An encrusting and somewhat tabling coral, Montipora undata adds an interesting shape and texture to the reef. Each polyp resembles a small white circle against a honey-brown structure.
The Pycnogonid is a sea spider that apparently preys on SPS corals like Acropora and Pocillopora. These are very hard to spot, and require a keen eye to even notice their presence. Hobbyists wait until lights out and use a flashlight to spot this pest. No known predator at this time, they are removed by dipping the coral in a solution like Bayer, CoralRx, or similar.
Photo above by Brandon Templin.
I only grew a small amount of this coral, but it was pretty while it lasted. Elkhorn montipora has a distinct look; check out the ridges and texture. This coral is available wherever ORA corals are sold: your local fish store.
Like other SPS corals, this Acropora humilis needs good flow and pristine water quality. I added this small piece to my 55g reef, and under Metal Halide lighting the tips grew nicely. Originally it was lighter green, but darkened up over a couple of months' time. Note the tissue spreading further near the top of the image.
I love Montipora capricornis, and in this image you can see the progressive growth along the leading edges. This SPS coral requires intense lighting (Metal Halide), 400-430ppm calcium and soak up magnesium so I aim for 1300-1400ppm. Keep it clean of detritus with good current or blast it clean with a turkey baster regularly. Most people simply call this species "Montis" for short.
A club member sold me this Acropora tenuis, and it maintained its color beautifully! It didn't take long for it to spread out onto the nearby rockwork, and seemed very happy in my reef.
Because of the shape of this coral, I had to buy it. A few people helped me identify it as Psammacora. The bright green coloration, as well as the fuzzy polyps, really caught my eye. And in the core of this colony, a number of barnacles extend whiskers for filter feeding. It is a nice coral with great texture.
A stunning choice is this Acropora hyacinthus. The coral tends to grow in a table top, which is why it's one of my favorites. The tips of this coral are bright blue and the coral is a tan color. These tend to requiire lots of flow to wash away detritus and floating algae. That being said, they don't have a good success rate for many hobbyists - calling it a challenging coral is 100% accurate.
Pocillopora damicornis come in two kinds. The above is the fuzzy kind, that look this way all the time. The other kind, Pocillopora verrucosa, only extends its polyps at night for feeding. This is an easy coral for a beginner with good water quality and decent lighting.
I like this coral because it grows like a staghorn, yet the growth tips are completely flattened. Acropora abrolhensis is definitely a good piece to add to your SPS collection.