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FAQs about Corallimorph Systems: Lighting, Filtration...

Related Articles: CorallimorphariansCnidarians, Water Flow, How Much is Enough

Related FAQs: Cnidarian Systems, Lighting Marine Inverts 1, Lighting Marine Inverts 2, Lighting Marine Inverts 3, Lighting Lighting Marine Inverts 4, Lighting Marine Inverts 5, & CorallimorphsMushrooms 2, Mushrooms 3, Mushrooms 4, Mushroom Identification, Mushroom Behavior, Mushroom Compatibility, Mushroom Selection, Mushroom Feeding, Mushroom Health, Mushroom Reproduction, Stinging-celled Animals

Biotope question, mainly re Corallimorpharians     4/7/13
Hello WWM crew. First I want you to know how much I appreciate everything you do. This site is usually my first reference when I am not sure about things, and sometimes even when I am.
<Ahh! A pleasure to share>
I am wanting to create a biotope of sorts. I have had my tank going for almost a year now and it turns out that most of the corals I like the best come from patch reefs and lagoons. I was going to do a garden style tank, and some may still consider it garden style considering I have softies, certain LPS, and Montipora sp. for SPS. I have been looking for pictures of patch reefs and it seems like most of the corals I have fit.
<Do look for the large/r "folio" "dive books"... through Amazon or your public library... Oh, and the works of J.E.N. Veron>
 I am however interested in patch reef corals around the world, not just from one location. Maybe this violates the whole biotope concept.
<Mmm, no; there are a few such "propositions"... Purists may argue that one is looking for a "slice" of the environment AND livestock just pertaining to a given locale, some others wish to present life found in a given "type" of physical setting (as you are mentioning here)>
Still this environment in general contains a bit of everything it seems and has some amazing life just like the reef slopes do. My question (yeah I actually have one somewhere in this book I am writing :D ) is do Corallimorphs occur on patch reefs?
<At times, please yes. I've seen them in northern island reaches in Tonga, Vanuatu...>
 I would imagine they do but then again I do not see many pictures with them.
<May seem, sound strange, but as I am a very long time provider of content/enjoyer of both ornamental aquatics and the dive-travel fields, it's my experience that many folks don't do much lagoon diving (and hence photography). Instead, most people on liveaboard or resort diving are "out on the reefs"... though I will readily state, that there are fantastic settings and life to encounter in lagoonal areas. Stated another way; there is an artifact here of people dive traveling, making images and where they're historically led, exposed to... e.g. I was amazed the first time I dived in "muck"...>
Also does the presence of Corallimorphs always mean the permanent decline of a reef or can hard corals, soft corals, and Corallimorphs coexist on a reef without things being thrown out of balance?
<I do find that Corallimorphs in settings in the wild w/ less flow DO have more space around them sans other Cnidarian life... perhaps this too is artifactual to a degree... there being more patchy distribution of hard substrate to inhabit... But Mushroom Anemones in deeper, more-current areas ARE more often juxtaposed near other stinging-celled life>
 I am sure there are references here that I have not read as of yet but I will keep reading and learning. Thank you again for everything. James
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Zoanthids, Mushrooms and Light Intensity and Duration - 10/21/08 Hey crew, <<Hello>> Thanks for answering my previous questions, <<Quite welcome, I'm sure>> it has been very helpful and much more accurate than some of the stuff you see on posting sites! <<Ah good>> I have another question for you. I am keeping a 55gal (fish focused) tank with good levels (1.025, 79.8-81.6, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 5-10ppm, ph 8.2) and good flow (1300gph with powerheads and return pump). I wanted to grow some low light zoos and mushrooms on the rocks for a more natural look to the tank (still fish focused). I have read on here that some people have attempted to keep them with as little as 15w of 50/50 N.O. light. <<Mmm…a bit low for a tank the size of yours, in my opinion>> Currently I have a dual strip N.O. T-5 with a 10k and a 03 bulb and a N.O. single strip t8 with 50/50 bulbs. <<Okay…and a good spectrum mix for what you want to do I think>> My total watts are 96. I went this way over a pc fixture for cost of fixture and cost of bulb replacement (and it was just a FOWLR tank). The questions: 1. Will this be enough light (with feeding Cyclops) to get the zoos to grow out (I know not optimal)? <<Yes… Though I would be inclined to add another N.O. bulb or two (50/50) if possible>> 2. Are there zoo/Shroom species that do better in lower light conditions that you would recommend? (keeping in mind that this will remain a fish focused tank) <<Not so much species as the color variants within... In my experience, with few exceptions, those organisms with red or blue coloration seem better adapted to, or may do better at, the lower light intensities. I have found this to be especially true among Corallimorpharians. But with your tank and current lighting setup I wouldn't expect this to be an issue>> 3. Assuming yes to #1, how many hours do you suggest I run these lights? <<I prefer a "tropical" lighting period of 12-14 hours for all tropical systems. You can set the Actinic to come on/go off within this period an hour before/after the rest of the lights to simulate a dawn/dusk period if you like…not a necessity, but the fish at least will appreciate the "warning" before the tank goes completely dark>> Thanks for all your help! <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Mushroom Attachment 10/18/08 Hi, <Hello> I just got a hairy mushroom from another reefer. I have never had anything other than purple mushrooms in my tanks. It was attached to a big piece of his live rock so he cut off the head and told me to place it in a container with sand and a piece of live rock in my tank. At first I left it the container without a top and the mushroom kept floating away. <Very frustrating I know> I then cut several holes into the top and pointed a power head at it for circulation. I left it alone for three days. I checked it frequently and it seemed to look good. On the morning of day four I woke up to find it disintegrating. I took it out of the container and part of it is attached. I've left it in the tank but is it hopeless? <Far from> Will the attached part break off the rest and keep growing or should I just remove it all? <Just leave the shroom in a low flow, lower lit part of your tank for it to heal. I've heard of many people having success with having softies attach in little cups like you explained, but personally mine always float away. I've found an area in the back right corner where the flow naturally seems to take free floating corals and I've stocked it up with rubble for them to attach themselves to. Once they are fully on, I can move it to wherever I'd like. Mushrooms are extremely hearty and the part that is still alive should grow back just fine if you keep your water quality up and just let it rest and heal.> FJ <Jessy>

Ricordea - Part 2 05/02/2008 Hey i just sent you guys the question about Ricordeas. <<Ok, just answered that one for you>> I just wanted to add some additional info. <<Ok>> I have the lights on for 12 hours a day and then put 2 watts of blue LED moonlighting on every night for about an hour. I was wondering if leaving the moonlights on all night would be beneficial to the Ricordeas and the rest of the corals in the tank? Plus, is 12 hours a day too long to have the t5 lighting on? <<Personally, i don't see any benefit of running the moonlights, besides your viewing pleasure. You should cut down the lighting times though, 8 hours per day is ample for any coral the do well>> -Ted <<Thanks for the additional questions Ted, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Lighting for horses and mushrooms 03/27/2008 Hello Sir or Madam: <<Hello, Andrew today>> And might I add a hearty THANK YOU for what you do for aspiring aquarists, everywhere. <<Thanks for the kind comments>> I would appreciate it if you could give your opinion on this situation. I would like to create the following (lightly-stocked) setup: --50 gallon A.G.A. (36 inches by 18 inches footprint), --Live rock and live substrate, (ordering 45 pounds rock, but don't need to use it all), --A variety of mushrooms, (which F & S claims require "low to moderate" light levels), --350 g.p.h. F & S hob Bio System Power Filter (allows for control over media type used), --Pair of tank-raised sea horses, and perhaps a few snails. Question #1: Is the power filter, above, necessarily going to produce too much current for the horses? If so, how many g.p.h. would you suggest? <<The filter itself is probably a little strong. You want to aim for around 150gph circulation in this tank>> Question #2: I am trying to save money on lighting. Would a Nova Extreme T-5, with (2) 39-watt bulbs be sufficient lighting for these inhabitants? Please also comment on which (spectrum) bulbs I should use, and tell me what effect this [low] level of light would have upon my [Kadavu] live rock, and it's life forms. <<Yes, any low lighting marine light is fine with Shrooms, about the stated wattage is fine. 10,000k is fine. This level of lighting will have no detrimental effect on your live rock, it will be fine.>> Thank you so very much! Have a great day! Jake Damico <<You don't mention anything about stalks in the tank, for the seahorses to cling to when at rest, so, if your unaware of this, please do research. Here is some reading on the subject>> <<http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seahorsecare.htm>> <<http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles/SeahorseFactsAndInfo.pdf>> <<Hope this helps, thanks for the questions. A Nixon>>

