1×1 inch – AE Leng Sy Purple Rim Montipora – Cruz Arias Lineage


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A Piece of Reefing History…

There are quite a few corals in the captive market that claim to be the Leng Sy Montipora. Many of these however are just basic purple edged green caps. None of these basic morphs have ever been seen developing the 1 inch wide purple double sided edges or the extensive very long nodule growths. One specific more accurate line of Leng Sy corals traces its lineage to a coral very similar to the real deal. That is know as the Rafael line, but it is definitely not the real lineage. Above all these, the most potentially accurate Leng Sy line of all, is the Mike Paletta line. It traces its origin to the original Mike Paletta fragment, which unfortunately has a little bit of uncertainty involved with its lineage history. There are reasons for all this confusion that will be explaned in the next history section below. Now there have been a few newly imported Montipora colony morphs over the years that were similar. One of those can be seen on this old Reeffarmers most wanted page. Reeffarmers spent a few years looking for the authentic true lineage coral after the original colony and every known fragment were reported lost. Leng Sy however reported that he knew of one surviving authentic verified fragment of the coral that he had given to a close friend. Reeffarmers always thought that was just a rumor until we were contacted by that close friend of Leng’s, Cruz Arias.

What makes the Leng Sy Montipora a most desirable and unique coral ? Well there is the history and lineage behind the coral which is detailed below. And the coral has some very unique one of a kind attributes. It develops very tall, insanely tall, nodules or vertical spires. That is very rare for a whorling Montipora species. Most whorling Montipora lack nodules and the ones that do have them only develop short stubby growths. And there is the incredible thick purple plum growth edge that can develop. Most purple edged Montipora corals will develop a thin edge from 1/8 to 3/8 inch wide at most on their top surface. The Leng Sy Montipora will develop a thick purple edge over 1 inch wide. And it can actually be a double edge with purple also on the bottom side. This particular Montipora also prefers strong light levels to fully grow and develop these charcateristics. Most of the whorling Montipora do well in moderate to weak light levels.

The original Leng Sy Montipora was acquired by Leng from coral importers in the Los Angeles area during 1996. The original colony was brown and developed its incredible coloration in Leng’s captive system. Steve Tyree saw the original colony and took the above images in 1996 using 35 mm slide film and a macro lens. Capturing coral color on film was very difficult back then and remained relatively difficult until modern digial cameras were available. At that time Leng was very tight with his corals. He just did not make fragments back then. His main goal was to see how corals and fish developed in his miracle mud based filtration system. Eventually he decided to make his first frags of the colony and broke off his first section for distribution. Leng did not ship corals so he wanted Steve to ship fragments to Mike Paletta and Sanjay Joshi. No other fragments of this coral were ever shipped, but thankfully one local person managed to convince Leng to harvest a fragment a few years later. That fragment ended up being the only surviving authentic second generation seed and its history is described in the next section.

The original distribution fragments went to Sanjay Joshi, Mike Paletta and Steve Tyree. Steve distributed a couple of fragments to his customers, but none of those survived long term. One went to Bill Schroer of Piece of the Reef, but the reef holding that fragment was wiped out by someone pouring a chemical into the reef. Probably chlorine bleach. Steve lost his original seed as the captive coral reef mail order business was having difficulty during the 1999 Y2K slowdown. Sanjay Joshi lost his also and there were no surviving fragments. Mike Paletta however had a different experience. He lost his original seed fragment and then refound it later in the back of his reef. Quite a few of the current Leng Sy Montipora lines out there can be traced back to this refound Mike Paletta fragment.

Leng lost the original colony around 2001/2002 when his tank experienced a wild KH fluctuation. Many sps were lost due to the fluctuation. Leng Sy then called Steve and told him about the loss and immediately Steve asked Bill Schroer and Mike Paletta if they still had their seeds. Bill of course had lost his and Mike stated to Steve that he also lost his. Steve Tyree assumed they were all lost and the coral was now gone from captivity…



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Weight 10 oz


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