Mushroom Coral

Scientific 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.

Natural Environment:
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 neighbors.

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 specimens.

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.

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