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.
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.
If you would like some help with a new tank build, including help designing a custom aquarium, or help re-configuring your current setup then you can visit this page for more information. And if you are looking to add some equipment, I do sell GHL, Pax Bellum, Reef Octopus Calcium and Kalk Reactors and Royal Exclusiv products, including Dreamboxes, which is the equipment I use and recommend. I also sell Reef Brite metal halide and LED fixtures as well as Maxspect & IceCap Gyres.
As for additional insights and information, please explore my many other reef tank and SPS related articles as well as my YouTube channel. For an even deeper dive into reef tank care you can check out my Reef Keeping Master Class. This online course is an immersive and one of a kind educational tool designed to help reef aquarium hobbyists build and maintain a beautiful SPS reef tank. The course is a series of video presentations with some supplemental video from my YouTube channel. There are also quizzes to help students retain and understand the information presented in the course.
Need some frags…..I can help with that as well 🙂 Please visit my SPS Frag store to see what is available.