There are many varieties of encrusting Montipora available to reef keepers today, including some with striking, contrasting colors. One of my favorites is the Sunset Montipora, a monti with a bright orange skin and vivid green polyps.

 

Similar to many encrusting Montipora, the Sunset is a fast grower and will spread across pretty much any type of surface. You do have to be careful with placement since they can be aggressive and are capable of encrusting a large chunk of a reef’s main rock structure. I like to attach them to a piece of rock on the sand bed to keep them from overtaking my reef, although I have seen them spread on the sand! This is actually an added benefit since it makes it easier to frag the coral due to the thin layer of skin that forms on top of the sand.

 

Sunset Montipora

 

In general encrusting Montiporas are relatively easy to keep and are always a good choice for beginners just starting out with SPS. I like to add them to a new SPS tank as starter corals to make sure they thrive before I add more demanding SPS corals.


 

The Sunset Montipora does well when exposed to moderate lighting and flow. As I mentioned, I like to keep encrusting Montiporas at the bottom and they have always received enough PAR in that location under 400W bulbs. They will also do fine under T5s and LEDs when provided the proper output.

 

 

Overall, the Sunset Montipora is a beautiful edition to any reef tank that will thrive when the proper calcium (400-440 ppm), alkalinity (8-9 dkh) and magnesium levels (1300-1400 ppm) are maintained. Give one a try the next time you are in the market for a new frag.

 

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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!