Mr. Saltwater Tank

Write-Up Wednesday: Montipora Setosa

Montipora Setosa (Montipora Setosa) easily ranks within my top 5 favorite corals as it is a unique coral with bright colors that never ceases to catch my eye. A tank can be stuffed with all types of coral and if there is a piece of Setosa in the tank, I’ll quickly notice it.

Montipora Setosa

Montipora Setosa

Unlike other Montipora species that plate, encrust or branch, the Montipora Setosa does it all. Finger-like branches will grow from the base of the coral and in time can become large enough to form plates. This growth pattern makes for an interesting piece in your tank that will stand out among its tank mates.

Also helping the coral stand out is the color ranges of Montipora Setosa. Color ranges include bright orange to pale pink with the vast majority of specimens I’ve seen display the bright orange color. The polyps of the coral take on the same color as the body, yet they still easily seen protruding from the coral.

Being a SPS coral, you might be turned off by the thought of keeping a “finicky stick”, but don’t be. Another nice feature of Setosa is that it is easy to keep under a variety of lighting and water quality conditions. This coral is one that I will routinely use early on in a tank’s career as a tester coral to measure if the tank is ready for other delicate SPS coral.

If you’re looking for a great “starter stick”, add Montipora Setosa to your list.

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Comments for this article (4)

  • adam wiener says:

    Thanks Mark…I will look for one. Thanks for your recommendation on the Undata! it’s doing great in my tank and looks wonderful.

  • Bob B says:

    I’ve had Setosa in my 125 with T5’s and a 90 watt LED Bar for over a year now. It had a rocky start in my tank probably because I had to find it’s happy spot. It is doing great now! The bright orange color really stands out. I think T5’s alone could work well for this coral if it is close to the surface.
    Great recommendation Mark!

  • Michael says:

    You can often find aquacultured M. setosa in the Divers Den at

  • Darren Capon says:

    Hi Mark, all my soft corals are doing well however I have tried hard corals twice and twice they have bleached, water conditions in my are tank are fine would love to keep coral like this, so what am I doing wrong?

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