Why Is My Montipora Coral Turning White?

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Is your Montipora coral turning white? You are wondering what the reasons might be? If so, you are in the right place. In this post, you will learn about all the reasons causing Monti caps to turn white and why sometimes it’s a good thing.

montipora getting white

SPS corals are not my cup of tea. They require too much work and have less margin of error. I am still a beginner in my reefing journey with only one year of experience, so it’s logical to avoid these types of corals.

However, a couple of months ago, I got an opportunity to buy a very cheap frag of Montipora Capricornis. I didn’t want to miss that opportunity, so I bought the frag.

Since I got the Montipora cap frag, I’ve encountered several problems with the Monti cap getting white, losing its color, and other related stuff. 

Luckily, everything came out great. The Montipora frag is still in my tank, growing and thriving. 

Let’s discuss all the problems you may encounter with these corals. Without furder ado, let’s get started.

Why is my Montipora turning white?

Montipora corals may turn white when exposed to intense lighting. In addition, alkalinity swings, nutrient problems, and lack of micro elements may also cause Montipora corals to lose color.

Lighting

The most common reason for Montipora turning white is intense lighting. 

Its common knowledge that SPS corals need high light. Beginners may misinterpret that and place the Montipora coral under higher intensity lighting right away. 

This action will result in bleaching your Montipora. When you introduce a Montipora cap in your tank, first acclimate it and slowly move it to a higher intensity light.

Another reason Montipora corals turn white related to light is when people upgrade their lighting system. If you want to upgrade your lighting, do it slowly; so your corals have a chance to acclimate.

Temperature

High temperature is another reason that may cause your Monti caps to bleach. We all see what global warming is doing to our coral reefs. 

High temperatures can cause havoc in our reef tanks too. 

Maintain the temperature stable in your reef tank and make sure you have an appropriate cooling system, especially in the summer months.

Alkalinity

Alkalinity spikes can also bleach your Montipora corals. Make sure that you have a mature and stable reef tank before even considering purchasing SPS corals.

SPS corals are not forgiving corals and will die if the parameters are off. 

Even Montiporas, considered one of the easiest SPS corals to keep, will struggle in unstable environments.

Magnesium

Low magnesium levels can also affect your Montipora health. Keep your Magnesium levels from 1350ppm to 1500ppm and never let it go below 1200 ppm.

Iodine

Lack of iodine can also make your Montipora lose its color. Be careful with iodine and only dose per instruction because you might get other problems.

Nitrates & Phosphates

All corals need nutrients to thrive, despite their primary food source coming from photosynthesis. 

If your nitrates and phosphates are bottomed out, then that might be the reason your Montipora coral is getting white. Raise your nitrates but be careful to go overboard.

Growth

If your Montipora coral is getting white around its edges, you don’t need to worry. It means that it is growing. 

Can bleached Montipora come back?

Yes, a bleached Montipora can come back. As long as the polyps are alive and the tissue is there, there is a chance for your Montipora coral to get back to its former glory. However, it will be slow, and it won’t happen overnight.

Final Thoughts

The Montipora is a beautiful SPS coral that comes in different color varieties. It’s one of the easiest SPS corals to keep and is often recommended as a great coral to venture into the SPS realm.

Even though they are considerably easy to keep, hobbyists have problems with these corals, such as turning white and losing colors.

Luckily, most of the problems with these corals are reversible. If you have a problem with Monti caps getting white, follow the advice mentioned in the section above.

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