The Montipora Coral is a great first coral for aquarists, and it is known for its various shapes and a wide array of colors. It is perfect for aquarists who are looking to shift from soft and leathery corals to stony ones.
The Montipora coral is part of the SPS group and has three main variants from which there are a lot of species and colors to choose from. Keep reading this article as you will learn basic information about the Montipora Coral as well as how to care for this organism in your reef aquarium.
What Is a Montipora Coral?
The Montipora Coral is a Small Polyp Stony Coral that comes in an assortment of shapes and sizes. This coral plays an important role in sustaining a healthy and diverse natural ecosystem. It houses different aquatic creatures and is a fitting member of the coral reefs that stabilize aquatic ecosystems.
Montipora Coral Stats
The first step to caring for any coral is to get to know it better, just as explained in the table given below, about the Montipora Coral statistics such as its ideal temperature, light level, other basic facts that you should consider before you commit to introducing this coral in your reef aquarium.
|Ideal Temperature Range||76 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Light demands||Moderate to High Lighting|
|Ideal PH range||8.0 to 8.4|
|Ideal GH range||8 to 12|
|Cultivation difficulty||The Montipora Coral is best-suited for aquarists who have already had their reef aquariums for over a year and want to venture into introducing coral organisms into the closed-ecosystem. Beginners who are familiar with soft corals and experienced aquarists who have successfully raised large polyp stony corals will find the Montipora Coral as a welcome addition to their aquarium.|
In addition to the stats mentioned, you should also know that the Montipora Coral has been sighted at almost all levels of the Indo-Pacific ocean, as well as the natural reefs that have formed in Indonesia and as far away as Australia.
Today, the Montipora Coral is available in most reef aquarium shops and can be bought in fragments as small as one inch in diameter or as fully grown corals that may be more than a foot tall or long, depending on its variant type. It is usually referred to as the Monti Coral, or Monti.
Moving on, you might want to learn about the Montipora Coral from a taxonomic standpoint. Here are the basic taxonomic details about this amazing coral species.
Montipora Coral Care
Caring for Montipora Corals is easier compared to raising the more complicated Acropora Corals that are usually the stars of reef tanks. In this section, you will learn all about the different things you need to consider and prepare for in order to provide holistic care for your Monti Corals.
– Tank and Water Parameters
Let’s start with the tank and water parameters that your aquarium needs to meet consistently if it is to become a permanent home for your new Montipora Corals. You will need to keep your water salinity level at 1.025 specific gravity and your calcium level at around 350 to 400ppm. Aside from this, you will need to provide your Montipora Corals with at least a 30-gallon tank or larger if you intend to care for more than two Montis.
One of the things that most aquarists overlook is that the Montipora Coral, like other SPS corals, adapts better to established aquariums. That said, it is highly advisable that aquarists wait for at least 12 to 18 months before introducing SPS corals to their reef aquariums.
This will prevent the new corals from getting shocked by the water parameters, and it will also ensure that the aquarists have enough knowledge and experience to actually handle such delicate organisms.
If you are serious about providing the best home for your new Montipora Coral, be sure to place it only in a tank that has been running for at least a year. The longer you wait, the better your aquarium becomes, and the easier it will be for you to care for your Montipora Corals.
– Light Requirements
Regardless of the type of Montipora Coral you choose to care for, you should always consider placing it in the middle to top layers of your aquarium. The Montipora Coral needs sufficient light and water flow exposure for it to grow and adjust well to your reef tank.
Some Monti Corals prefer being placed directly under a light source while others might need to be placed a little lower, on stable rock beds or similar structures.
More specifically, you might want to provide your Montipora Corals with a lighting intensity of around 125 to 150 PAR. You can then increase this light level if necessary and when your corals have become well-adjusted to their new home.
It is highly recommended to expose new Montipora Corals to high light levels at a slow pace. Shining bright lights directly on new Montipora Corals can stress them out instead of helping them to grow and acclimate to the tank well.
– Substrate Requirements
Proper Montipora Coral placement is key to sustaining colorful and happy colonies of this type of coral. However, do not forget to consider the aquarium flora and other corals present that may have a difficult time getting the light and resources they require when your Monti Corals begin to grow in size. Reposition these flora and other corals if needed.
You can experiment with different types of substrates when it comes to raising your Montipora Corals. Some aquarists prefer using fine sand for their Montis, while others recommend using coarse types of substrate.
The type of substrate you provide your Montipora Coral will depend largely on the kind of aquascape you envision. Just make sure that your Montipora Corals are well positioned in the substrate and that they aren’t tossed around by movement from the water current or other aquarium inhabitants.
