© www.livestockusa.org, 2003-2015
There is a new video slide show at the bottom of the page,
so check that out if you have been here before and want to
see something new. They are small size and low-res but do
show some of the current mushroom availabilities. Birdfish
sees some real cherries in there! ;)
"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!
Red Spotted Mushrooms
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.
(Rare) Orange Mushrooms
They like iodine, low water flow is OK,
don't need high light, and they're non-aggressive ...
... a perfect aquarium pet!
To right: Ricordea 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!
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.
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.
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.
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
for more details.
Here is an assortment of mushroom photos for
your viewing pleasure!