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Mushroom Corals - A guide On the Common Mushrooms

Updated on December 8, 2009

Mushroom Corals

Scientific Name : Rhodactis sp, Ricordea sp, Actinodiscus sp, Amplexidiscus sp

Origin : Most of the worlds Tropical seas

DIfficulty : Very Easy to Moderate

Minimum Size Tank : Not applicable in most cases

Temperature : 72 - 82°F

Maximum Size : 2 - 5 inches

Mushroom corals are an immensely popular coral among the marine reef community. For the most part, they are cheap, colorful and very easy to keep. They generally do not require bright lighting and prefer areas that have low flow. If flow is found to be too strong, they may detach themselves where they are at the mercy of the currents. While they can feed, no feeding is required in captivity as lighting is enough to sustain them.

Mushrooms that usually cost a bit are Ricordea Florida and Ricordea Yuma. However, this is strongly dependent on the color of the specimen. Ricordea's with bright pink usually cost quite a bit while the common orange's and green's are some of the cheapest. While Florida's and Yuma's can be hard to tell apart, an easy way is to look at their mouth. Yuma's have bubble like tips around their mouth while Florida's do not.

Lets go through the most common varieties of mushroom corals.

My Red mushroom super saturated before lights out. To the top right you can see a blue striped mushroom.
My Red mushroom super saturated before lights out. To the top right you can see a blue striped mushroom.
Another Blue mushrom
Another Blue mushrom

Actinodiscus sp

Actinodiscus sp are the most common varieties of mushroom coral available on the market.

They are all very hardy and easy to keep. Depending on the color, they are the cheapest mushrooms available for sale.

Depending on where you are located, Red and blue mushroom varieties usually command a higher price than other colors.

However i've noticed that this is not true in the west where even hairy mushrooms cost more than blue mushroom.

Colleagues from the east tell me that hairy mushrooms are some of the cheapest kinds on the market while reds and blues are the most expensive.

Green mushrooms also do not command a high price. The location in question is Malaysia. I'll take their words for it.

Blue mushrooms can appear somewhat purple depending on the angle you view the coral. But they are considered the same corals.

Striped Mushrooms

Striped Mushrooms

Striped mushrooms are also a common variety. They are cheap and hardy.

I have come across two varieties thus far, green striped and blue striped mushroom corals.

The greens aren't that pretty compared to blue striped versions.

Ricordea Yuma, Ricordae Florida

Lovely Pink Yuma. Expect to pay a pretty penny for this baby.
Lovely Pink Yuma. Expect to pay a pretty penny for this baby.
A sea of regular ricordeas.
A sea of regular ricordeas.

Ricordea Yuma, Florida

And we've come to the ricordea's. These guys can sometimes be ridiculously expensive.

This is mainly due to color, with oddball and rare color morphs fetching the highest prices.

In terms of care, i've found Ricordea Florida to be just as hardy as regular mushrooms.

Yuma's on the other hand can be a bit sensitive. Acclimate them slowly and let them adjust to your lighting over time.

If you rush acclimation they just might begin to melt. And once a Yuma begins to melt it usually spells doom for the coral.

Blue's, red's, purple's and greens are priced somewhat lower than the rare pinks and unusual color mixes.

From the photo's you can tell the pink ricordea is a yuma just by noticing the "bulbs" that are protuding around its mouth.

This feature is not found in Ricordea florida. Differences are sometimes hard to spot especially of the mushroom coral is in a shrunken state.

Elephant Ear Mushroom

Elephant Ear Mushroom

The elephant ear mushroom is the largest growing type of mushroom coral available on the market.

It looks more like an anemone than it does a mushroom and it is predatory. It can consume fish.

They normally come in a somewhat bland green color and have protruding stubby tentacles.

It is an oddball coral that is not commonly seen in most marine enthusiasts aquariums.

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