Lighting for shrooms and polyps 02/19/2008 Hello again crew...... <<Hello, Andrew here>> I'm hoping I am not going to be referred to the archives because I've just exhausted myself for 2 days trying to get an accurate answer before pestering you guys!? lol <<will try not too.. he he he>> I have a 125 gal ( 72" x 18" x 21") FOWLR with DSB set in a wall between my office and our clubroom. From my office there is a lower cabinet that houses the sump/refugium LR/DSB/Chaeto) and skimmer, along with all the plumbing. The lights and feeding area are hidden by the upper portion of the cabinet that pulls down to access. Not the best design at all but it was my husband's first attempt and I am a newbie (2+yrs) so we didn't think ahead on a lot of things. Lighting for one.....there is little room to hang lights so we just have them sitting on top of the glass panels that are on top of the tank.....it's not "air tight" so it doesn't get all that hot, even with the cabinet doors shut. Tank temp is always between 79-80 degrees. Because of the way the tank is set in the wall and the framing design this is the only lights we could fit that "just about" make the length of the tank. I have one Coralife lighting unit (with fans and moonlights) that is 36" that has a 96watt 10,000K bulb (well it looks like two tubes joined at the connectors...told ya I am a newbie!? lol) <<power compact lighting then>> and the same with a 96watt Actinic. Then there is the same "set up" with a 21" unit holding the same bulbs but at 65watt. <<oook>> The two lighting units sit side by side on top of the tank. I'm "assuming" that this is not going to be enough light even for some mushrooms and polyps?? <<Shrooms and some polyps can do ok in low lit aquariums. However, in your tank, due to the type of lighting and the height of the tank, I would situate these pretty much high up in the tank for them to do "ok">> I know it's low light but was hoping to be able to still have a few easy to care for hardy soft corals. A guy at That Fish Place sold us this lighting set up after seeing photos of what we had to work with. I change the bulbs every 6 months...... <<Sounds fine>> the color of the LR and the fish are great and of course the moonlights are awesome. Everything is set on a timer......and at night the light on my refugium comes on. Any thoughts or suggestions would really be appreciated! Oh, and the fish are a pair of percula clowns.......coral beauty, royal Gramma, and lunare wrasse....all added in that order after each had 3 weeks in QT. Almost 2 yrs later I just lost my royal Gramma....now the terribly tough decision of what fish would be safe to add with my now established (though very well behaved) lunare wrasse. The wrasse has never had any scuffles with it's tankmates and it seems to be buddies with the angel (which I thought was odd). Soooooooo if anyone cared to give some thoughts on a fish (or 2) who would not be terribly intimidated by the wrasse or one that would not terrorize the angel and the clowns that would be a great help as well!!!! Ok, maybe I'm pushing it asking 2 totally opposite questions here but hey, worth a try!? :o) http://pets.webshots.com/album/562537516gxIoMM Lisa <<Fish stocking wise, you do have some good options. There are blennies, gobies, chromis to name a few. As a side note, I thought you tank looked familiar. The archway and the wrasse photo in your album gave it away. Seen your tank on AquariaCentral.com, I'm Reefscape on there, a moderator. Its a pleasure to see your system again. Hope the above helps. A Nixon>>

Re: Lighting for shrooms and polyps 02/19/2008 Thanks for getting back to quickly!? :o) <<Hi Lisa, no problem at all>> Yes, I have had this tank (bought it with our house 4+ years ago) for a while and did everything WRONG the first go around. I used our well water....had some jerk from the LFS who charged me an arm and a leg to come in and clean the tank and stocked me with all the wrong (large) fish. Of course, everything started to slowly die....I became frustrated, upset over the loss of life, and wised up to begin my own education. Now, 2 yrs later, I have a different approach and have been very happy (so are the fish!). I decided to display my LR a little different than most....I wanted open "holes" and caves and plenty of places for hiding and "zooming"!? lol? And all the fish...including the clowns to swim in and out of all the opening.....so fun to watch. And the archway is great for the wrasse who is growing like a weed.....that tail alone has grown so much since I bought him/her. <<The wrasse does look in great condition>> On the fish note....I considered a small school of blue/green chromis but wanted to find something with a different color as I see enough blue/green flashing around with the wrasse!? lol?? But, if they're going to be more of the open water fish that will be ok with the wrasse....might be my only choice? I just can't give up the wrasse (as many folks have suggested) ....I love the fish, so beautiful and this one is not obnoxious at all (well not yet anyway..lol). All the fish eat well (actually maybe a little too chunky) so I think that has something to do with everyone getting along well for now. I'll more than likely go with a goby.....or blenny to help with surface cleaning the sandbed. But, I'll have to research them more before making a decision. <<You do have a few choices for additional fish, however, research is the key, which you know all about>> And with lighting and soft corals......it might look odd having a few patches of mushrooms or polyp colonies higher up on some rocks and nothing below....so maybe I'll just stick to the FO and someday set up a smaller tank and try some corals. Thank you again for getting back to me and helping out! Much appreciated!! Lisa <<Good luck with the system and good day. A Nixon>>

Mushrooms and Zoanthid System 01/21/2008 Hello Crew, I hope all is well in your world. <<Hello Jeffery, Andrew here. The world is all wonderful thank you>> If you have received this Email before, I sincerely apologize. I know ya'll are flooded daily. I recently set up a 140 gallon tall 60x18x30. It is now cycling with 120 lbs of newly purchased live rock. I've been doing massive water changes and use an Aqua C EV 400 with a GenX mak4 pump for skimming to keep water parameters in check during the cycling process. I do run my skimmer 24/7, 365 days a year. <<No need to carry out water changes until your cycle has finished. Just carry out a 50% water change at the end to replenish>> Due to my recent move to a bigger house with a bigger mortgage payment, I had to give up my 240 and put it in storage along with my Dolphin Ampmaster 4700 electricity consuming pump. The new tank is circulated with a GenX mak4, identical to the one I have running my skimmer. The skimmer, heaters, float switch etc, are all housed in a 40 gallon sump below the tank. I have 2 overflow boxes and each one has been drilled for 2 inch id drains and 1 1/4 id returns. The 140 was a happy compromise between me and my wife. So with that said, I have all the equipment that's left over from the previous tank. The question I have for you is about the lighting from the old tank. I have 1 60inch 4x96 watt Pc fixture, 1 36inch 4x96watt Pc fixture, and 1 48inch T5 Nova Extreme 4x54 watt HO fixture. In the new tank I wish to keep various mushrooms, including, Ricordea Florida and Ricordea Yuma. I would also like to keep a variety of zoanthids. (Zoanthus, Palythoa, Protopalythoa, etc.) I don't wish to house any Sps, clams or any other high light organisms. Given the 18 inch width of the tank I could squeeze the T5 4x54watt fixture and either the 60inch 4x96wattPc or the 36inch 4x96watt. Not all three would fit due space constraints. The T5 fixture is 7 ? wide and both Pc's are 12 wide a piece. So stacked front to back I would still have 1 1/4 inch hanging over the back of the aquarium, but all the bulbs would still be over the tank. I was planning on putting the T5's 4x54watt up front, and using the 36in Pc 4x96 in the back since it would fit perfectly between the 2 corner over flow boxes. In both of the Pc fixtures I have dual daylight 6700/10000k and dual actinic 420/460nm. And in the T5's I have 2 54 watt 10000k and 2 54watt 460nm. The tank has 3 inches of substrate so the depth is more like 27 inches. Do you think this will be adequate lighting PAR wise for these animals, given the 30 inch height of the tank, or shall I invest in something else? I really hate to buy anything else since I already have these on hand, but I will if need be. I could also switch the bulbs on the Pc's to all dual daylight since I have some on hand if you think that would help improve things. <<At this depth of tank, I would suggest to you to keep the higher light demanding species of coral towards the top of the tank as the current lighting units, with the parabolic reflectors will not offer a fair amount of lighting at the bottom. Of course, if money was not that much of an issue, then I would upgrade to metal halides and be done with it. Or, if budget dictates, refit all the current lighting into a hood and use individual reflectors to give that extra little push of lighting towards to the bottom of the tank>> On the T5's I have the standard parabolic reflector and on the Pc's the same. I know it would help if I had individual reflectors on these fixtures. If I run the T5's and one of the Pc's that would give me 600 watts total which I know really doesn't mean much. The whole watts per gallon thing is kind of out dated in my opinion. I guess I could pick up a Lux meter to know the exact amount of light the tank is receiving at varying depths. I'm not sure this would be necessary though. I have studied up on the requirements of all these creatures and realize different species and different color morphs require different amounts of light. <<It's very nice to hear that you're putting in the research for the corals you want. Some only tend to do this research "AFTER" they have brought a coral>> I realize, running carbon, keeping lenses, bulbs, and reflectors clean can all play a part on how much light actually penetrates the water. I also read through all the faqs on lighting corals and marine invertebrates on the WWW media website. Books I've read include, Eric Borneman's Aquarium Corals, Bob's CMA, Bob and Anthony's Reef Invertebrates, and all of Scott W Michaels work. All are very good books in my opinion<<Certainly, great books indeed>>. My next purchase will be a copy of Anthony's Book of Coral propagation. So In your humble opinion do you think this lighting scheme will suffice for these Cnidarians? <<As said above, it can be made to work by adding corals at different depths, depending on their requirements, and not based on tank visuals of where you would like to have them>> Oh, and one last question. Sorry, I didn't want to have to send two separate Emails. Is there enough room to house an adult Yellow and Hippo Tang in this tank with the given foot print. 60x18x30T The tank isn't crammed full of rock and is set up as two patch reefs, one on each side, with bolt holes in both. There's a good 1' to 1'1/2 foot above the rock for swimming room. I read through the Paracanthurus systems faqs before asking this. James (Salty Dog) says <Five foot and longer tanks make much better quarters for tangs.>Scott F says < I would not house an adult Hippo in anything less than a 6 foot tank, to be quite honest > Mich says <A happy home for Dory would be at least 100 gallon.> Scott W Michael suggests a 75g minimum for the Yellow and A 100g minimum for the Hippo. Different forums on websites like reefcentral.com, 3reef.com, thereeftank.com and many others all say different things. I know the Yellow tang by itself would work into adult hood. I'm just not sure if it would be cruel if I had a Hippo also. I did have this mix in my old tank. It was a standard 240 8x2x2. I know that's really not a fair comparison. I realize these fishes have a territory of a football field or larger in the wild. I guess a large public aquarium would be the closest thing to a natural habitat for them. If you think I should leave out both of these fishes I will. Anyway, I thought I'd try to squeeze one more stocking opinion out of you. <<Your tank, at 5 feet in length, coupled with the width, will house both the tangs in question, yes>> Thank you for any input you might have. I appreciate all you all do for this hobby. You all do really great work. Thank you in advance, Jeffery <<Thank you for the questions, hope it helps. A Nixon>>

