Aquaculture: We grow and frag the Spiderman Montipora coral here at BPK. We believe that frags and aqua-cultured corals are the future of the aquarium hobby.
Placement: Mount the Spiderman Montipora coral using IC gel glue, or putty, on an exposed rock or ledge in the aquarium where it will receive direct flow and light. Spiderman Montipora coral will encrust the rock and makes a great accent coral. If you are worried about it "growing out of control" just mount your frag on a larger "grow out" rock 3"-6" in size that is easy to remove from the aquarium to frag. This method prevents encrusting montipora coral from covering your main rock structure if you don't want them to.
Lighting & Flow Requirements: The Spiderman Montipora requires moderate to high water flow and moderate to bright lighting (PAR 250-450) to maintain its color. T5's, Metal Halides, or LED's can all grow montipora when the proper PAR levels are provided. We recommend a 14-20K color spectrum for best coloration.
Care Level:Easy in SPS tank! Lighting Requirements:Moderate to high (PAR 250-450) Water Flow:Moderate to high Aggressiveness:Peaceful Range:Indo-Pacific, Grown in California Family:Montipora tuberculosa Water Conditions:75-80° F; sg 1.024-1.026 (1.025 is ideal); pH 8.1-8.4 Ca 420-440 ppm, Alk 8-9.5 dKH, Mg 1260-1350, Nitrates <10ppm, Phosphates, < .10ppm
Water Chemistry: It is important that proper calcium (420-440 ppm), alkalinity (8-9.5 dkh - run it 7-8 if you are carbon dosing) , and magnesium levels (1260-1350 ppm) are maintained. Raising magnesium levels gradually up to 1400-1600 ppm can help to combat algae outbreaks, just keep CA and Alk in line as you raise the Mg. Nitrates should be below 10 ppm and phosphates should be below .10 ppm. We recommend doing a water change when Nitrate levels rise to 10 ppm. It is important to replace your phosphate media when phosphates rise to .10 ppm. Media Reactors make the most efficient use of your phosphate media by fluidizing it.
Dosing: BPK uses and recommends dosing pumps to automate the dosing of additives and keep your levels more constant. A dosing pump can alleviate the chore of manually dosing your aquarium with Ca, Alk, & Mg 2,3, or 4 times per week and will benefit your aquarium by keeping your levels constant through frequent small additions of Ca, Alk, & Mg. Our tanks all progressed when we switched from 3 manual dosings per week to 70 automatic dosings per week and we got a lot more work done.
Montipora Coral Care
Montipora are one of the most diverse SPS corals. They come in a wide variety of shapes and colors and have been a staple in SPS dominated aquariums as well as mixed reef tanks. As for care, they can be sensitive to changes in tank parameters as well as demanding of both high flow and high light for peak health and coloration. Please see below for more care tips for Montipora as well as checking out ourTop 5 Tipsfor setting up a reef.
Montipora love light. Intense lighting is recommended for best coloration and overall health. Use either Metal Halide lighting, a large bank of high output fluorescent or LED's. If not provided proper lighting, the colors of Montipora may fade. Like other SPS such as Acropora, Montipora can change colors dramatically depending on the type of light provided. Expect some changes in color when moving Montipora from system to system.
Low light translates to about 30-50 PAR
Medium Light is between 50-150 PAR
High Light is anything over 150 PAR
Lighting is a loaded topic, so for a more in-depth discussion of lighting, please see ourDeep Divearticle.
Moderate to High water movement is recommended. Like most SPS, reef hobbyists have been keeping Montipora in high flow aquariums for ages with a high degree of success. High water flow helps sweep away detritus from the coral as well as bring vital nutrients to their polyps.
Montipora relies heavily on the products of their zooxanthellae but to a lesser degree may feed on phytoplankton and similarly sized microfauna in the water column. Here at Tidal Gardens we do not go out of our way to feed Montipora, but they may benefit from a light dusting of rotifers or phytoplankton.
This genus for the most part has been propagated extensively in captivity and is an excellent candidate for aquaculture. It is reasonable to believe that a sustainable harvest can be achieved in time.
A Word of Caution
Montipora is a diverse genus of small polyp stony corals. They come in a variety of shapes and colors depending on where they were collected. Provided with proper conditions, they grow quickly and display wonderful coloration. They are much hardier than Acropora in that they do not bleach as readily, and are more resistant to coral diseases. Be careful what you place Montipora near. They do not have powerful nematocysts and will lose just about every territorial battle.
Proper acclimation is extremely important considering the stress imposed on the animals by the shipping process. Please take a moment to review ourAcclimation Guide.
The images were taken with a Canon 5D mk II and 100mm macro lens under T5 Fluorescent lighting. Quite a lot goes into how we go about shooting the corals and anemones you see on Tidal Gardens. For an in-depth look at our methods, check out our comprehensiveReef Aquarium Photography FAQ.