Mushrooms
"Check out these 'shrooms!"

"Look at the colors!"

"Radical!"  ....they've been sayin' that for a hundred years, but today the type of 'shrooms being discussed is different from that of yesteryear ... but "psychedelic" is not too far a stretch in describing many of them!

A tank full of mushrooms of all different colors and varieties is an amazing sight! To the reefer, plain ol' "mushrooms" as they are widely known, are very like a cross between anemones and corals. Individual, but usually semi-colonial coral polyp-like anemones, often without tentacles. Technically they are corallimorpharians, commonly in the genera Discosoma, Rhodactics, Metarhodactis, Ricordea, Actinodiscus and others.

They like iodine, low water flow is OK, don't need high light, and they're non-aggressive ... a perfect aquarium pet!


Pimple Mushrooms Red Spotted Mushrooms Mushrooms Green Mushrooms Red Mushrooms


I've shown people systems before and the conversations went sorta like this: I'd start with, "... and here's my Chambered Nautilus" and they'd say, "WOW what are these?" ... pointing to some green 'shrooms.

"Those are some green mushrooms," I'd respond, "... and here's my Blue-ring Octopus ..."

And they'd point elsewhere, "WOW, what are those?"

"Those are blue mushrooms ... and here's my Great White Shark," I'd say.

"HOLY SMOKES! What in the world are THESE???" they'd ask ...

"Red mushrooms," I'd sigh. "Here's my mating pair of Bangaii Cardinals, which are mating right now!" ... to which they'd reply, "Don't tell me these are mushrooms too," pointing to some Green Hairies ... Aaaaaargh!   I give up!


Viet Nam Mushrooms Assorted Mushrooms Blue and Red Mushrooms Assorted Mushrooms


And so, mushrooms captivate everyone who sees them at first. Keeping them and getting to know them, one only becomes more fond of them. They are very neat cool animals!

You only need to feed them good light, as they don't require the metal halide route ... daylight (6500k), or actinic, 50-50's, HO, VHO, and CF will all be sufficient for them to grow. For feeding, I supplement the light with my "free invert food" bastings upcurrent of the mulm I squeeze out of my sponge pre-filters ... once a month maybe, and you ought to see them open up when the organic detritus hits them. WOW!

After shipping when they first come in they will be in full retraction, often a fifth or even a tenth or less of their fully expanded size. Some fully open in a day or two. Others take a while to really settle down, sometimes a month or two, some even six months or a year, but when they do, they will often then incessantly throw off babies if conditions are right. I once had blues spitting off multiple babies monthly. I have grown many 3-4" across which have really become spectacular.

3-inch Blue Mushroom


Until recently (the last 20-30 years of coral importing for the aquarium hobby), rocks sold were pieces of coral with a colony of red, blue, hairy, green, striped, or whatever, mushrooms on it.

The reds and blues obviously were in very high demand over the years. Within the last few years, it has become very difficult to get whole rocks of reds and blues. They are much more expensive as export is quite limited.


Rare Orange Mushrooms
(Rare) Orange Mushrooms

So often what the collectors are doing is gluing individual mushrooms, which are attached to a small rock, to a larger piece of stone or rock, with putty. So you get a piece of rock, cement, or coral, with putty all over it, with 6-8 or more blue or red mushrooms glued to it. Of course the putty will be covered in coralline in time so is not an issue.

You can see this in some of the pictures. In many cases, it is a start in the direction of aquaculture, where hands-on creation of the saleable piece is being done for the first time. Also, it probably means in the places where they've been allowed to collect, lots of the red and blue mushrooms are gone. So I say get 'em and grow 'em ... smart money is on 'shrooms.


Red and Blue Mushrooms

If you are interested in learning about ordering an assortment of mushrooms (along with other coral varieties), please refer to our Box-lot Specials Page or our Corals Directory for more details.

Here is an assortment of mushroom photos for your viewing pleasure!

Happy 'shrooms!
birdfish
Red Striped Mushrooms Rare Orange Mushrooms Green Indo. Ricordea Flame-pattern Mushrooms Blue Mushrooms Green Watermelon Mushrooms Hairy Mushrooms Assorted Mushrooms Red Spotted Mushrooms Mushrooms Hairy Mushrooms Red Mushrooms Striped Mushrooms Striped Mushrooms Striped Mushrooms Spotted Green Mushrooms Assorted Mushrooms Pimple/Ricordea Mushrooms Margined Mushrooms Green Mushrooms Green Mushrooms Rare Orange Mushrooms Spotted Green Mushrooms Red Mushrooms with Euphyllia Green Indo. Ricordea Green Mushrooms Pale Green Mushrooms Green Mushrooms