Mushroom tank lighting? 12/13/07 Hi guys and gals. <Hello.> I am setting up a 110 gallon mushroom tank (no Ricordea) currently cycled with live rock. My question is concerning lighting. Right now I am running a twin tube N.O. fixture with a marine glow and a power glow, 40 watts each. I have a 175 watt metal halide fixture that I purchased from Craig's list for $75, what a steal. The guy gave me two new bulbs as well, a 175 watt 20000K actinic (unknown brand), <20K spectrum, not actinic.> a 400 watt Blueline super white. He said that either bulb would work with the fixture (no brand name on the M.H. fixture just a really well made hanging pendent fixture made by the local aquariologist at the aquarium). Which bulb should I use in conjunction with my N.O. fixture or should I buy another M.H. bulb that would better suit these creatures? <Either light may work with this fixture (sounds like all mogul base), but not with the ballast. Assuming the setup came with a ballast to power the bulb, it will only work with its rated wattage bulb. 400 watt will be way overkill for mushrooms. 175 will be fine, but you will need two to get an even light spread across this tank. Good luck, Scott V.>

Re: Mushroom tank lighting? 12/14/07 Yes it came with a ballast . I took a closer look at the 175 watt bulb it reads "blue line m.h. 175w 20k";.When I plug this one in its extremely blue. Thanks to all you guys for all the help. <Welcome, glad to help, Scott V.>

Attaching a Yuma to a rock - again!    8/18/07 Hey WWW crew, <Hi Gord, Mich here. I apologize for the delayed response.> Great web site! Thank you for making all this great information available on the Internet! I am a relative newcomer to the hobby and I have found answers to many questions here. <Glad to hear this!> I recently received a Ricordea Yuma attached to a small rock from a mail-order house. A few days after it was in my tank, the Yuma became unattached from its rock and I found it lying in the sand near the back of my tank. I tried gluing it directly onto a piece of live rock using Loctite Gel, as recommended by the supplier, but it seems now to have pulled itself off again and is once again lying in the sand. <I've never had much luck with cyanoacrylate and corallimorpharians.> The Yuma is about 1-1 ? inches in diameter and otherwise seems in good health. Any thoughts on how I can get this Yuma to reattach itself to a piece of rock? <Yes, a couple.> Should I use glue and an elastic to hold it in place? <I've never had much success with glue. There are a couple of options. You could try putting the Yuma in hollowed out mountain of rubble rock, (think volcano) with some smaller flat rubble pieces underneath the Yuma. Place it in your tank, sump, or somewhere with lower flow. So long as it doesn't get blown away or disturbed too much it will eventually attach to the rubble rock. Or you may also want to try a more invasive, but more secure method of taking a needle and some monofilament (fishing line) piercing the mushroom outside of the oral area and tying it loosely onto a rock. Once the yuma attaches, the line is simply cut and removed. This does little damage to the mushroom and is generally a good solution to wandering shrooms! This general technique can also be done by substituting a toothpick in place of the monofilament. Some people have success getting mushrooms to attach by placing tulle (netting/bridal veil material) loosely over top of their shrooms and securing the tulle onto a piece of rubble. Personally, I've not had much success with this method. Good luck with whatever you try!> Thanks in advance, <Welcome! Mich> Gord.

Lighting For A Ricordea florida Tank - 08/14/07 WWM Crew, <<Brian>> Thanks for all the incredible information! <<Tis a bunch, isn't it! Quite the collaborative effort...we're hopeful/glad you find it useful>> I am setting up a Caribbean biotope/Ricordea florida tank and a little concerned about lighting. <<Kudos on the biotopic tank...but I think lighting for these critters should be fairly easy to accomplish>> I have researched the issue thoroughly, but received too much conflicting information. <<Mmm, yes...differing experiences/opinions...and the fact these animals can/will do well under a wide variety of conditions, in my experience>> Most sources say Florida rics prefer low light. <<Hmm, I am "not" of this opinion. While many Corallimorpharians do prefer lower light levels and will even lose color/turn brown under lighting that is too intense, the Ricordea species seem to flourish under intense metal halide lighting in my experience...though I confess to having never kept the "blue" color variety>> A few however say orange and red rics can be in the upper third of a tank, with greens in the middle, and blues at the bottom. What do you guys think? <<I have seen blue, red, and even green Discosoma species lose color/turn brown under intense lighting, but never a Ricordea species. I think you could have the orange, red, and green color morphs most "anywhere in the tank" as long as the receive "direct" light and the will do fine...with the "blues" I would likely experiment to find where they do best though I would have little concern for providing "too much" light>> My tank is a 30 gal. (16" deep) with four 36" T-5s. The lamps are two 460nm Actinic Blue and two Daylight 10,000K SlimPaqs. <<Mmm, no worries here re too much lighting in my opinion...and hopefully these are "HO" lamps>> My feeling is that if I wish to keep rics higher in the tank, I should swap on of the 10,000K SlimPaqs for another actinic. <<Actually I was thinking just the opposite...that you should consider swapping one of the Actinics for another 10,000K bulb. But give your present configuration a try first and see how the Ricordea respond>> Thanks again, Brian <<Regards, EricR>>

