Cherry Tree Montipora
The Cherry Tree Montipora variety has been aquacultured for several years and is considered a staple SPS by many reefkeepers. This gorgeous encruster has a rich pink skin and green polyps. Similar to the Sunset Montipora, Cherry Tree Montipora are considered to be a fast growing and hardy SPS coral. Cherry Tree montipora is an encrusting montipora that will adhere itself to rock, overflow covering or glass. Chaos Aquaculture’s Cherry Tree Montipora frags measure approximately 1″ in size.
Montipora go by a couple different common names such as the Velvet Finger or Velvet Branch Coral. Once the coral is established in your reef tank and with proper reef husbandry this coral can take off in growth. Montipora corals can grow in very unique growth patterns. They come in a variety of colors adding some very nice eye candy to your reef tank. The more common colors are green, red (sometimes called orange), purple, and blue. On top of that, the colors all exist in several different shades and some of them have a different color “skin”.
Montipora coral requires moderate to high water flow and moderate to bright lighting (PAR 250-450) to maintain its color. T5’s, Metal Halides, or LED’s can all grow montipora corals when the proper PAR levels are provided. We recommend a 14-20K color spectrum for best coloration.
Montipora corals are a photosynthetic coral and do not need to be directly fed. The coral can produce its food from the lights on your tank. Feeding this coral directly is not needed, however you will notice a happier and faster growing coral if you do add some type of coral food to your tank such as oyster feast or reef chili.
Because Montipora is a hardy coral as far as SPS corals go, it’s a great option as a beginner coral to try your hand at SPS. Watch this coral closely for early warning signs that Alkalinity may be getting too low. If Alkalinity is low, montipora in particular are one of the first corals to have closed polyps or a receding base.