
Benefits of Aquaculture
Aquacultured corals such as Jeremy’s Montipora from ORA are hardier and better able to handle the stress of shipping. They are also far less likely to carry diseases and pests, though you should still dip or quarantine them to be safe. Aquacultured corals are also more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Purchasing aquacultured corals decreases our hobby’s negative impact on the ocean, which is as vital as ever!