Montipora is found all over the Indo-Pacific and is one of the most common corals in the ocean. This particular coral is aquacultured by ORA. Instead of being collected from the ocean, these corals are grown in aquariums and then fragged to be sold to hobbyists such as yourself. This comes with several benefits that we will discuss later.
The Supernatural Capricornis has a dark green base with bright green or turquoise polyps. This coral has an unusual plate growth form compared to other capricornis corals. It develops thick plates with unusual formations, making it especially interesting.
Montipora are middle of the road when it comes to difficulty. A dedicated beginner can certainly keep this coral successfully, but they are adored by life long hobbyists as well. Although this coral isn’t easy, you will be off to a good start with some care tips.
To start, we’ll discuss lighting. Montipora are light loving corals, preferring around 200-300 micromoles of PAR. This coral can get by with more moderate light, but the coloration will likely be less appealing. Lighting is important because it plays a large role in determining the coloration of the coral. The coloration of Montipora can vary a lot. An orange Montipora can be a dull magenta under different lighting. So, don’t be surprised if the frag you receive doesn’t look exactly like the picture. Higher lighting will help the coral achieve a better, more vibrant coloration. Before you place your Montipora under high light, it is incredibly important to acclimate it first. Do this by starting the coral in more moderate light and gradually moving it into higher light. This will greatly reduce the risk of bleaching and color loss.
Montipora require strong water movement. Ideally, the flow should be indirect and random. Flow is important because it keeps the coral clean while providing it with access to needed nutrients and macro elements. While strong flow is best, you can provide this coral with too much flow. When plating corals such as this one grow out, the plates can act as a sail for the water, causing the coral to lift off the rock. Avoid this by securing your corals well and not providing too much flow.
Next, let’s discuss water chemistry. Montipora require elevated levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium that are also stable. When you only have a few slow growing stony corals, this can be maintained with water changes alone. However, if you have lots of fast growing stony corals such as Montipora, you will likely need to implement a calcium reactor, kalkwasser, or a dosing system. Be careful not to cause large fluctuations as this can be devastating for your corals.
As for other parameters, keep the temperature between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable. Keep the nitrates around 1-5 ppm and the phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0.
Lastly, let’s discuss feeding. Montipora are considered photosynthetic corals, which means they don’t need to be fed. Some corals benefit from spot feeding, but Montipora typically don’t. If you want to provide something for your Montipora, it is best to dose live phytoplankton and amino acids. Doing this can improve the coloration, growth rate, and overall coral health.
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
Aquacultured corals such as this one are hardier and better adapted to aquarium life. They are also far less likely to carry pests and diseases, though you should still dip and/or quarantine them to be safe. On top of all that, aquacultured corals are more sustainable and environmentally friendly.