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.