– Fertilizing Requirements
In general, the Montipora Coral does not need to be fed or fertilized directly because it has small organisms called zooxanthellae that help the coral process energy for food; this coral also has polyps that catch food particles floating around the aquarium. Simply keeping your water and tank parameters in check is all you really have to do to keep your Monti Corals happy.
However, our experts still recommend that you feed your Montipora Corals every once in a while. This is to ensure that all of your Monti Coral colonies are getting the amount of nutrition they need, especially if they are part of a large community tank.
You can use Julian’s thing or a turkey baster to shoot water enriched by Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and phytoplankton. There are also ready-made coral foods available in most local aquarium shops that you might want to keep on hand for emergency feeding situations or just to supplement your Monti Corals’ growth and nutrition.
You should trim or prune your Montipora Corals at least once a month. This will help the coral retain the shape and size it needs to have a harmonious relationship with the other creatures in your tank.
In addition, trimming your Montis regularly will also help you keep your aquarium clean and appealing. Use proper coral trimming tools such as a small saw, a Dremel, or a coral knife to remove the overgrowths of your Montipora Corals.
You can help your Montipora Corals grow more colonies by fragging mature and healthy corals. This involves using a sharp blade or saw to cut small, two to three-inch portions from the main coral or mother colony. Then, you may opt to grow these fragments of Montipora in a separate aquarium or you may also just place them in your main reef tank and support its growth from there.
Some aquarists prefer placing their injured Montipora Corals in a separate container where they can recover without being bothered by nosy fish or attacked by other corals in the area. Just remember to provide these fragged corals with extra food to encourage them to heal faster and grow new colonies sooner.
Types of Montipora:
An example of a branching Montipora is the Appleberry Montipora which is known for its blotchy texture and green body. The Appleberry Monti, as it is fondly called, is considered one of the harder Montipora corals to sustain in a reef tank due to its aggression. Another good example of a branching Monti is called the Montipora Stellata. The Montipora Stellata is a coral that is known for its compact colonies and fuzzy polyps.
Then, there is the Montipora Capricornis which is a highly sought-after species of plating Montipora because of its vivid coloration and its large layers. This particular type of coral needs a lot of space in order to grow properly. The Montipora Capricornis is also used to create colorful ledges in aquariums that may show off colors or shades that are different from the coral’s main body.
You can mix and match these types of Montipora corals in your aquarium setup as they make exceptionally good tank mates for each other. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to pairing your Monti Corals with the same species only; there are other corals and aquarium inhabitants that can share the same aquarium as your Montipora Coral.
The Montipora Coral is a lot easier to handle when it comes to finding compatible coral and fish tank mates. You may also opt to keep different kinds of Montipora Corals with each other. The Montipora Coral has three different types: branching, plating, and encrusting corals. These three types of Montipora Coral differ in size and shape but are quite similar when it comes to color variety and care requirements.
– Ideal Tank Mates
In general, you can keep other SPS Corals with your Montipora Coral. Some of the best SPS Corals you can look into are the Bird’s Nest Coral, Velvet Coral, and the Chalice Coral. These corals will complement the colors and shapes of your Montipora Corals and help bring your reef tank to life.
As for fish, you can house Clownfish, Blennies, Tangs, Cardinalfish, and Damselfish in the same aquarium as your Montipora Corals. Just be sure to adjust the size of your aquarium according to the number of fish you intend to keep.
– Tank Mates To Avoid
There are not a lot of coral and fish species that your Montipora can’t handle. However, if you are a beginner fishkeeper, it would be best to keep your Montipora Coral away from LPS Corals. While many aquarists have succeeded at keeping mixed-reef tanks, these closed ecosystems require a lot of attention, research, and maintenance.
In addition, keep your Montis away from aggressive and overly large fish that have a reputation for digging corals out of their substrate or else destroying them altogether.
We covered a lot of aspects of Montipora Coral Care. Here are the key points from the article:
- The Montipora Coral is an SPS coral that comes in many colors, shapes, and sizes.
- There are three main types of Montipora Coral: branching, plating, and encrusting.
- The Montipora Coral is relatively easy to grow in a reef tank if you can maintain the ideal water and environment parameters.
- Feeding your Montipora Coral and providing it with extra supplements can help you keep the colonies happy and thriving.
- You can easily propagate your colonies of Montipora Coral by following a simple procedure called fragging.
With these points in mind, you should be able to care for your Montipora Corals properly. Go ahead and apply what you have learned here to your reef of Montipora Corals and enjoy the beauty they add to your saltwater aquarium.
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