Rhodactis lighting. Rhodactis Issues/Not Acclimating Well To New Env.  7/9/07 Crew, <Hey Andy.> I have searched all of the FAQs and the web and I must say that I am very confused. <Let's see if I can help you out.> I have 4 hairy green mushrooms that were gorgeous at the LFS (under MH). <Rhodactis/Corallimorpharia? A bit much for them depending on the placement/intensity/Kelvin rating but okay.> I brought them home and placed them about 10" off the bottom of my tank. For about 1 day, they were nice and open, but now they don't seem to want to expand and, in fact, appear to be shrinking. My tank is 30" high. I have T5 lighting--6 54W HO. <What is the Kelvin rating of your lamps? Are the 'shrooms in a shaded area, area of high flow? Downwind (flow) of any other noxious cnidaria life? Predatory tankmates?> Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates all 0, pH 8.3, alk 3.5 meq/L, calcium 400. <All good.> Some FAQs I see say that shrooms like indirect light; <Yes if I'm right about the species name above these usually do not need direct intense lighting as the other shallow water critters in the hobby do. They usually are fine in a semi-shaded/offset area, have seen them do well under NO fluorescents.> others say they need to be placed high in the tank because they need a lot of light. <Again depends on the particular species but if, you are referring too and what type of niche/system the animal is coming from. They are typically very adaptive to many types of lighting.> I also read that shrooms are very hardy and will adapt, <Generally true, I don't see an issue with your lighting.> but I would love to place them where they will be the happiest. <I would say mid-depth, in an area of low flow.> My tank is 110g. My only other stinging cell creatures are a small BTA and a small tree coral. Any suggestions on placement? <See above.> Thanks! <Welcome.> Andy <Adam J.>

Re: Rhodactis <lighting> Issues/Doing Better...- 7/10/07 Hey Adam. <Andy.> Just thought I'd give you an update. <I like those.> I kept my Rhodactis at the same height (bottom third of my tank) but moved it towards the end of the tank (thus a little less light). In doing so, I switched its position with that of a piece of live rock so that the live rock basically blocked downstream flow from the BTA. Within 12 hours, the shrooms were already looking better. <Good, when dealing with critters like this running some extra carbon would not be a bad idea either.> Thanks for your help. <Anytime.> Andy <Adam J.>

Retrofitting Lighting, Corallimorph sys., using WWM - 03/18/07 Hello and thank you for this most awesome site.    <Howdy and welcome>   I have been looking through all the info, and have not been able to find an answer to this specific question.   I have a 48" All-Glass Aquarium, Inc. Deluxe Fluorescent Aquarium light.  It is listed as 120v 40w 60hz. <Yes... just one normal output fluorescent lamp of four foot length...>   I know it is way too weak for a reef tank, but was wanting to try to retrofit it.  (It came as part of a package my wife bought me for my birthday.)        Is it possible to retrofit this light?  If so, where can I find info on kits or DIY?    <Yes, and on the Net, your Local Fish Stores... measure the hood, or consider buying one of these to fit the new fixtures, lamps>   My 55 gallon tank is very new (started on 1/24/07) and I had planned on upgrading the light a little further down the road.  I purchased some LR today that has 3 mushrooms on it.  (Did not see them on rock when I bought it.)  I do not want them to die, so I was going to try to retro the light ASAP, then do lots of reading to figure out how to care for them. <Ummm, you want to reverse the timing of this behavior...> Or, is there some way to remove them from my tank and get them somewhere they will be better cared for?  (LFS)  The rock they are on is 15lbs, so I do not want to remove them rock and all.    <These corallimorphs should be fine under the present light for quite a while... won't "grow", but won't die...>   Thank you for your help.      Gordon <... Please learn to/use the search tool and indices on WWM... This time, read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm the last tray at the bottom... on marine lighting. And here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm and the files linked above. Bob Fenner> Removing Ricordea Mushrooms   1/12/06 <Hey Tom, JustinN with you today.> I've read in your posts that the best way is to remove the rock/shell/substrate they are attached to.  In my case, they are attached to a base rock that sits on the bottom of a NC12.  I don't feel I should attempt to "chisel" any rock off for fear of cracking the glass beneath.  Is there anyway to pry it off with reasonable expectations that it will reattach somewhere else and "make it" Thanks in advance, Tom <Without removing the rock from the tank to do the removal, your best bet would be to take a flathead screwdriver and gently work at the soft top layer on the base rock the Corallimorph is attached to, essentially trying to pull a "scab" off the rock. This top layer is usually relatively soft and can be done without too much hassle. With a 12 gallon NanoCube, you would likely be easier served to just remove the rock to do the work. Sorry I don't have something more beneficial for you, Tom. Hope this helps! -JustinN> Lighting...Difference of Opinion - 10/25/06 Hello Crew: <<Craig>> At the beginning of the week I sent an inquiry regarding 130-watts of light on a 55 for Mushrooms and Polyps.  I was assured it would be fine and ordered it. <<Okay>> I received it and asked if I should change the 2 50/50 (10,000/460 Actinic) bulbs and have both be 10000.  I was told at this point that the lighting is not enough. <<Ah, I see...differences of opinion indeed>> I understand that everyone has an opinion but I'm really confused now and would appreciate your help. <<You have the 130-watt fixture so give it a try.  I think it likely if you keep livestock selection to corallimorphs and the less light-demanding polyp species that it will be fine>> I also wanted to know if I could locate various mushrooms throughout the tank or if they would have to be located near the top.   <<I have seen mushrooms "lose" color (turn brown) from lighting that is too intense...keep reds and blues midway down and toward the bottom...greens toward the top.  I would also keep the 50/50 bulbs for now (will be more aesthetically pleasing), you can switch to the 10K bulbs if you determine you need more intensity>> Thanks for the help. Craig <<Happy to assist, EricR>>

