Name: Discosoma and Actinodiscus sp.
Classification: Soft Coral
Common Names: Mushroom coral
Mushroom corals are colonies of individual flattened polyps related
to anemones. Mushroom corals can be from about 1" across to
1' across, although most in the reef tank are 1" to 3"
across. Color can range widely from green, red, blue, purple or
gray. They can be solid in color or stripped with lines radiating
from the center. There surface texture may be smooth or fuzzy looking.
This coral is normally collected in the wild, but it is easily propagated.
Hardiness: Mushrooms are extremely hardy and an excellent beginner
coral. They will survive in almost any type of reef tank setup.
Lighting: Will tolerate very low light
levels, but does best under moderate lighting. Very intense lighting
may prevent the coral from opening fully.
Water Current: Mushroom corals prefer
low water motion.
Temperature: Does well within a range
of at least 74º to 84º F.
Aggressiveness: Low. Although Mushrooms
do not sting per se, they do seem to have some means of chemical
warfare and can cause recession in SPS corals that they come into
contact with. They may also reproduce rapidly and encroach on their
Feeding: Mushroom corals are photosynthetic
and require no feeding.
Supplements: No special requirement are
noted, but may benefit from iodine supplementation.
Tank Positioning: These specimens are
usually placed near the bottom of the tank since they are not very
light demanding. They are great filler corals to place between larger
Propagation: Mushroom corals are
easily propagated by cutting individual polyps into several pieces.
These can be placed on a gravel bed with low water flow and will
attach themselves to pieces of gravel. They can then be superglued
to a suitable substrate such as a reef plug.