Montipora - Red Crust (Montipora sp.)
Family: Acroporidae (Stony Corals)
Habitat: These corals are found in nearly every reef habitat, from lagoons to high tidal surge areas. Form indicates collection location - convoluted shapes are from turbulent reef zones while smooth shapes are from calmer regions
Light: Medium Water Flow: Medium Space: 10+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Easy Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: These corals have zooxanthellae which provide much of their nutrition. It is believed they also feed on microzooplankton and directly absorb some nutrients from the water.
Natural History: The Montipora are one of the largest coral genera. Their body forms include laminar, foliaceous, encrusting, and branching. They have skeletons are porous and their corallites are tiny. Most have polyps that are tiny, which give the overall coral the appearance of being 'fuzzy'. Their polyps can retract and expand, making a Montipora colony appear "lively". Large colonies may reach 1 meter across. Their growth form is a reflection of their habitat. Plate forms are from deeper areas and convoluted forms are from high flow shallower areas. Green, pink, brown, and purple colors are most common.
Husbandry: Montipora are hardy in the home aquarium and are a great starter coral for the beginning enthusiast. They exhibit all colors of the spectrum and all possible coral shapes, and may change color once collected and placed under intense lights in an aquarium. They do not have nematocysts for defense so are not likely to thrive in direct contact with other corals. They are resistant to most coral diseases, unlike their close relatives the Acropora. Fragmentation is easy and reliably reproduces this genus.
AKA: Velvet Coral, Velvet Finger Coral, Velvet Branch Coral
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