Re: Corallimorph Lighting issues 11/22/06 Hi Justin, <Hey again, Ben> I apologize for the rather poor email I sent you yesterday I was in a bit of a rush and I clearly didn't read it before sending it to you. Hopefully this email will be a bit better. <Mmm, I/we thank you for this... There's just not enough hours in the day to correct everyone's emails, but thank you for taking the time.> As many people have already told you this website is fantastic and has helped me out a lot since I started my first reef tank; <Glad we could be of service> however I have a few questions regarding metallic green Mushroom Anemones' which I can't seem to find the answer too. Can you help? <Let's see if I can!> First question: I have read and been told by my local fish shop that they do not require a lot of light but when they are extended they stretch upwards about 1.5 - 2 inches toward the light; is this normal? <Mmm, is a sign that they're reaching for the light... I assume what you're describing is that they are cupped upward? This is normal, in that it can be predicted to happen in a low-light situation.> Second question:  2 - 3 of the smaller Mushrooms of the colony look as if they have been smeared across the rock (an example as I don't have a picture yet would be if you were to stick your finger in some dough and smear the dough towards you) they didn't look like that when I bought them and I understand that they take time to get adjusted to the tank, have you seen this before? <Yes, I would not be worried about this. I have green striped mushrooms in my tank that look much the same way half the time.> Third question: I have noticed that some of the mushrooms have turned see-through with a brown tint but it doesn't look like bleaching, is this bad? <On the contrary, I would wager this is a loss of zooxanthellae due to insufficient lighting.> My water parameters are as follows: Temperature - 78 degrees F Ph - 8.1 (I have recently been adding Seachem Marine buffer to stabilize it at Ph 8.3) <Ok> Nitrite and Ammonia - 0ppm Nitrate - 20ppm (I think this might be a bit high but it has never changed from this reading) <Is the upper extremity of 'acceptable, but ok.> Calcium - 480ppm Carbonate Hardness - 10.6dKH Alkalinity - 2.2 meq/L <Just so you know, carbonate hardness and alkalinity are 2 different measurements of the same substance. I assume by 2 listed results that you're using 2 separate test kits. This may save you some reagents in the end.> Salinity - sg= 1.024 <I would raise this to NSW levels (1.025)> At present I don't have a phosphate test kit but I do not seem to have an algae problem, I will be looking to get one once the store has them available. <Ok> My tank Inhabitants are as follows: 1 Ocellaris Clownfish 1 Blue-legged Hermit Crab 1 Hawaiian Feather Duster 1 Red Sea Star 1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp 1 1.5 inch wide Leather Toadstool 1 2 Inch wide Leather toadstool 1 Metallic Green Mushroom Colony 1 Small Brown Button Polyp Colony 1 1inch wide Devils Finger Coral <A somewhat noxious display you have here... the leathers may ultimately win allelopathically over the button polyps and corallimorphs, could also be a factor here.> A good amount of live rock (I don't know the exact weight) covered in coralline algae and arranged in a cliff face formation. My system setup is a 12 gallon Nano tank with a 400 l/h under gravel filter and power head with a wave/current maker attached to the end with an elbow tube, 1 Eheim Liberty 200 hang on filter used with Seachem Purigen and Seachem Renew. My lighting consists of 2 T5 tubes; 1 daylight bulb and 1 actinic bulb <Undergravel filtration? We may have just stumbled upon your source of nitrates. UGF technology is largely unused these days, due to (as you've found) residual nitrates that can't seem to be removed. Your wavemaking powerhead that is running your undergravel filter would likely be much better served as a source of water movement, which consequently you don't mention in your equipment rundown. Also, you say that your lighting consists of 2 T5 tubes -- what size and wattage are they? I've got a good feeling your lighting is under par here.> Lastly my Larger Leather Toadstool is located near the top of the tank and recently looks like it cannot support its head. <Not good> Could this be because of the light? It never seemed to have this problem until I attached it to my live rock formation with milliput (I have placed it in the same place) could it be that it was annoyed with me for disturbing it? I hope so! <Yes, my first guess would go to lighting, however with the noxious corals stocked in your tank, I'm not leaving out the possibility of allelopathical damage at play here.> I'm very sorry for the length of this email, I hope I covered enough information. <No worries, better to be thorough than not insufficient.> If you need me to send you a picture of the corals then I will be happy to do that. Hope you can help me out as you have done many a time. Thanks very much you guys are great. Ben. <Thanks for the kind words, Ben. As I've kind of skirted around throughout this letter, corallimorphs are low light demanding, in the scale of stinging celled creatures. however this is a bit of a misnomer. Many people take this to mean that standard output lighting and low wattage is enough, when in reality most of those attempts end up taking an eventual turn, as yours has begun to. Fortunately, you see it happening and are acting. Perhaps a light upgrade is in your future? Hope this helps you! -JustinN> Re: Corallimorph Lighting Issues   11/24/06 Good Morning Justin, I hope you are feeling good today. <Hey Ben. Thank you, and yes, I am doing quite well. I hope the same for you.> Sorry for the delay with my getting back to you, I was out of the office yesterday. <No worries> Thanks again for your reply and I will ask my LFS if they can get me some ChemiPure and also look into purchasing a better lighting system. What would you recommend? <As I suggested, simply doubling the amount of light would likely be sufficient, but if I were to suggest a technology, it would be to try to find a way to fit a 24w T5 hood over your tank. I'm a big fan of T5 technology, and like to push it whenever I can *grin*> In regards to my Mushroom Anemones, they are extending normally and its just the base that is reaching upwards, so they look like mini Toadstools if you will. <Yes, this is what I was envisioning... Still sounds like they're stretching.. Perhaps a target feeding of something such as Mysid shrimp may help this (and the fading zooxanthellae) issues.> I took a look at them yesterday and they seemed to be looking a bit better, in the fact that they were not reaching upwards. I will have another look when I get home from work and hopefully they will be better still. I will also email you some pictures of the corals so you can get  better understanding of what I'm trying to explain. Just for the record I will be emailing from my personal email address when I am home which is oxcx@hotmail.com just incase it confuses you. <That is fine, just include my name somewhere in the subject, the letter will be placed in my inbox for me to receive. I don't really think its necessary for you to send the pictures, however. Your descriptions are very thorough and detailed, and with your clarifications, I'm having very little trouble envisioning your issues.> Like yourself I was under the impression that carbonate hardness was a measurement of the alkalinity. With the test kit you add a solution to 4ml of your tank water and then proceed to add 1 drop of another solution via a syringe until the original solution turns pink or an orangey red. Once this has happened you then read the measurement on the side of the syringe and look up your results using the table given to you. The table is split in to two columns, carbonate hardness and alkalinity. Does this sound correct or have I just misunderstood? <Ahh, ok. Well, we're both somewhat right. They still measure the same thing, they're just a different measurement of that chemical balance. The difference between the alkalinity measurement and the carbonate hardness measurement is likely simply what 'conversion factor' they use, in other words, whether its being measured in mEq/L or Dkh. I think that this is done simply so that conversion is unnecessary, regardless of what system is typically recognized and used in your country of origin. This really does not surprise me, given the quality of the Salifert test line, and the commitment that the owner of Salifert shows to hobbyists.> I currently don't have a protein skimmer as my local fish store told me that because of the size of the tank and keeping on top of weekly water changes I would not need to worry about one, they did recommend that I purchase Seachem Renew to deal with the organic waste that protein skimmers remove; However this week I was looking at purchasing a Fission Nano Protein-Skimmer made by Current USA unfortunately they are not readily available here in the UK so I will have to order it from the USA, does this sound like a good idea to you? <While any skimmer is likely better than no skimmer, I would pass on the Fission Nano, personally. I've heard and read nothing but dismal reports on these skimmers, ranging from poor skimmate production to terribly restricting intake design. The cost is a little higher, but do consider the wonderfully engineered Remora Nano, by AquaC. It is a scaled down version of their highly-touted Remora, designed specifically for the nano tank crowd. Also, as a side note, many people consider ChemiPure to be so effective at removing organic carbons that many refer to it as a "protein skimmer in a bag.'> The only other filtration that I have other than the undergravel filter is the Eheim Liberty 200 hang on filter which pumps 200gph and includes 2 3D active carbon cartridges and one sponge cartridge. This is also where I keep my Seachem Purigen and Renew bags. <Ok.. this is where I would place the ChemiPure. ChemiPure will take up the position of both Purigen and the Renew, so place the ChemiPure in the filter in place of whichever you choose.> As of yesterday I repositioned the larger toadstool so that it wasn't putting its base under pressure from leaning sideways, Im not sure if this will help but it sounds a bit silly) I wanted it to be a bit more comfortable. <Is our nature as hobbyists and humans to try to ease suffering, and humanize suffering onto things that may not otherwise feel it.> While doing this I noticed an organism that was living directly underneath it, the only way I can describe it would be to say that it looks like a Mushroom Anemone with very short and fat tentacles? Have you seen what I am describing before? And could this be the reason my coral has been sad? I will try and take a picture of it tonight but Im not sure what it will come out like as it is quite small. <Hmm.. Sounds suspicious. Would definitely need a picture on this one, many possibilities here. Perhaps some sort of hitchhiking anemone? An anemone on a walkabout could certainly lead to the negative reactions of your leather...> Im not sure if I mentioned it previously but the smaller Toadstool is extending its polyps without any noticeable problem except that the feathery tips don't always appear. I have also noticed a very very small Toadstool about 10mm in height emerging just above this one and it seems to be extending fully also. Im not sure if this is good as it could add to the allelopathic problem, but on the other hand if it has grown and looks healthy something must be good in my tank :) <I'd wager to lean towards the latter as well. Not seeing the 'hands' of the polyps extended on a mushroom is of little concern, especially if the rest of the leather is sufficiently open.> I hope I have given you a bit more information about my concern, I am sure you will be able to help in some way. Thanks very much for your time and effort, look forward to hearing your suggestions. Kind Regards Ben <No problems, once again, Ben. We're here to help.> P.S If your reply is after 3:30 GMT (It is currently 08:45am) could you email this reply to XXXX as I will be out of the office this weekend and won't receive me emails, sorry to be a nuisance. Thanks again.   <I do believe I made it within this window, however I will carbon copy to both addresses just to be safe.. -JustinN>

Mushroom Adaptation  - 09/14/06 Hey crew! <George>             I just got a rock of fourteen small mushroom anemones. I have a satellite lighting system with one dual actinic bulb of 96w and one dual daylight bulb of 96w. My tank is forty gallons and around 14inches deep. I was wondering at which level the mushrooms should go. <Mmm, most anywhere here... I'd start them... "at the bottom"...> I currently have them in the middle and they look a bit like they are plastered onto the rock, and I cannot see their base. They have very nice coloring though and I've had them for 6 days. I was wondering if the place I have for them is right. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks a lot.                         Nate <Time needs to go by... for acclimation here... photo-adaptation... See WWM re corallimorpharians. BobF>

