If you have ever visited your local fish store (LFS) you probably noticed how cool their coral displays looked, this is because many LFS allow corals to decorate the glass at the back of the tank.
Montipora corals are fantastic candidates for decorating the back of tanks, creating that epic mini-ocean feature in your home! They are one of the most popular SPS (small polyp stony) corals in the aquarium trade because of their fast growth and diverse colors and morphs.
Even though montipora corals are one of the easiest SPS corals to care for, they need good water flow and lighting, and stable water parameters to thrive, therefore, they are not recommended for newbie reefers. However, if you want to take on a challenge and dip your toes into SPS coral care, then montiporas are a good start!
Can You Glue Coral To Glass?
Yes, you can glue corals like your montipora to glass.
As long as there is sufficient light, corals will encrust on almost any hard surface, whether it be a rock in your aquascape, or on the side of your reef tank. The problem is, if you glue your montipora to the glass, the underside of your coral may eventually become shaded and lose its beautiful coloration. Also, most hobbyists do not recommend gluing montipora to glass, as it can be very difficult to remove them.
So, what’s the solution? As an alternative, you can buy magnetic frag plugs or magnetic frag rocks that will stick to the glass. This makes it much easier if you want to move your montipora coral elsewhere in your aquarium.
How Do You Attach Montipora To Glass?
If you want to attach your montipora to your aquarium’s glass, you can use superglue gel or epoxy putty for reef tanks.
As mentioned, gluing corals to glass is not recommended because it is difficult to remove your montipora once it is stuck down. This is why magnetic rocks/plugs are widely used in aquariums.
Magnetic frag rocks are a great way to show off your montipora corals in your aquarium, grow coral frags, or add to your aquascape. They contain a very powerful magnet that is embedded in the back of the rock to secure your new montipora to the sides of your reef tank or even on overflows.
But, that’s not all! The magnetic rocks also come with strategically drilled holes, making it super easy to mount your montipora.
If you do not want to use glue or a magnetic frag plug/rock, you can place your montipora near the glass, and eventually, it will grow on it. Also, depending on your montipora and its growth rate, the glue or frag plug/rock may not withstand the weight as your monti grows.
How Do You Remove Montipora From Glass?
Removing your montipora from the glass can either be super easy or a challenge depending on how your montipora has grown on the glass.
If you used a magnetic frag plug/rock, removing your monti should be straightforward. If your montipora coral has not grown beyond the plug/rock, then you can easily pull the magnet off the glass and move it somewhere else.
However, if you glued your monti to the glass, or it encrusted on its own, then removing it is not so simple…
You will need to gently scrape it off the glass using a flat edge razor blade or a paint scraper. Depending on how many layers your monti has, will determine how much elbow grease you need to put in!
When scrapping your montipora off the glass, be careful not to remove any silicone that holds the glass panels together.
Where Do You Put Encrusting Montipora?
Most encrusting montipora corals will grow fast pretty much anywhere inside your aquarium, and because they are peaceful, they can also be placed near other peaceful corals.
Even though encrusting montis are easy to maintain, you should only add them to a mature aquarium, as these types of montis require stable water chemistry and medium lighting and water flow to thrive.
As encrusting montipora can get very large, you need to check they are not smothering other corals inside your aquarium. When montis spread out, they can block lighting and water flow for other corals. So, always allow at least 2-3 inches between peaceful corals, and for semi-aggressive or aggressive corals, 5-6 inches is recommended.
How Fast Does Plating Montipora Grow?
Montis are some of the fastest-growing SPS corals in aquariums.
With good lighting, flow, and water parameters, your plating montipora will grow fairly fast; most plating montipora corals are known to grow 5 times the size they arrived at within the first 6 months.
Fast-growing plating montiporas include the supernatural, sunburst, and strawberry fields.
How To Successfully Grow Montipora?
Montipora corals are fairly demanding in aquariums because they require moderate to high water flow and lighting (PAR 250-400) to maintain their mesmerizing colors. This can be achieved with T5’s, metal halides, or LED lighting fixtures if you provide the proper PAR levels and lighting spectrum (14-18K).
Montis also require very stable water parameters, particularly calcium, magnesium, and alkalinity, as these components are used to build their calcium carbonate skeleton.
Ideal Water Parameters For Montipora Corals:
- Temperature: 75 – 79 °F
- Alkalinity: 7 – 9 KH
- pH: 8 – 8.4
- Salinity: 1.024 – 1.026 (1.025 is ideal)
- Calcium: 420 – 440 ppm
- Magnesium: 1260 – 1350 ppm
- Nitrate: <10 ppm
- Phosphate: 0.01 ppm
Montipora corals will easily grow on the glass of reef tanks. Using a magnetic frag plug/rock is the preferred method to grow montis on glass, however, you can use superglue or epoxy putty safe for aquariums.
As montipora corals are fast growers, you can also place your encrusting or plating monti near the glass, and over time, it will eventually grow onto the glass sides of your tank. If your montipora coral naturally grows on the glass, always check they are not blocking the lighting or water flow for other corals.