Mushroom Corallimorphs are some of the hardiest and most colorful animals that we keep in our reef aquariums. They live up to their namesake, resembling terrestrial mushrooms in shape, and come in a stunning array of colors and patterns. Interestingly enough, they are close cousins of both corals and anemones. Most have symbiotic relationships with zooxanthellae, although these animals don’t require as much light as many corals or anemones. Some are equipped to absorb nutrients directly from the water column, and still others are actually able to take larger prey items.
The most commonly encountered species are from the genus Actinodiscus and the genus Discosoma. They categorically do well in lighting ranging from moderately bright to relatively dim. In fact, they typically do well in all but the brightest lighting conditions. Moderate water movement is also favored. These animals are often found in very tight associations, and seem to do very well, even when living in extremely close proximity to each other.
Members from the genus Ricordea are some of the most colorful, interesting, and sought-after of the group. The look different from the more common Actinodiscus and Discosoma species because of the numerous tentacles that cover their disk. Ricordea come in an astounding array of bright colors and patterns. They also may be kept under a wide range of lighting intensity, ranging from relatively low to surprisingly bright, and favoring moderate current.
Unlike the more common Actinodiscus and Discosoma, Ricordea should not come into contact with other corals, as they could sting others. Conversely, Ricordea may be stung by more aggressive animals that they come into contact with, so use consideration when placing them in the aquarium. These species are also good eaters, taking a variety of small meaty foods.
The genus Rhodactis, commonly known as “Hairy Mushrooms”, “Metallic Mushrooms”, or “Tonga Mushrooms”, differ from other Mushroom Corallimorphs in that they possess numerous fine tentacles, and are typically much larger than the common or Ricordea mushrooms.These animals may be 2 to 3 inches across, and are aggressive feeders, with the potential to consume small fishes. They come in a variety of colors, including blues, pinks, and greens, and tolerate a wide range of lighting, ranging from low to moderate, and prefer moderate water movement.
The genus Amplexidiscus has only one species, commonly known as the “Elephant Ear Mushroom” because of its large size and distinctive morphology. These Mushrooms can reach a diameter of over one foot in some instances, and are a definite threat to small fishes. Elephant Ear Mushrooms generally are brownish or greenish in color, and are easily feed with a variety of foods. They can flourish under a variety of lighting regimens, and prefer low to moderate water movement. Elephant Ear Mushrooms reproduce asexually,
Here are some recommended environmental parameters for healthy growth. Keep in mind that these are recommendations only:
Temperature: 77-82 degrees F
Alkalinity: 8-11dKH or 2.86-3.89 meq/L
Calcium: 390-450 ppm
Magnesium: 1350-1400 ppm
Phosphate: .03 ppm or less
Nitrate: less than 30 ppm
In general, the Mushroom Corallimorphs are highly variable, generally hardy, and quite interesting as aquarium subjects.
- Be the first to review this product