Mushroom “corals”, as they are often called are actually not corals. They are corallimorphs, which are more similar to stony corals in terms of taxonomy than soft corals. However, the fleshy body and lack of a skeletal structure makes it understandable why they are often lumped together with soft corals or even anemones. Corallimorphs are similar to anemones, soft corals, and stony coral, but they aren’t any of these things. They are simply corallimorphs.
Rhodactis corallimorphs are found all over the Indo-Pacific, but the Purple Bullseye Rhodactis mushroom is aquacultured by ORA. Aquacultured corals come with benefits that we will talk about later.
Rhodactis mushrooms are fairly easy to keep and beginner friendly. Although, there are some key things you should know to provide them with the most ideal conditions. Here, we’ll go over the basic care requirements for those that are unfamiliar.
Rhodactis mushrooms are fairly slow growing, but they are rewarding. This mushroom reproduces by splitting itself in half. This starts with a second mouth developing. Then, the mushroom will slowly pinch in half until it becomes two separate mushrooms.
Rhodactis mushrooms do best under medium light but can be placed under low light as well. If you are unsure, always err on the low side. It is better to give this coral too little light than too much. If you’re able to test your PAR levels, a good range is 50-150 micromoles of PAR, with 100 micromoles of PAR being the sweet spot for most species. Again, if you aren’t sure, just place this coral in low light. The coloration remains relatively the same regardless if you place the coral under low or medium light.
As with lighting, Rhodactis mushrooms do best with low to moderate flow. It is best to give this mushroom indirect, moderate flow that is just enough to keep it clean. Anything more is unnecessary. If the mushroom looks sucked in or not fully opened, this could be caused by too much flow. This mushroom tends to expand more with less flow, which can be more visually pleasing.
What about feeding? Rhodactis corallimorphs contain zooxanthellae, so they get their nutritional needs the same way most corals do. Just providing light is enough, but you can feed this mushroom if you want. There’s a possibility that feeding brings out better colors and faster growth, but there’s no evidence to say for sure. This isn’t something you should go out of your way to feed.
For temperature, keep it between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable. Keep the nitrates around 1-5 ppm and the phosphates as close to 0.01 as possible but not 0.
Purchase Size: 1″
Placement: Bottom to middle.
Lighting: Low to medium.
Flow: Low to moderate
Parameters: 72-78° F, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 32-35 ppt
Aquacultured corals (or in this case corallimorphs) are much hardier and better able to handle the stress of shipping than corals collected from the ocean’s reefs. They are much more likely to survive and flourish in your aquarium. The best part is that these corals (or corallimorphs) are more sustainable and environmentally friendly, which is now more important than ever. Do you part to decrease the impact the hobby has on the ocean by choosing aquaculture!