Author Archives: Morgan Moore

Morgan Moore

About Morgan Moore

I'm a native Floridian who has been living in crazy, hot Miami for over 15 years. I live in Coral Gables, my name means protector of the sea or coral depending on the language, so it is just my destiny that I grow coral for a living. I love this planet and I'm always try to be outdoors when I'm not fragging or writing. You can check out my coral babies at: Reefgardener.net
Latest Posts

Fluffy Pillow Art

Growing corals and selling them for a living seems like an ideal job to other reef aquarists; actually my time is filled with a lot of online work, fragging, aquarium cleaning, box making, and other tedious chores. The one thing that has kept me engaged for over a decade is the corals. Being able to experience the beauty of corals, their never-ending combinations of colors, shapes, and behaviors fuels my addiction. While watching a beautiful fireworks display during 4th of July I found myself thinking of corals. 

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Stunning Pink Morph Wellsophyllia

 Wellsophyllia are one of those corals that most reef aquarists purchase during their first few months of owning a new aquarium; they are easy to keep and do well in medium light. As they grow in a reef aquarium they can inflate to epic proportions and fill in the area around them. Commonly found in mixes of red and green, those are just a small portion of the color spectrum that they occupy. Wellsophyllia are the abstract art of the reef world; fluffy pillows of… More:

Astreopora montiporina the backstory

The story of my Astreopora montiporina colony is an interesting one. If you’re not familiar with this coral don’t worry, it is not commonly known or collected; it was named as a new species in 2011. Back to my story, I purchased a colony of clove polyps four years ago and when I was making some fragments I noticed that the rock the clove polyps were growing on was not a rock but the underside of a browned out coral colony. I removed all of the clove polyps, turned the coral towards the light, and waited to see what would happen. During the following months it slowly started to recover, the color changed from brown to green. After about a year it looked like this. 

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Astreopora after about a year of recovery

 I didn’t know what kind of coral it was; the growth… More:

Making Your Own Ice Packs is Cool and Easy

Summer is here and if you ship out a bunch of corals every week like I do, you’re going to need to keep them cool. Ice packs from most shipping supply companies cost anywhere from $1.00 – .50 cents each, that means I used to spend a few hundred dollars per year just on ice packs and you generally only have two size options. I have made ice packs out of gelatin in the past, but I find it to be messy, time consuming, and not vegan friendly. It had been in the back of my mind for awhile to try using water polymer crystals to make ice packs after seeing them used in floral arrangements, so I recently started doing it. 

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Water Polymer Crystals after absorbing water

 Water polymer crystals… More:

Rare Blue Montipora! Ah no, it’s actually Collospongia

I’m continuously fascinated by all of the different things that live in our oceans. Sponges are the simplest of multicellular organisms and also among the oldest, with a fossil record extending back to the last part of the Precambrian, about 550 million years ago. When I go snorkeling at the fossil reef at Key Biscayne (my local reef) I see all types of sponges; bright red fire sponge, large brown barrel sponges, delicate blue encrusting sponges, etc. They inhabit turtle grass beds and coral reefs alike. Sponges filter the water while providing food and shelter for a myriad of creatures. 

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Blue Layer Cake Sponge – Collospongia

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Where Do Rainbows Come From?

Siberian Rainbow Millepora – Author’s photo

 As an avid collector of Acropora species I have noticed in the last couple of years that rainbow hued acropora seem to be popping up everywhere. So it gets me to pondering where were all these colorful sticks a decade ago? Of course rainbow montipora was probably the first and most well known, multi-hued hard coral to come into the hobby. A few years later when maricultured acropora started to come in more frequently, rainbow colored millepora colonies would make an infrequent appearance. Sadly most of these would turn into solid or two-tone corals under metal halide and T5 lighting. Since then and especially in the past few years we have seen a growing number of brilliant colored sps corals appear on the scene. These corals of course are highly collected and most go for a pretty penny, like the beautiful Walt Disney acropora which fetches $800 – $1000 per fragment. Mike Biggar says his Walt Disney acropora maintains the best… More:

Montipora Invasion!

Uncommon Montipora verrucosa

Uncommon Montipora verrucosa


For someone that loves acropora as much as I do, I sit here tonight staring at my beautiful 250 gallon mother colony system wondering how it ended up seventy five percent full of montipora colonies. When did this sneaky addiction to montipora over take my desire to keep acropora? I know that I originally started keeping montipora colonies for more practical reasons years ago, because they generally grow faster than acropora and tend to be easier to keep. As a coral farmer these are the kinds of corals I look for so they earn more real estate in my… More:

Have you met Carl? Discosoma Carlgreni

 Being a Florida native I have a lot of appreciation for our unique local corals. The corals that come from the Florida Keys and surrounding reefs generally aren’t as popular as their Pacific relatives, but are equally as beautiful. This week I would like to introduce Discosoma carlgreni mushrooms. These are probably one of the most unrecognized mushrooms in the hobby. When I have posted pictures of them online, few people can identify them because they are not readily available to LFS and hobbyists alike. Like other discosoma mushrooms there are many different color morphs and tentacle patterns within this species. Carlgreni mushrooms are easily overlooked even in their natural habitat because they occur in very silty areas and are often found growing at the base of gorgonians in partial shade. Even though they are from different families, Carlgreni mushrooms share many of the same characteristics and care requirements as Tonga mushrooms (Rhodactis inchoata). They prefer moderate lighting, med – low flow, and don’t need pristine water conditions; making them a suitable candidate as a beginner coral. Unlike other discosoma mushrooms which have a tendency to spread and take over an aquarium, these are a much slower growing variety. Enjoy the pictures and stay tuned next week for another mysterious mushroom, Discosoma sanctithomae.… More:

Multicolor Globe Urchins to Light Up Your Reef


Hello! My name is Morgan Moore and I am very happy to join Reefs.com as a new contributor. I have been in the hobby since 2002 and in recent years have written some for CORAL magazine. I manage  Reefgardener.net down in Coral Gables, FL. I have a passion for all things big and small within this hobby and I love growing corals. I look forward to sharing my interests with all of you! Finding an all around good algae eater for a reef tank can be quite challenging. One type of snail or hermit will eat this, but not that. So you need a whole cleanup crew to take care of the various pesky weeds that like to spring up in your aquarium. Since I keep many acropora, I run an ultra low nutrient system; however I do still have my battles with certain macroalgae that like to grow regardless of my nutrient levels. One of my least favorite types of algae that has come into the hobby over the last few years is Dictyota. This algae thrives on high light and still grows like crazy in lower nutrient systems, on top of that almost nothing eats it. It loves to take over whole sections of my egg-crate stands and grow all over frag plugs. No amount of me wishing it dead has made it stop growing. Snails won’t touch it, my Desjardini and other tangs don’t eat it, and even my Magnificent Foxface (Siganus magnificus) only picks at it. Enter my savior,… More:

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