Mystery Coral Answer: Mystic Sunset Monti
07 May, 2021
via ACI Aquaculture
So…did you ID the coral correctly?
This mystery coral is the high profile Mystic Sunset Montipora. While this cultivar is in the hobby without an associated species name, it is a well known encrusting variety, noteworthy for easy growth and the reverse coloration of the popular Superman Montipora. The Mystic Sunset Montipora boasts a rather unique but subtle secret: the polyps are actually roughly half brown, and half blue, which is why they appear very small in this photograph—you’re only really noticing the blue portion of the polyp!
Amanda Meckley of ACI Aquaculture explains the unusual growth pattern being seen in this normally encrusting coral. “This pic from the farm shows a 15×15 inch (38 X 38 cm), near-vertical mat of encrusting Mystic Sunset. When it has nowhere else to grow it forms these little ‘buds’ that make it perfect for fragging! We have a few other montis growing out now because this was such a successful experiment. We have other species, less vertical and growing down the middle of another tub vs the side, where the corals simply encrust and looks like a flat sheet of coral.”
As with many corals in the hobby, there is more than one way to keep it happy. Summarizing most recommendations, this coral will show the best coloration with moderate to high lighting, and moderate to higher flows. It seems that faster growth is achieved at the higher ends of the light and flow range. Standard SPS coral water chemistry applies.