The Mushroom, often referred to as a Shrooms, Disc Corals, Disc Anemones, Cup Coral, Ricordea, some of these corals also have designer names.

Common Red Mushroom Coral

Mushroom corals are considered easy to keep. The majority of them can tolerate a wide range of water parameters & are not generally fussy on flow or lighting requirements. They are considered a great beginner coral.

They are available in a wide variety of colours & patterns, and they reproduce very quickly, helping new aquariums look more full, more quickly. They are very easy to frag and are often one of the first corals new reef-keepers have available to trade/sell.

WWC Bounce Mushroom
WWC Bounce Mushroom

Common colours such as red, green and brown can go for anywhere between £1.00 – £10.00 per polyp, where as high end “bounce” mushrooms are currently fetching up to £10,000.00 per polyp. This makes the mushroom coral appealing to all ranges of reefers from new through to experienced.

The two most popular species in the hobby are Ricordea florida and Ricordea yuma. In nature, they are primarily found on the rock structure with areas of shallow and medium depth reefs. They are also found in deeper waters as smaller colonies or as solitary animals.

Take note: Some of these corals are not suited to tanks with smaller fish, in particular the elephant ear mushroom & the giant cup mushroom. These mushrooms will eat smaller fish that get too close!

Coral Facts & Care Requirements

Watermelon Mushroom
Watermelon Mushroom
  • Common Name: Mushroom
  • Family: Fungiidae
  • Origin: Varied, easily aquacultured
  • Category: Soft
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Known Predators: Puffers, triggers, peppermint shrimp & general coral pests.
  • Temperament: Slightly Aggressive
  • Lighting: Low – Medium
  • Water flow: Low – Medium
  • Placement: Middle – Bottom
  • Feeding Requirement: None, they get their energy from light. They will however accept coral foods.
  • Colours: Purple, pink, green, brown, red, blue, specialist “rainbow”, pretty much every colour you can imagine.
  • Growth Speed: Medium – Fast
  • Water Parameters: Standard saltwater parameters should see this coral thrive, however they will tolerate parameter swings and dirtier waters.

How To Frag A Mushroom Coral

Red Polyp Mushroom
Red Polyp Mushroom

These corals are very easy to frag and will recover quickly from fragging.

  1. Using a sharp blade, cut one of the mushrooms off of your rock at the base of the mushroom.
  2. Place the coral on a clean, flat surface.
  3. Cut the mushroom in half, ensuring you cut right through the middle of the mouth.
  4. If the mushroom is big enough, you can cut the halves in half again. Ensure you get a piece of mouth on every frag.
  5. Place the newly fragged mushroom in a basket with rubble in it.
  6. Place the basket in a very low-flow area of your tank.
  7. After a few days your new frags will have attached to the rubble. You can now move the rubble back to your main display, out of the basket.

Do not try to glue the frag to the rubble, it will not stick.

Different Types of Mushrooms

Elephant Ear Mushroom
Elephant Ear Mushroom
  • Corallimorphidae 
    • Strawberry Anemone or Club Tipped Anemone
  • Discosomatidae
    • Giant Cup Mushroom 
      Purple Mushroom
    • Metallic Blue Mushroom or Blue Mushroom 
    • Red Mushroom
    • Red Striped Mushroom 
    • Green Metallic Mushroom 
    • Wagon Wheel Mushroom
    • Speckled Mushroom 
    • Mushroom Coral
    • Radiating Mushroom Coral 
    • Forked Tentacled Mushroom 
    • Green Fuzzy Mushroom or Elephant Ear Mushroom 
    • Umbrella Mushroom or Mottled Mushroom 
    • Purple Hairy Mushroom 
    • Bubble Mushroom or Warty Mushroom 

Discosomas tend to be smooth with few vesicle or bumps covering the disk. The color possibilities are endless with discosoma.

Once established discosoma can spread and multiply quickly. Discosoma are photosynthetic and like medium to high light, and they will also eat aquarium foods.

  • Rhodactis genus:
    • Green Fuzzy Mushroom or Elephant Ear Mushroom 
    • Bullseye Mushroom
    • Green Hairy Mushroom 
    • Elephant Ear Mushroom 
    • Purple Hairy Mushroom 

Rhodactis have more vesicles with a pseudo tentacle covering the disk making it appear fuzzy.

Shrooms are photosynthetic corals that like medium to high light with minimal flow. These corals are sold on a piece of rock or a ceramic frag plug, and if they don’t like their resting place in your tank, they may detach from their base in search of more suitable condition.

Yuma Mushroom
  • Ricordea genus:
    • Florida False Coral (Florida)
    • Knobby False Coral (Yuma)

Ricordea shrooms are covered in round vesicles giving them a distinct appearance. There are two types of Ricordea corals, one from the Pacific which is Ricordea yuma and one from the Caribbean Ricordea florida. 

The Pacific variety is often must larger and showier than it’s Caribbean counterpart and can grow up to 5-7 inches in diameter. Ricordea florida can be around 1 inch in diameter and don’t grow much bigger.