Mystery Coral Answer: Mystic Sunset Monti

07 May, 2021

via ACI Aquaculture

Mystic Sunset Montipora, from ACI Aquaculture.
Mystic Sunset Montipora, from 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.

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Matt Pedersen

Matt Pedersen is a Sr. Editor and Associate Publisher with Reef To Rainforest Media, LLC & CORAL Magazines, and is a Sr. Editor and Publishing Partner with Aquatic Media Press, LLC & AMAZONAS Magazine. Matt has kept aquariums for 38 years, has worked in most facets of the aquarium trade, is an active aquarist and fish breeder (both marine and freshwater), and was recognized with the 2009 MASNA Award as the MASNA Aquarist of the Year.


  1. CJ
    May 11, 2021

    I have a rainbow Montipora that I’ve grown this same way for years

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