For this week’s entry in the AquaNerd Picture of the Week, we’re focusing on a common sight for most hobbyists, the plating structure of the good old orange Monitpora coral. As the monti grows from a small fragment, it begins to create layers as it whorls upward. This creates shelf after shelf, and the underlying layers stretch outward as the layers above become overshadowed. These plates are thin and fragile, often breaking apart in areas. Another interesting aspect to this growth is the degree of upward growth that varies depending on the intensity of the lighting. Under low light conditions, the coral predominately grows outward. If housed under more intense light, the plate will grow upward. In either of these situations, the coral’s growth is designed to get just the right amount of light, with upward growth minimizing the area exposed.