Rhodactis mushroom   2/8/06 Hi guys, Thanks so much for your help over the last year or so, you guys have been a huge part in my tank doing so well.  I recently made a lot of additions to my 29 gallon tank to finally make it more of a reef.  I recently acquired some frags of pulsing xenias for free from a fellow reefer in my area, and yesterday I added a small frag of zoo's and a couple of (what I was told are) Rhodactis mushrooms. <... these groups of animals are hard to keep in such a small volume with each other...> Everything seems to being great, but one of my Rhodactis mushrooms is showing mesenterial filaments and his mouth has opened up to about the size of the end of a q-tip.  I know that these are a sign of defense, but there is nothing near him except the other, smaller Rhodactis and he is doing just fine. <Maybe damaged, perhaps a weaker individual... likely allelopathogenic influence from the Zoanthids, perhaps the Xeniids as well> Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate are all 0.  pH is about 8.3.  I dose Purple for Calcium and Iodine which I know is essential for mushrooms.  I'm asking early so I can fix whatever may be wrong.  Thanks again for all your help. <... Please read here: http://www.google.com/custom?q=mushroom%2C+allelopathy%2C+zoanthid&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com Bob Fenner> Mushroom Placement - 12/18/05 Hi Crew, <<Hello...EricR here.>> Again, thanks for your dedication in helping folks who are trying to do the right thing in this perplexing hobby. <<Very welcome...is a pleasure to assist.>> I wrote a couple of days ago regarding a failed attempt in ordering some Zooanthids from an online e-tailer.  The Zoos faired miserably and to spare the tank and it's inhabitants I ditched them, which was an expensive lesson. <<Mmm, I see.  Perhaps time to set up that quarantine/hospital tank...>> Now I have taken Bob's advice and visited a local fish store and bought some beautiful rocks with mushrooms attached. <<Most folks eventually learn the false economy (much of the time) of buying livestock online.  I'm not pooh-poohing the idea completely, but many times you can get what you want locally just by asking for it.  And once you figure in shipping costs/losses, the price is usually very close...and it's always worth a few bucks/few days wait to see what I'm getting before I pay for it.>> One in particular had two good "half dollar" sized metallic green with red tentacle mushrooms.  I have placed this particular rock high up (top 1/3rd) of the tank under very low flow. <<Mmm...maybe not the best location for it...>> At the store it was very open but not quite stretching, rather healthy looking.  Their lights were probably lower fluorescent lights and it was on the bottom, probably around 15" from the lights. <<Sounds better>> My lights are 4 x 96 watt (2) 10K daylight, (2) 10K actinics). Question:  Do you think the possible increase in light will take some adjustment time and it will not lay as flat against the rock, or should I move it down further in the tank? <<These corals are very adaptable, but most come from deep water (relatively speaking).  The mushrooms will likely make the adjustment...and though it may live, it may lose its color (see this a lot) and turn brown under the increase in light.>> I thought this was good placement as I don't consider my lighting for a 215 gallon tank to be very much. <<These corals don't require "very much">> My water parameters are zero ammonia, nitrite, and 5 nitrates.  My pH is 8.4, salinity 1.023, dKH of 12, and water temp 81.5 - 82 degrees F.  Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.  Hope you are enjoying the Holidays in between answering emails. Best Regards, Steven <<Even with the lighting you describe, I would move this coral down to the lower third of the tank, observe for a time, and make adjustments accordingly.  Happy Holidays to you too, EricR>> Re: Mushroom Placement - 12/19/05 Thanks for your reply Eric. <<Welcome, Steven>> Follow up for you or whoever is onboard tonight. <<Tis me again>> I left the mushrooms where I had them, and indeed they were just adjusting to the rigors of the move, as they have opened and are looking great today.  I fed them and they seemed to dance as I target fed some Sweetwater Zooplankton.   <<Ahh...an excellent food choice.>> I have an unrelated question regarding my Zebra moray eel.  I have had him for about 3 months now (around 30" long) and he has found great cover under the 250 lbs. of live rock in my 250 gallon display. <<ok>> All parameters are fine: 0 ammonia/nitrite, 5 nitrate, pH 8.4, temperature of 81 - 82 degrees F., dKH of 12, and salinity of 1.023. <<Though not overly low, I would bring the salinity up to natural seawater levels (1.025/1.026).>> I vary his weekly feedings with lobster, shrimp, crab, and squid.  During the first 2.5 months he would come out on occasion and swim around the rocks looking for food or pestering the other fish when they fed, especially if it was nearing his feeding day.  Now he just pokes his head out on occasion and switches positions within the rock work, but doesn't come out to swim around, even if it is nearing his feeding day. <<Mmm, so what has changed?>> I have to add that I have a Bicolor angel that would "nip" at the tail of eel when he previously would come out, making the eel jerk a bit. <<Well there ya go!...>> It didn't seem to hurt him, but rather annoyed him more than anything. <<Yup...to the point where the eel doesn't present its tail for nipping anymore.>> I have two thoughts I wanted to get your opinion on. <<Alrighty>> First is that the eel has settled in and acting like he would in the ocean, lurking in the rocks and coming out only when tempted with food, as he is doing now. <<A reasonable assumption>> Second thought is that he remembers getting nipped in the tail by the dwarf angel and therefore stays protected in the rock. <<Another reasonable assumption.>> We would really love to see more of the eel in plain view swimming around, but he only comes out enough to take the food during feeding days, as well as you can also see him stretching his neck out on occasion from the rocks.  Your thoughts on this are greatly appreciated. <<I think what you are witnessing is normal.  Previously the eel would exit the rockwork and show itself in its entirety because it had become comfortable doing so...a normal behavior, but since the nipping that behavior has changed and the eel is now using the rock work to protect itself...again, a normal behavior.  While diving in HI last October I saw an eel as big around as my forearm and a good three feet long racing furtively along the sea floor in search of a crevice in which to dash...and a 8-inch Pinktail Trigger right on its tail nipping away.  My point here is that I don't think this is an atypical situation.  The eel is dealing with the problem the way it knows how...and unfortunately in the confines of an aquarium I would expect things to remain so.>> Thanks again for your dedication and help! Steven <<Is a pleasure to assist, EricR>> Lighting Hi Crew, <Hi Sam>  I have a 10 gallon, sand 1-2", Penguin mini filter, with fish and mushrooms and 18 watts of fluorescent which I am upgrading to 20" 1x96W Coralife Quad 50/50. My mushrooms have been doing OK till now. One is stretching its foot and generating two more. Another I cut off the head and the foot generated a new head. One orange Ricordea has not grown and seems to be getting duller. My fish are carnivores and I feed them flakes and pellets and once in a while newly hatched brine shrimp. I do not attempt to feed the mushrooms. I am battling ich and will have no fish in the tank for about 6 weeks.  Should I feed the mushrooms now that I will not be feeding any fish? Info on this site seems to favor very little feeding for fear of polluting. I never see them eat anything but they do have their mouths open at various times.  <Mushrooms do produce a lot of their food. You may want to do a weekly feeding of a coral food of your choice. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks  <You're welcome> 

Lighting Dear Bob,  <James here today> I have a 30 gallon S/W tank. I want to add a few bull's-eye mushrooms. I have a two bulb fixture with one 20000 k, and one pure actinic. Each of the bulbs is 20 watts each. I hear mushrooms can get by with standard fluorescents. Is this true or do I need to upgrade?  <It is true providing you have enough wattage. Forty watts is not going to be enough. You will need to upgrade to something like twin 65watt PC's or equivalent. James (Salty Dog)> 

Lack o' Lighting Follow-up Will the mushrooms be okay for a few days till I get normal lighting? I plan on getting 2 VHO 75 watts each.  <They should be fine. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Upgrade to Metal Halides?  Dear James, Thanks for your quick reply. Assuming I go with the metal halides, will I need to do anything special to protect the mushrooms. Currently they are deep in the aquarium (near the bottom) and off in the corners. I have read that mushrooms do not necessarily like the intense lighting halides provide.<No, just acclimate to the halides. James (Salty Dog) Thanks, Ralph

Halides and mushrooms Good Morning. << Good morning. >> I was doing routine maintenance on my 100 gal tank and I shut off the MH 150w light.  I left the 2 96w Compact Fluorescent lights on.  During my routine maintenance I noticed all of the mushrooms had fully extended and looked better and healthier.  << They are low light corals, so I'm not surprised. >> They were obviously reaching for the reduced light. I did not think that 150w MH light was too much light.  They are 25-28 inches away from the light. << Doesn't sound too bad, but metal halides are very direct light.  So being under the bulb is a lot more light than being under a VHO bulb where the light is more spread out. >> I prefer their look with the MH light off but like the look of the aquarium with the MH on. << I have 150 watt halides on my tank as well.  I have my mushrooms under a ledge and tucked away.  They have done much better there than when I had them in the open. >> Any suggestion? Regards, <<  Blundell  >>

