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Montipora Coral Care PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 06:01

Montipora

 

Class Anthozoa, Subclass Hexacorallia, Order Scleractinia, Family Acroporidae, Genus Montipora

 

Common names: velvet coral

Natural origin: Indo-Pacific

Sensitivity (Level 2): Though not exactly beginner corals,

they're usually considerably more tolerant than their

Acropora cousins.

Feeding: These corals have nearly invisible polyps and

rather poor prey capture ability. They fed on food of very

small particle size. In a well fed tank with a variety of food,

additional feeding is usually not necessary.

Lighting (Level 6 to 10): Most Montipora species can adapt

to a considerably wide range of light intensities but tend to

prefer and grow faster under stronger lighting. Like all

photosynthetic corals, changing lighting conditions can

sometimes result in color changes in the coral. Note that

when one of these corals changes color, that doesn't

necessarily mean the coral is unhealthy. The coral may

simply be adapting to your lighting conditions. This is true

even of aesthetically unfavorable color changes. As always,

failure to acclimate to new lighting can cause bleaching.

Water flow: Plating species can be especially susceptible to

sediment damage. Both branching and plating types need

strong water flow.

Placement: These are very peaceful corals. Keep safely

away from aggressive corals and be careful of fast-growing

encrusting corals that will compete for space.

General: Different Montipora species can be encrusting,

plating or branching. All three growth forms can grow very

fast when kept well. Steady calcium levels of approximately

420 ppm are best for coral health and growth.

 

Sensitivity:

Level 1 - These corals are easy to care for, good for

the novice aquarists.

Level 2 - These corals require slightly more attention

than level 1 corals, but are generally tolerant and

forgiving.

Level 3 - These corals require stable, established

aquariums and care by an

experienced aquarist.

Level 4 - These corals should only be kept by the

most experienced aquarists.

Level 5 - These corals are not known to be able to

survive in aquariums even when under the care of

the most experienced aquarists

Note that this scale is not set in stone, but based on the numerous

experiences and reports of professional and hobby aquarists. The

sensitivity and tolerance of any given coral in your tank will

depend on species, health when collected/purchased, how long it's

been in captivity, and other factors that may or may not be

knowable.

 

Lighting Scale (approximations):

Level 0 - no light

...

Level 3 - one foot below modest VHO or T5

fluorescent lighting

...

Level 5 - two feet below extensive VHO or T5

fluorescent lighting

...

Level 6 - one foot below extensive VHO or T5

fluorescent lighting

Level 7 - two feet below 250 watt single ended MH

light (or 150-175 watt MH with HQI ballast)

Level 8 - one foot below 250 watt single ended MH

light (or 150-175 watt MH with HQI ballast)

...

Level 10 - one foot below 400 watt single ended MH

(or 250 watt MH with HQI ballast)

Note that this scale is quite crude and only meant to provide a

rough idea of the different levels of light intensities. How much

(and what kind of) light actually reaches the corals in your tank

also depends on the type of reflector in the light fixture, the

temperature of the bulbs/lamps, the clarity of your tank water,

etc.

 

It's also important to note that different individual corals, even of the same species, can have very different lighting requirements and

ideals. Often times, the same types and species of wild caught corals come from different depths and different water clarities. It's nearly

impossible to know what kind or how much light was getting to your coral when it was first taken from the wild. One advantage of

aquacultured corals is that you can know what light they were grown under. Beyond health, the color of any given zooxanthellate

(photosynthetic) coral will change and adapt in response to the lighting it is placed under. All corals are vulnerable to bleaching if not allowed

to acclimate to a change to more intense lighting. If your coral begins to bleach, move it to an area of lower lighting and feed it especially well.

 

Acclimation:

Please, always take the time to acclimate new corals.

Step 1: Float the bag with the coral in the aquarium water (away from lights!) for about 20 minutes.

Step 2: Open the bag and test the salinity of the bag water.

Step 3: Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of tank water to the bag every 10-20 minutes until the bag water and tank water

are approximately the same salinity. You can add less water over longer periods of time to acclimate more slowly

for more sensitive animals (or when the bag water and tank water have substantially different salinity).

Acclimation can also be done in a bucket (rather than the transport bag). However, the bucket water temperature can get closer

to room temperature than tank water temperature (especially for slow acclimations). Insulating the bucket in a Styrofoam box

or cooler during acclimation should help.

To acclimate to new lighting conditions, first place the coral in a less light intense area of the tank. Every few days, move the

coral towards more direct lighting until it is where you want it to be. If it begins to bleach at any point, move it back to a less

light intense area. After the coral recovers, commence moving towards more direct light more slowly.

General "Disclaimer"

These care sheets are a brief presentation of the needs and characteristics of a variety of commonly kept aquarium

corals. Though there's a lot of science in reef keeping, the hobby itself has always been and continues to be an imperfect

science. Much is still unknown and there is often more than one way to do things. Please take what's written here as a starting

point, but always keep an active and curious mind.

Copyright © 2012 Coral Reef Keepers