Rhodastic mushroom corals (Rhodactis sp.) are corallimorphs that are popular in reef tanks. They are similar to discosoma mushrooms except that their body is is rugged and not smooth. They have almost a fuzzy appearance to them. While they appear to be a soft coral, they actually belong the Order Corallimorpharia.
This is because they do not have an exoskeleton or tentacles.
If you are searching for some to purchase online, you may see them listed under the soft coral section though.
There are so many varieties of this coral. This makes it popular for all levels of reef keepers. You can find simple green rhodactis mushrooms for low cost, and there are many varieties that cost hundreds. There is a color and variety for everyone if you look hard enough.
The single color varieties like green, blue, and red are usually on the low end of pricing. The more colors seem to demand higher prices.
These corals are hardy an a great choice for beginners. They are one of the easiest corals to keep in a home aquarium. These corals have a moderate growth rate.
Rhodactis Mushroom Care
Rhodactis mushroom corals are easy to care for, and they can tolerate a wide range of tank conditions. These are peaceful corals that will not bother or sting anything else in the tank. The only thing to worry about would be it overcrowding other corals. These corals are not aggressive.
As they do not have a hard skeleton, calcium levels will not be as important. Salinity, temperature, and nitrate levels seem to be the most important parameters. Rhodactis do better with some nitrates in your system. A good range would be around 5 ppm for nitrates. If you are running a ultra low nitrate tank, they may not thrive as well.
Once fully grown, they are around 2 to 2.5 inches in diameter. The size can be determined by water parameters, flow and lighting.
This needs to be taken into consideration when you consider placement.
- Temperature: 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit
- Salinity: 1.023-1.025
- dKH: 8-12
- pH: 8.1-8.4
Rhodactis like to be placed towards the bottom of the tank. This allows them to receive the proper amount of light and flow in most tanks. Do keep in mind that these corals can move. They do not grow rapidly like discosoma mushroom, so it is less likely they are going to take over your tank.
During the day, they will expand out fully to absorb light. At night, they will shrink up and become smaller. This is normal behavior for a mushroom coral.
Rhodactis are photosynthetic, so you do not need to feed them. You can supplement them with food to improve health and growth. This is completely optional as Rhodactis will grow and thrive without additional feeding. If you do feed them regularly, 2 to 3 times per week should be sufficient.
The best foods to give them are small pellets, mysis shrimp,
You can supplement with filter food like ReefRoids but they do not respond to that very well. Amino acids can also be used to feed. CoralAmino by Brightwell and ReefEnergy AB+ are two great choices.
You can purchase both at Amazon.
These corals prefer lower light, but they can adjut to higher par levels. If you do plan to keep them at higher intensities, it is best to start them at the bottom of your tank and slowly move them up. This will help them adjust to the higher light. If you start to see it bleaching, turning white or getting bumps on it, the light is too high.
Rhodactis will also do well in some shady areas in your tank. These make great choices if you need to find a coral to put in low light areas of your tank.
These corals prefer a low flow area of your tank. They can tolerate a moderate flow area as long as it is not direct from a powerhead. If the coral is receiving too much flow, it may detach from the frag plug or live rock. It may end of floating around your tank. Hopefully, it would land somewhere and attach again.
Keeping it in a lower flow area of your tank would help to prevent that issue though.
Rhodactis Mushroom will reproduce by longitudinal fission. This is similar to discosoma in that they will move along rock or substrate and leave a little piece of their foot behind. This “foot” will grow into a full mushroom coral.
These can also be easily propagated by cutting them straight down the center with a sharp razor blade. You can cut the mushroom in half or in fourths. Then you take the piece of mushroom that was cut and place it on top of a frag plug or crushed reef rock. This will need to be placed into an open container and set in an area of your tank with very little flow. You do not want the tiny piece to be blown away by water current.
You can put something over it like a thin mesh material to keep it from getting blown out of the container.
Most Popular Rhodactis Mushroom Corals
Hairy Mushroom Coral
The Hairy Mushroom coral is also considered a rhodactis but it is unique and deserves its own page. It is a (Rhodactis indosinensis).