Bi-colored blenny, lighting and white Ricordea 2/22/04 OK new question. I just bought a rock with a lot of white Ricordea mushrooms on it. <Hmmm... This doesn't sound right.  White = bleached.  I would complain to your retailer.> I had 48" strip fluorescents 80 watts just bought a new strip light to replace the old one The new is 130 watts with compact fluorescents. is this enough light or should I get more? Thanks Misty. <What size tank?  What other kinds of corals are you keeping?> Oh yes forgot to tell you the blue mushrooms came back great after I changed the lighting and moved them to a different rock and Mr. blenny. is doing fine on his old rock. Gosh this is harder then raising my 7 kids LOL. Misty <Glad to hear that things are improving!  Best Regards.  Adam>

Ricordea & lighting 3/2/04 <Hello again Misty!>  Sorry I have a 55 gal also just added 30 more WATTS of actinic lights. I have blue mushrooms, frilly mushrooms, Ricordea, moon polyps, iridescent fuzzy green mushrooms, lots of green and assorted purple coralline. tks Misty <Your total light of 130w of PC over a 55 gal is plenty for the animals you are keeping.  You may have to consider more light if you add other more light demanding animals.  Best regards.  Adam> Question on polyps/mushrooms... Hello Mr. Fenner! I am sorry to bother you with this question, but I couldn't seem to find an exactly similar situation on your "WetWebMedia" web site, and I thought your expertise just might be able to recognize a problem that I am unaware of.... <Okay> I have a 7 month old, 60-gallon hex. (high) with 50 lbs. live rock, 5 green Chromis and 1 yellow damsel. I'd like to start a "beginners" reef setup so, about 2 months ago, I bought a baseball-size rock of yellow polyps (seemed to be healthy and flowing) that I placed near the top of my rock since they were situated near the top of the dealers tank by the light. <So far, sounds good> In a months time, the yellow polyps were nearly gone and "stalkier" brown polyps and green mat-like polyps started to quickly replace them.  <Yes... this happens... best to keep these "green star polyps" isolated on their own rock/s... can be very "adventitious"> So, I thought things were balancing, working their way out, and I bought a small purple mushroom fragment. However, the mushrooms seem to open each day for a short time and mostly remain shriveled. I've tried putting them in high AND low light places, but to no avail. <Mmm, could be a few things here... lack of biomineral or alkalinity... perhaps lack of feeding...> After initially growing very well (and multiplying), the brown and green polyps now seem to be a bit less in number (the brown have lightened in color too) and they don't always open completely. What am I doing wrong? I have no signs of ammonia, nitrites, nitrate. PH is 8.1. Temp. is 81F. Specific gravity is .023 I add 20 drops of Combisan almost every other day and keep the calcium over 450ppm. Other animals: Sally lightfoot, hermits and turbo grazers. Filtration consists of a wet/dry, AquaClear. I just got a protein skimmer but haven't hooked it up yet. Also, I have 3 powerheads for water movement. Lighting is a 250 watt/10,000 K pendant (Due to algae on glass, I just cut it down to 5 hours per day). Tank is also near window which gets 45 minutes of scattered early morning sunlight. Thanks for any advice you can give! (I'm sure you are very busy and I appreciate it!) <We all have exactly the same amount of time my friend... focus, organization (and some small influences of heritage, development and chance otherwise neglected) determines how we utilize it... I would try adding a dilute "mash" of something meaty, administered via a plastic turkey baster... sprayed in the direction of these animals... with the filter pumps cycled off for fifteen minutes (on timers) two, three times a week... maybe with a bit of vitamin prep. (like Selcon) mixed in ahead of "squirting"... to see if this doesn't engender some positive response. Bob Fenner> -Declan Procaccini

Mushrooms/Corallimorphs Hello Bob!!! Just a quick note. I have a lot of Mushroom Corals on my reef tank, and they're numbers are increasing!! I have heard that they like to have Iodine supplements added to the water. How will this affect the rest of my tank?? <Not negatively if done "correctly"... i.e. in moderation, likely with a test kit in conjunction> Or should I even worry about adding it at all?? I change 5 gallons every week, and use "Reef Crystals". The tank is doing extremely well now, with no problems at all, except for the hot weather we've been having, making the temps get higher than I like. <Hmm, a few versions of "If it ain't/isn't broke/n..." come to mind... Thanks, Pat Marren <Keep those mushrooms on their own rocks, separated from other livestock you don't want them encroaching. Bob Fenner>

Ricordea Bob, You're right, Ricordea it is! Having done a bit more research now, looks like I got a little jewel of a prize. They are kind of purple and green with an almost fluorescent green middle.  <Gorgeous animals> I have a couple of halves and two that are over an inch in diameter. All but one have attached themselves to the section of rock I put them on. I think the last will be attached when I get home tonight. They are in a section that has some current, but not a whole lot. At first, I set them on the rock and they would just gently hover and move in the current. And as far as light, they are in the middle of the tank (vertically speaking) and I currently have 220w of PC and 40w NO. Planning to add more as I get critters that need more. Does that sound like a good place for them? <Yes> Thanks for helping me figure that one out. :-)Misty <You're welcome. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Mushrooms What is the recommended rate of watts per gallon for many of the mushroom polyps?  <Mmm, 2, 3, 4...> I am thinking of starting a tank with 2 55 watt PC bulbs, 1 daylight and 1 actinic. I just want mushrooms, star polyps and maybe, a bubble coral. Can this be done? The tank is a 45 high (36X12X24).  <Yes... possibly with mounting the Bubble Coral (Plerogyra) higher up on rock... nearer the light> I also want coralline to grow, this wont be a problem I don't think though. Any and all advise would be welcome. Thanks! <Please read over the light, lighting sections on the Marine Index of our site (www.WetWebMedia.com), the associated FAQs, the various livestock sections that deal with the animals you list. There is a/the Google Search Tool on our site to help you find your way about. Bob Fenner>

Green mushroom anemones Dear sir , I have a 40 gallon reef tank with nice purple live rock , a long tentacle anemone ( had 3 years now the size of a dinner plate) a med. hammer coral, a hairy green anemone , a plate coral , and two flowerpot corals . Everything thrives except this rock with 8 or so mushroom anemones on it .Was big and pretty when in the pet shop, has not open yet for 2 weeks ( just a little bit) I moved it all over the tank from top to bottom, nothing ! Have power compact lighting , too strong? <No. These organisms don't actually need much light, but can tolerate it> should I be adding something to the water ?  <Perhaps...> This is not very the first time I had trouble with this species but, my success with other anemone species made me braver (not wiser) All other corals have been tank for at lease 9 months. Flower pots starting to bud of miniatures, hairy green is a light loving monster, very large, in great health. Any help you could offer would be highly welcome for there is a lack of skilled help at the pet shops in northern Illinois. all of my information comes from what I can read , and 20 or so years of trial and error. Happy Holidays to you ! Joseph Mosley <Thank you. And thanks for writing... Your success with the anemones, Goniopora in such a small system is indicative of good, regular care, and very likely good "personal habits" of not fooling, or should I write "over-fooling" with your system... The troubles with the Corallimorphs are almost surely due to chemical and physical interactions with the other types of stinging-celled life you have in this system... You could try some approaches to chemical (activated carbon) and biological filtration (mud, algae, sump/refugium)... to "mix" the compounds, animals immune systems a bit... But I would likely just leave out these types here. Please avail yourself of the sections (articles, FAQs files) on these groups on our site: WetWebMedia.com) for more detail, relating of other peoples' experiences here. The Coral Anemones: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm Bob Fenner>

Mushroom n' lighting Hi, hope you had a good trip, at the moment my lighting is quite terrible, it is one full spectrum 30w and a saver (High red content I think) also 30w. will any corals survive under these,  <Mmm, yes... how large a tank? Depending on what you consider/call a "coral", there are quite a few choices> possibly mushrooms (I read somewhere blue and spotted type require less light then red and stripes). I find it strange that you can pay so much for a species that's reproduces so easily. <Well-stated... "there's no accounting for human nature"> I eventually (quite soon probably) will change out the saver thing with a second 30w f/spec and reflectors could you point me to some nice viable and easy soft corals the tank is ~50 gals and 16" deep the lights are only about an inch or two away from the water and there's no condensation plate <Better lighting will improve your chances and appreciation, enjoyment of your system, livestock.> have you had any experience with Kent additives iodide, strontium etc I have never changed the water in the tank as the nitrates have never strayed above 20 for a few weeks the tank has finally cycled (3 and a bit months) now before I start to stock the tank will the trace elements be low, it get topped up each week (bout 2 gals or less) could I sub the water changes with RO or di additives? <Not substitute, but add them at the same time is a good idea. Bob Fenner> thanks you Ross

