Cali Tort

SPS Deep Dive – Cali Tort

There are many choices out there when it comes to selecting eye catching SPS corals for a reef tank. I tend to gravitate to solid colored pieces that contrast nicely when grouped together. Orange? Go with an ATL Forest Fire Digitatas. Neon green? A good old fashioned Green Birdnest or Stylophora will do the trick. Pink? How about a Tyree Red Dragon or a Pink Birdsnest? Blue? An Oregon Blue Tort would fit the bill as would another classic, the Cali Tort.

An Oldie But a Goodie

The Cali Tort was a much sought after coral years ago but demand has waned given all of the designer corals available today. But I am a traditionalist so I still dig it. The Acropora tortuosa has blue corallites and branches with hints of green. Under certain lighting conditions the green will not be visible, causing some to misclassify it as an Oregon Blue Tort.

Cali Tort vs. Oregon Blue Tort

So how can you tell them apart? The Cali Tort tends to have more elongated branches than the Oregon Blue Tort and a slight purple tint versus the bright blue OBT. The Cali Tort also tends to grow at a better clip. In terms of placement, I recommend keeping this coral high in the tank under medium to bright lighting. It should also receive a moderate to high amount of flow.

cali tort

oregon blue tort

What’s In a Name?

According to, the Cali Tort, Oregon Blue Tort and another well know tort, the Becker Tort, originated from the Solomon Islands between 1998 and 1999. The corals were grown out and eventually distributed up and down the west coast… I’m going to assume someone from the Golden State named the Cali Tort 🙂

Additional Resources

If you would like some help with a new tank build, including help designing a custom aquarium, or help re-configuring your current setup then you can visit this page for more information. And if you are looking to add some equipment, I do sell GHL, Pax Bellum, Reef Octopus Calcium and Kalk Reactors and Royal Exclusiv products, including Dreamboxes, which is the equipment I use and recommend. I also sell Reef Brite metal halide and LED fixtures as well as Maxspect & IceCap Gyres.

As for additional insights and information, please explore my many other reef tank and SPS related articles as well as my YouTube channel. For an even deeper dive into reef tank care you can check out my Reef Keeping Master Class. This online course is an immersive and one of a kind educational tool designed to help reef aquarium hobbyists build and maintain a beautiful SPS reef tank. The course is a series of video presentations with some supplemental video from my YouTube channel. There are also quizzes to help students retain and understand the information presented in the course.

Need some frags…..I can help with that as well 🙂 Please visit my SPS Frag store to see what is available.

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