Sunset Montipora (Row #49A)


Sunset Montipora
(Montipora sp.)
Placement: Middle to High
Light: Medium
Flow: High
Care Level: Moderate
Type: SPS coral
Compatibility: Peaceful- No sting but can encroach other corals
Growth Rate: Moderate
Photosynthetic: Yes
An easy to keep and fast growing vibrant montipora coral.
Sunset Montipora are a striking type of encrusting Montipora. They have a bright orange base with almost neon green polyps. This particular colour morph has been around for well over a decade and has been extensively aquacultured, with a focus on vivid colouration and hardiness in a home aquarium. Once placed and acclimatized, they spread in all directions, although they are more likely to grow towards a light source than away from one. Although the Sunset Montipora available for sale are almost always aquacultured, they still share many similarities with wild encrusting Montipora. Encrusting Montipora are native to the Indo-Pacific region and they are generally found in shallower coastal reefs where they can receive sufficient light. This means that in a home aquarium they should be placed in the upper half of the tank but can also survive further down, although with less vibrant colours. Sunset Montipora are no more light demanding than other types of encrusting Montipora, but its bright colours tend to look better under higher light levels. However, if the piece is to be placed in a very high light area of the tank it should be slowly photo acclimatized. Encrusting Montipora can be placed on any exposed piece of rock, however pre planning is necessary as, like all corals, it has no “off switch” and will spread continuously and may encroach on other corals.
Like the vast majority of SPS corals, Sunset Montipora require high levels of light and flow. The lighting should be strong enough to bring out the vibrant colours of the coral. If the piece begins to whiten it is often a sign that it is receiving too much light. A specimen that turns brown may not be receiving enough light. Because they are an encrusting coral, they require enough flow to prevent detritus from settling on them. The flow, however, should be indirect rather than aimed directly at the coral. Sunset Montipora are photosynthetic and are capable of meeting their energy needs through the tank’s lighting. They can, however, be spot feed with an SPS specific food such as Vitalis SPS Food. They tend to grow quite quickly without supplemental feeding and most hobbyists do not find it necessary to feed them. Fragging any encrusting Montipora, such as the Sunset Montipora, is quite simple. An overhanging piece can be cut with coral cutters and glued to a frag plug. A second method is to encourage the coral to grow over a frag plug or a piece of rubble rock, which can then be removed from the tank.
Encrusting Montipora are generally considered one of the easier SPS corals to keep. However, they still require a mature tank with stable water parameters. It is recommended to monitor Alkalinity, Calcium and Magnesium and supplement as necessary.