Mushroom question Hi Bob, Please clarify for me just one more time, because both GARF and one of your associates told me that mushrooms only need iodine supplementation and only need calcium suppl. if you want coralline algae growth. I know I have to maintain good water parameters (pH, alk, temp, ammon, etc.), but I am trying to simplify my tank in both expense and time in going with the mushrooms. To ask it again, do I really need to supplement for calcium, mag, stront, etc, in these non stony corals? <Not supplement... but understand that these are essential elements... you/they need to have sufficient concentration in the systems water for health, growth... A good idea to test, understand what is/may be involved in possibly augmenting... Please do yourself and your livestock service and read more widely. Don't ask just myself, or any other concern on the Net what is advised. A ready source of more useful, "balanced" information are books, chatforums (ours: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/), magazines, clubs...> I read your web site recommendations but the specifics were not there. Farewell again. <Do keep journeying for a more complete grasping of what you seek. Bob Fenner>

Keeping Mushrooms Happy Hi Mr. Fenner or his associate, <<Hello, JasonC here - an associate.>> I am having problems with keeping leather corals happy in my tank and am thinking of switching to a mushroom only tank. Any advice on these corals. <<What kind of problems exactly?>> How low should I put my return water flow to the tank (that is the main current (water movement to the tank-right now it is a 350gal per hr pump). I'm concerned that it is too much for a whole tank of mushrooms. Can you also describe their care and anything else you think I should know. <<How big is your tank. Does the flow blast your mushrooms so they don't open up? If this is true, then you need to turn down the flow - otherwise 350gph is fine. As far things to know... there is much, too much to put in an email. You can, however, browse and read freely the materials on the WetWebMedia site which contain the answers to many questions like the ones you ask. A good place to start is a page written by Bob about the care of the mushrooms you asked about - that is if you haven't read it already: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm >> thanks a million. <<You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -- >>

Do I need Calcium Supplements for Mushrooms? Mr. Fenner or Jason, <<JasonC here...>> Hi <<hello>> I email you earlier about converting my tank to a mushroom only tank. If I do this (according to Albert Thiel) I wont need calcium supplementation) anymore unless I keep stonies which I would not be. Is this true?? <<sounds good to me - if that were all you were keeping. If you wanted to promote coralline algae growth on your live rock, etc... you'd need to add calcium at some point. Cheers, J -- >>

Blue mushrooms Hi, <Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob tries to sit still... belly button piercings can be quite painful post-op> sorry there was one other thing I wanted to ask, especially now that I just saw what a "cultured" blue mushroom looks like. I guess I have several, one little guy that in the last 2 months has produced 4 babies. How do you get them to look so blue?  <Adobe Photoshop if you a are looking in some of the recent reef books... seriously. Not a crime at all but misleading> I see them in books and they are a deep navy while mine are more of a purple? Some have even leaned towards the red spectrum. <URI brand VHO actinic blue lamps give the best colors with these Corallimorphs> Mind you I didn't buy them as blue mushrooms, these things were just floating around the dealers tank and the largest, which is the size of a CD was propagated buy a guy that works there. Is there some kind of supplement that I could be missing or maybe it's the lighting (175 w of fluorescents- 2 40w actinic 1 15w actinic and 2 40w super daylight bulbs) thanks again for your help Kim <yes... the lamp intensity is way too weak unless these mushrooms are in the top 8-10 " of the tank. Do consider a 4-bulb 110 watt VHO outfit with 2 blues and 2 daylight or 50/50 tubes for the Zoantharians. Also, you should be feeding them very fine shredded meats 2-3 times weekly minimum. Kindly, Anthony>

Shrooms (no not that kind) Bob et. al., <et. al: "Anthony" in the house> I hate to continually bother you, but I have another question. My last email concerned what to do concerning a Linckia that disappeared and apparently trashed the water in my reef. <or the water was trashed and killed the Linckia which trashed the water...hmmm? Which came first...chicken or the egg?> I followed your recommendations and it went great. I was unable to find the Linckia, but changed out half of the water. I waited a few days after this, and my Turbinaria still was not showing full "polypization" (cool word eh?), so I started adding ph buffer, within one day, everything was out, even my across that are as hairy as it gets were hairier. However, much to my surprise, now I have several Shrooms that seem to be melting, could thins be a function of a change, or perhaps lighting (both were priory under brighter lighting, they are now on the tank outskirts).  <more likely an infection... be careful that it doesn't spread. Siphon out daily until it stabilizes> I was shocked to see a shroom melting, as usually they are the animals stinging others!  I even have a meat coral that is immense! <sure...everyone has to brag about the size of their meat coral...sheesh <G>. Anthony>

Blue Mushrooms Hi guys. I have a question about my blue mushrooms. I bought two small rocks of mushrooms. One red, the other blue. Red are fine, growing, brightly colored, just looking good right now. The blue ones are disappearing one by one. They don't have a very nice color, just look sickly. Also I noticed that some creature in my tank decided to munch on a few for a snack. Why not the red? Is it the "red is a poison thing." <May not have gotten around to the blue just yet. Have you seen what ate them? There are several parasites of snails.> I add 10 drops of iodide every day. The tank is a 120 Berlin style system. I don't think the decline in the blues has much to do with water quality. I'm thinking something along the lines of lighting. I have power compacts. Three 110 watt strips. Do blues require more light that red? <IME, yes. Need more light and grow slower.> Is this lighting enough for my tank? <It all depends on what you wish to keep. Yes, enough for most mushrooms, polyps, some soft corals, and LPS's when placed at the appropriate depths, but not my choice for SPS or clams.> The reason I ask such an ordinary question about light is that I've seen PC wattage rated differently than NO, or even MH. <Yes, hard to compare wattages across different lighting methods. The same wattage of MH is brighter than PC and the same of PC is brighter than NO. Lets say you have a 2'x2'x2' tank. One 175 watt MH with a good lamp mounted horizontally would be enough for SPS and clams. Three 55 watt PC's for a total of 165 watts would not be enough. You would need at least four 55 watt lamps (220 watts) and even then maybe not intense enough at the bottom of the tank. You could not put enough NO 20 watt lamps on the tank to get the same intensity at the bottom.> Thanks for your time :) -Becky <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Mushroom anemone Hi Bob,  my name is Genaro.  I have been trying to grow or to propagate this mushroom but no success.  Can you help me on this?  My tank is 60gal, 18in tall, 2 100MH,  they are 5in away from water.  A wet and dry filter, lots of live rock a little bit sand.  How many hours do I leave lights on?  Thank you . <there is much to talk about here, my friend, beginning with your system hardware which is perhaps too bright for the species to thrive (at just 5 inches under MH lamps). Still... it would be best not to move them if they have been there for many months and have acclimated. For propagating, they need to have been held captive for 6 or more months ideally and fed well (at least weekly to condition). Radial cuts from the mouth outward will often inspire safe fissionary budding/division. You may also nick or notch the pedal foot to create fissionary budding. I have written a book on Coral Propagation if you are interested in getting more involved (www.readingtrees.com). And please feel welcome to e-mail with more questions. Best regards! Anthony>

Mushrooms Hi guys! <cheers, dear!> I have a few questions about some new mushrooms in my tank. I have blue, red, brownish red, green hairy, and some others. Which ones require more light and which require less?  <no way to say for certain, more an aspect of where they were collected than which colors. No worries though... most all are very hardy and adaptable. With good lighting, most aquarists fare well to keep them in the bottom third of their rocks cape> I don't want to move them all over because I know how you feel about this Anthony!  <heehee... we're training them Bob <Smile>. Ahhh... yes, Becky... indeed it is stressful to corals IMO to move them frequently <G>> I have a 120 with two 175 watt MH's and some NO fluo too. Right now all the Shrooms are at the bottom of the tank.  <as they must be under these lights> Some are under over hangs, caves, etc. I was reading the Q&A's and read that blues may require more light? Thanks for your time! -Becky 

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