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Red Spotted 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 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 anemones.
Individual, but usually semi-colonial anemones
often without tentacles.
(Rare) Orange Mushrooms
Technically they are corallimorpharians,
commonly in the genera Discosoma,
Ricordea, Actinodiscus and others.
Below, right: Ricordea Mushrooms
They are considered "between" corals and
They like iodine,
low water flow,
... a perfect aquarium pet!
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!
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 neat 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!
They take a while to really settle down, sometimes
six months or a year, but when they do, they
will often then incessantly throw off babies
if conditions are right.
I have grown many 3-4"
across which have really become spectacular.
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.
So, 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 case, 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.
If you are interested in learning
about ordering an assortment of
mushrooms (along with other coral varieties),
please refer to our
Corals Information Page
for more details.
Here is an assortment of mushroom photos for
your viewing pleasure!
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