What are Mushrooms?

Mushrooms are easy to identify typically because they look like mushrooms you typically see on land. Most types of Mushrooms are perfect for a new tank or a beginner. They are hardy corals that do well in dirtier tanks. They come in all different types of colors, sizes, and bounces! Here is everything you need to know to get you started with mushroom corals.

OG Bounce Mushroom

Rhodactis Mushroom

Rhodactics mushrooms are one of the more sought-after types of mushroom corals. Your bounce mushrooms often fall into this category. Rhodactis mushrooms are differentiated by the large vesicles that cover their body. They often have a hairy-like appearance to them. Some of the mushrooms in this category like the OG Bounce Mushroom can be one of the most sought-after corals in the hobby.

Ricordea mushroom

Ricordea Mushroom

Ricordea mushrooms are one of the classics for mushrooms. They are easily identified by their body being covered in round vesicles. There are two types of Ricordea, the Ricordea Yuma, and the Ricordea Florida. The Ricordea Yum can grow a lot larger than the Ricordea Florida. In general Ricordea mushrooms can be a more reasonable price and typically are great beginner corals. Some of the most popular Ricordeas for starters are the Orange Ricordea and the Green Ricordea.

Jaw Breaker Discosoma mushroom

Discosoma Mushroom

The Discosoma mushroom is known for having a smoother body than the Rhodactis and Ricordea mushroom. These corals can have amazing color variations and are one of our favorites. The Jawbreaker mushroom and Electus mushroom fall into this category.

Mushroom Coral Care

How much light do Mushrooms need?

Mushrooms do well in lower to medium light. You may find that your mushroom does better in higher different lighting or gets bigger bounces when it has more or less lighting. We run a slightly modified A/B schedule with gen 4 Radions and supplement T-5 lighting for all of our corals. Our mushrooms are typically towards the bottom of our tanks or in baskets off to the site so they are not in direct light.

Mushroom Flow Requirements

Mushrooms like lower flow. You need to be careful when placing your mushrooms. If they are placed in a spot that they do not like, they can detach and move around in your tank. If you have too much flow on them, it is possible they will float around in your tank and disappear.

How to place Mushroom coral

Mushrooms can move on you, so when placing them it is really important to make sure they are in a spot with low flow. Many people suggest that you place them in small baskets or specialized containers so they are unable to float away. Our experience is that once the mushroom is placed in a spot that it likes, it won’t move around too much on you. It can be nice to glue the plug or rock they are on, onto another rock so they can move onto a solid surface if they want to, often leaving baby mushrooms behind.

Mushroom Water Parameters

Mushrooms are not as sensitive as some corals to changes in water parameters. Generally, mushrooms prefer dirtier systems that have higher nutrient levels. Try to keep your system as consistent as possible and you will see better results from your corals.

soft coral - Beginner coral - Gonzo Golden Dragon Mushroom

Things to Know Before You Buy a Mushroom

Mushroom corals are a great option for anyone getting into the hobby, starting a new tank, or just doesn’t want to deal with the amount of upkeep that SPS corals need. Mushroom corals can be fairly hands-off and low maintenance once your parameters are stable. Mushrooms are great at surviving a swing in tank levels and that makes them perfect for testing out new systems.

Mushrooms propagate by leaving a small portion of their foot or a baby mushroom behind it as it moves. You can also cut your mushrooms in half or smaller in order to get it to split. just make sure to leave a portion of the mouth and foot on of the new frags. Some mushrooms do better than others with this method.

Other important factors that play a role in the success of growing Mushroom corals are the correct amount of lighting and flow. At Sunnyside Corals, we run a modified AB schedule with Gen 4 radions and supplement T-5 lighting on our corals. Our Mushrooms typically grow best under medium to low light.  Typically at the bottom of your tank or on the edges of your tank are the best spots for your Mushrooms.

Overall Mushroom Corals are a great choice and can be very rewarding. Some Mushrooms are touchier than others as well as have different growth rates. Please be aware of the needs of the specific type of Mushroom when buying. 

When can I add Mushrooms to my tank?

Mushrooms are great for any new tank. They often can be one of the first corals that you add into a new tank to test if your tank is ready. They are very resilient to changes in the water and fluctuations. This isn’t true for all mushrooms but is generally true. As a general rule of thumb, the more expensive the coral, the touchier it will be. So don’t go adding an OG Bounce to a two-week-old tank. Try something like a green ricordea first.

Dry Rock
If you started your tank with dry rock you will most likely have to wait 3 to 6 months before you will be able to successfully keep mushrooms alive. This is because dry rock can leach phosphate into the water for a very long time. Mushrooms do well in slightly elevated Phosphate and Nitrate levels and will be a good option for you to test if your tank is ready and your parameters have stabilized.

Live Rock
If you started your tank with live rock that process can be dramatically shorter. However, be aware that just because your levels are where they should be, does not mean that your tank is actually ready for any corals. We recommend introducing LPS or Softy corals slowly and monitoring them closely with any new system.

Check out some of our Mushroom coral!

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