The Purple Undata will encrust for a while before it eventually starts plating out from the rock. The tiny polyps are separated by the coenosteum ridges which are a light purple-violet coloration. Under intense lighting, the coral can appear more blue.
Montipora is found all over the Indo-Pacific and is one of the most common corals found in the ocean. This Montipora was obtained by ORA from a European hobbyist in 2008 and is still aquacultured now, which means it is very well adapted to aquarium life.
Montipora are great SPS corals because they offer amazing coloration and some challenges, but they aren’t too difficult. Generally, this coral is not recommended for beginners, but a dedicated beginner could certainly keep this coral successfully. We’ll over the basic care requirements for those that are unfamiliar with keeping Montipora.
Montipora require high light to display the best coloration. Like Acropora, Montipora can take on a different coloration depending on the light. ORA says that this coral can be put in low light. While the coral might be able to survive under low or moderate light, its colors will likely be underwhelming. For this reason, you should provide this coral with around 200-300 micromoles of PAR. However, you need to acclimate it to this range first. Start the coral in dimmer light and gradually move it into higher light during a month or a few months. This will significantly reduce the risk of bleaching and color associated with providing too much light.
Next, let’s talk about water flow. Montipora requires moderate to strong flow. Flow is important because it keeps the coral clean while giving it access to needed nutrients and calcifying elements. Although Montipora prefer strong flow, it is possible to give too much flow. The plates that this coral grows can act as a sail for the flow, causing the coral to lift off the rock. Avoid this by properly securing the coral on the rock and not providing too much flow.
Moving on, let’s talk about feeding. Montipora have tiny polyps that are unsurprisingly not great at catching food. You can try to feed your Montipora with dry or frozen coral food, but this will likely raise your nutrient levels more than anything. Fortunately, Montipora don’t need to be fed because of the zooxanthellae within them. If you feel you have to provide something, dose your aquarium with live phytoplankton and amino acids.
Like all fast growing stony corals, Montipora consume lots of ions required for calcification. Because of this, you will likely need to supplement these ions by using a calcium reactor, dosing system, or kalkwasser. Pay close attention to your calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium levels. Water chemistry is probably the most difficult part for beginners, so make sure to do plenty of research. If you are going to use any of the mentioned methods, remember that it is almost always better to dose too little than too much.
As for other parameters, keep your nitrates around 1-5 ppm and your phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. Keep the temperature between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Lighting: Low 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
The wild population of Montipora Undata is listed as near threatened. For this reason, it is especially important to buy aquacultured frags over those collected from the ocean. Aquacultured corals are also hardier and better adapted to aquarium life. They are also far less likely to carry pests and disease, though you should still dip and/or quarantine them to be safe.