What are Montipora?

Montipora are a great way to try your hand at SPS corals. They can be really good growers and can be very resilient.  They are one of the most popular types of SPS corals for good reason. Montis have 3 main growth patterns, plating, encrusting, and branching. This is a great type of coral to provide shade to corals lower in your tank and add unique eye-catching growth structures.

Bubblegum Digitada

Montipora Digitata

This type of Montipora has a unique branch-like growth pattern. They are perfect for adding a little structure and depth to your tank like an Acropora would but with a little hardier of a coral. Digitata are one of the best beginner SPS corals you can get. They are typically faster growers and are hardier than most sps corals. Some of our favorites include the Bubblegum Digi and our Orange Digi.

Check out all of our Montipora Digitata.

Capricornis montipora - Leng Sy Cap sps coral Montipora

Montipora Capricornis

The Montipora Capricornis or the monti cap as more commonly referred to is one of the favorites in the hobby. As this type of monti grows, it begins to form plate-like growth. As it gets larger it will form layers of circular bowl-like plates. Some of our favorites Montipora Capricornis are the WWC Grafted Cap Monti and the Leng Sy Monti. Both are good growers and add a lot to our tanks.

Check out all of our Montipora Capricornis.

Encrusting montipora - Jason Fox Beach Bum montipora

Encrusting Montipora

One of the best ways to cover your ugly rocks is with encrusting Montipora. Encrusting montiporas come in a huge variety of textures, colors, and growth speeds. This type of Monti typically grows really well and is very resilient. We have had some encrusting montis appear to be dead only to color back up a month or two later. Some of our favorites are the JF Beach Bum Montipora and the Mystic Montipora.

Check out all of our Encrusting Montipora.

Montipora Coral Care

How much light do Monti coral need?

Quality lighting is extremely important for growing Montipora and getting good coloration. At Sunnyside Corals, we grow all of our corals under both T-5 lighting and Radions. We run our lighting on a modified AB schedule with our T-5s and Radions. Depending on the type of Monti, we typically keep them at the bottom or in the middle of our tank. The plating and branching Montipora do better towards the middle and can provide shaded areas for corals lower down. While the encrusting corals typically do best lower down in your tank. Make sure to test what works best for your specific Monti, sometimes a little higher light can help bring out the colors. but you don’t want to overdo it or you might end up bleaching the coral.

Flow Requirements
Montis generally need moderate to high levels of flow. Having the right amount of flow is important to keep sand and detritus from settling on your Monti and stunting growth or even killing them. Don’t forget to vary the amount of flow in your tank throughout the day. This helps promote healthy growth and is closer to their natural environment.

How to place Montipora

Make sure to place your Montis close to the bottom or middle of your tank where it can receive the right amount of light. Typically somewhere, where the Monti can receive medium to strong amounts of flow, is best, not directly under a pump. Montipora will grow almost anywhere and will cover what you place them on. This can add a lot of depth and variety to your tank. Encrusting Montis can be a great way to cover your ground or rocks. Be creative and have fun watching your Montipora add some color to your tank.


Water parameters are always a key part of growing any coral. Montipra can be surprisingly hardy corals however they do best in cleaner systems. This means that the Nitrates and phosphates generally need to be lower. The most important thing though, is that you keep your levels stable. Montipora can get stressed and lose all of their colors very quickly when tank parameters start to fluctuate but often come back once parameters stabilize. Look into automation tools such as dosers, refugium, and calcium reactors to help stabilize your tank levels.

How to increase growth
The key to increasing growth in your tank is to make sure your tank is consistent. Once you find a spot in your tank where your corals are happy, don’t move them. If you keep your parameters consistent and have adequate light and flow, your corals will start to thrive.

wwc grafted montipora cap

Things to Know Before You Buy Montipora Coral

Montipora are a great way to get your feet wet with SPS coral. As technology advances, maintaining a healthy tank is increasingly easy. Once you get your system running smoothly and it’s stable you can grow Montis fairly easily.  Things like dosers, calcium reactors, and other automated tools have made keeping Montis a lot easier but may not be necessary. The nicest thing about Montipora is they can be largely hands-off. If your tank is relatively stable and your coral is placed in a good spot, it should grow well for you.

Another important factor that plays a role in the success of growing Montipora is the correct amount of lighting and flow. At Sunnyside Corals, we run a modified AB schedule with Gen 4 radions and supplement T-5 lighting on all our corals. Our Montis grow best under medium to high amounts of light. Different lighting can lead to brighter or duller colors on your Montis. No one size fits all with all types of Montis so make sure you do your research before placing.

As a rule of thumb when buying Montipra, the pricier ones are typically more touchy and grow slower. There are 1000’s of different Montipora out there. It is always best to start cheap and work your way up.

When can I add Montipora coral to my tank?

Montipora are one of the easier SPS corals to grow and can be a great way to try your tank with SPS coral. Most Montis require fairly stable water parameters and tank levels but have proven to be fairly resilient. Because of this most tanks typically can start growing Montis after 6 months of setting up your tank. However, this amount of time does vary from tank to tank. We would recommend starting with an easy beginner LPS or Soft corals from our list of beginner corals.

Dry Rock
If you started your tank with dry rock you will most likely have to wait close to 6 months to a year before you will be able to successfully keep anything alive. This is because dry rock can leach phosphate into the water for a very long time. Montis do best in a more established tank but are a good way to test if your tank is ready for other SPS corals such as Acropora.

Live Rock
If you started your tank with live rock that process can be dramatically shorter. However, be aware that just because your levels are where they should be, does not mean that your tank is actually ready for any corals. We recommend introducing LPS or Soft corals first with any new system. After having success with LPS and Soft coral for a while you can begin to introduce easy SPS corals like Montipora. Acros should be the last thing you try to add to your system.

Check out some of our Montipora!