There are many choices out there when it comes to selecting eye catching SPS corals for a reef tank. I tend to gravitate to solid colored pieces that contrast nicely when grouped together.


Orange? Go with an ATL Forest Fire Digitatas. Neon green? A good old fashioned Green Birdnest or Stylophora will do the trick. Pink? How about a Tyree Red Dragon or a Pink Birdsnest? Blue? An Oregon Blue Tort would fit the bill as would another classic, the Cali Tort.

An Oldie But a Goodie

The Cali Tort was a much sought after coral years ago but demand has waned given all of the designer corals available today. But I am a traditionalist so I still dig it.


The Acropora tortuosa has blue corallites and branches with hints of green. Under certain lighting conditions the green will not be visible, causing some to misclassify it as an Oregon Blue Tort.

Cali Tort vs. Oregon Blue Tort

So how can you tell them apart? The Cali Tort tends to have more elongated branches than the Oregon Blue Tort and a slight purple tint versus the bright blue OBT. The Cali Tort also tends to grow at a better clip.


In terms of placement, I recommend keeping this coral high in the tank under medium to bright lighting. It should also receive a moderate to high amount of flow.


Cali Tort

Cali Tort


Oregon Blue Tort

Oregon Blue Tort

What’s In a Name?

According to, the Cali Tort, Oregon Blue Tort and another well know tort, the Becker Tort, originated from the Solomon Islands between 1998 and 1999. The corals were grown out and eventually distributed up and down the west coast… I’m going to assume someone from the Golden State named the Cali Tort 🙂



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If you are looking for additional insights and information, please explore my many other reef tank and SPS related articles as well as my book, A ReefBum’s Guide To Keeping an SPS Reef Tank: A Blueprint For Success. Additionally, you can see all of my reef tank videos online now as well as my Live HD Webcam. And if you are interested in purchasing affordable SPS frags that are pest-free and homegrown, you can visit my SPS Frag store.


Happy reef keeping!