Mushroom corals are some of the easiest corals to keep, and can be an ideal first coral for beginners! Not only are they widely coloured, but most are fast growers and can tolerate a wide range of parameters, which is perfect for the novice reef keeper. They are particularly well suited to low light conditions, which is also helpful if you’re putting your first reef tank together on a budget and don’t want to fork out the big bucks right away for a more powerful lighting system. In the past few years, the popular Yuma ricordea and Rhodactis mushrooms have gotten a lot of attention and are often coveted by novice and experienced reef keepers alike.
Most mushroom corals are very easy to care for and require little in the way of feedings or special treatment. Some readily accept mysis shrimp or LPS pellets and will envelope them with gusto given the chance. It’s best to turn off return pumps and powerheads during feedings to allow the coral time to sense and react to the food.
They usually do best in the bottom half of the tank or on the side walls of rock work where they receive indirect lighting and low to moderate flow. If a mushroom isn’t opening up, it’s likely because it’s getting too much light and may need to be moved.
While they can tolerate a wide range of parameters, too much lighting can cause problems. The best thing about mushrooms is that most are very resilient and will usually recover quickly from damage or swings in parameters. This is assuming that the tank isn’t suffering from unusually high nitrate or phosphate levels.
SOME CAN BE HARDER TO KEEP:
There is always an exception to the rule, and in this case it seems to be Yuma mushrooms. These beautiful and brightly coloured mushrooms are often slightly higher priced than most, which is your first sign to be more careful about their care requirements. They are still considered an easy coral to care for, but as mushrooms go they can be a bit more fussy about tank parameters and lighting conditions. They typically grow at a slow rate and don’t reproduce nearly as quickly as other mushrooms. Propagation is the fastest way to get these beauties to spread, but they can be sensitive to fragging and often have lower recovery rates.
A FEW OF MY FAVOURITES:
Whether it’s a brightly coloured Yuma, a cleverly named Discosoma or a pointy vesicled Rhodactis, mushroom corals will always be some of my favourites. The variety and diversity of these beautiful corals is amazing!