top two photos by Mike LaPorte
bottom photo by Gene Schwartz
Common names: velvet coral
Natural origin: Indo-Pacific
Sensitivity (Level 2): Though not exactly beginner corals, they're usually considerably more tolerant than their Acropora cousins.
These corals have nearly invisible polyps and rather poor prey capture
ability. They fed on food of very small particle size. In a well
fed tank with a variety of food, additional feeding is usually not
Lighting (Level 6 to 10): Most Montipora species
can adapt to a considerably wide range of light intensities but tend to
prefer and grow faster under stronger lighting. Like all photosynthetic
corals, changing lighting conditions can sometimes result in color
changes in the coral. Note that when one of these corals changes color,
that doesn't necessarily mean the coral is unhealthy. The coral may
simply be adapting to your lighting conditions. This is true even of
aesthetically unfavorable color changes. As always, failure to acclimate
to new lighting can cause bleaching.
Water flow: Plating species can be especially susceptible to sediment damage. Both branching and plating types need strong water flow.
These are very peaceful corals. Keep safely away from aggressive corals
and be careful of fast-growing encrusting corals that will compete for
Montipora species can be encrusting, plating or branching. All three
growth forms can grow very fast when kept well. Steady calcium levels of
approximately 420 ppm are best for coral health and growth.