Montipora are one of the most common corals found on coral reefs. They originate from several regions in the Indo-Pacific. However, the frags of Montipora sold here are maricultured by ORA in the Marshall Islands. Instead of coming from real reefs, these coral are farmed on land or controlled areas offshore, separate from real reefs. The Melonberry Montipora has a plating growth pattern with a yellow base and vibrant purple-blue polyps. The polyps are denser than polyps found on a pink Montipora cap, which adds a cool effect. Montipora is fairly middle of the road when it comes to difficulty. They are not as sensitive as Acropora and nowhere near as difficult as NPS (non-photosynthetic) corals, but they are generally more difficult than other SPS corals such as birdsnest and pocillopora. Nonetheless, with the right knowledge, you can keep Montipora with great success.
Let’s go over the basic care requirements in case you’re unfamiliar with keeping Montipora. To start, we’ll go over the lighting requirements for this coral. Montipora can be placed in medium to high light, though they do best under fairly intense light. They are right up there with Acropora, preferring around 200-300 micromoles of PAR. Before your place your Montipora in the brightest part of your tank, start it in lower light (125 micromoles of PAR) and gradually move the coral into higher light during a month or even two months. This is done to avoid bleaching and color loss. Montipora prefer strong, irregular water flow. Water movement is important to keep the coral clean and to deliver needed elements and nutrients. However, there is such thing as too much water flow with Montipora, especially plating Montipora. When the coral develops a proper plate, it can act as a sail for flow. Strong enough flow can push the coral off the rock, causing lots of damage to it and other corals. Make sure you secure the coral to the rock well and don’t give too much flow. If you can figure out the best placement for Montipora, that’s about half the battle. The other half relates to water chemistry and water cleanliness. Stony corals, such as this Montipora, require elevated levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium. They also need those levels to be stable. Lots of fluctuation can stress the coral, and large enough fluctuations can cause serious damage and even death. A tank with many fast growing stony corals usually needs some sort of base element supplementation such as dosing, kalkwasser, or implementing a calcium reactor. As for water cleanliness, keep the nitrates around 1-5 ppm and the phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. For temperature, keep it between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable. Finally, let’s discuss feeding. Montipora, like most corals, contain a photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellase which provides the coral with most of its nutritional needs. Because of this, they don’t need to be fed, and directly feeding them can be pointless because of their small polyps. However, dosing your aquarium with amino acids and phytoplankton can help bring out better coloration and an overall healthier coral.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: You can place this coral anywhere as long as its lighting and flow needs are met.
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 maricultured by ORA, it is better able to adapt to aquarium conditions and is overall hardier than corals collected from real reefs. By purchasing maricultured corals, you are making our hobby more sustainable and decreasing the impact it has on the ocean. Keep it up!