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FAQs about Corallimorphs 1

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Related FAQs: Mushrooms 2Mushrooms 3Mushrooms 4Mushroom Identification, Mushroom Behavior, Mushroom Compatibility, Mushroom Selection, Mushroom Systems, Mushroom Feeding, Mushroom Health, Mushroom Reproduction

Actinodiscus colony in replication (faux colonial anemones)... with Walt Smith of Pacific Aqua Farms.

Ricordea yuma.. melting?  9/22/05 Hi, <Hello> I have recently acquired a Ricordea yuma and I've noticed some translucent mush/goo near its foot.  Is it melting away?  Any hope of saving it?  It hasn't expanded fully but it still seems responsive i.e. it curls up into a ball during lights off and uncurls itself once lights are back on. Thanks in advance. Tiffany <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm and the linked files above... re Corallimorph Behavior, Systems, Feeding, Disease... Bob Fenner>

The Hairy Mushroom Escape Dear Crew, <Morning!  Ryan with you today> Thanks again for all the assistance you provide. <Surely> I have what I hope is a "small" problem.  As I was doing a water change last night, I knocked over a piece of live rock that is (was) home to a hairy mushroom colony of eight (now seven). <Ouch!> One detached and, before I could react, the current took it through an opening in my rock structure.  I can see a part of  it on the aquarium floor through a hole in the rock but will have to make some major moves to get to it. Are there any options other than removing a lot of rock to get to it?  Maybe I know the answer but just had to ask :-)  Respectfully,  Barry <There are some various utensils made for aquarium gardening that may lessen the blow.  A long set of tongs and an extra body helping to lift rock should make this an "afternoon" project for you!  Could you use a powerhead to blow him to another part of the tank that would be less precarious?  Best of luck, Ryan>

Mushrooms Hello WWM crew, ? on Shrooms I Bought a rock full of purple lavender Ricordea mushrooms and some orange Rics to all are the floridae sp. I heard that they were slow growers and reproducers.  <they are indeed uncharacteristic for Corallimorphs... they like brighter light and less solid food than most (more so dissolved organics> I was wondering if there is anything I can do to get them to reproduce a little more rapidly.  <in a dedicated grow out system we could make an argument here for lighter skimming and feeding fine zooplankton> Neither rock has been in my reef for longer then three months. Although they are larger and brighter then they were in the dealers tank they seem to be thriving.  <still... don't give up on larger meaty fare. Feeding alone grows mushrooms scary fast. Try thawed frozen Mysids, Gammarus and Pacifica plankton too (or very finely shredded krill)> I read a reply by Anthony on this subject but now I can't find it. If you guy's have any tips or pointers please let me know.  Great job on the site and thanks for the past replies on questions I had, keep up the good work fellas. Thanks, Jim W. <thanks kindly, best regards, Anthony>

Mushrooms and Zoanthids not faring well Hi, <cheers> I have a 100 gal diamond tank with 4-95watt VHO and 1-55watt PC lights. I have a wet/dry and skimmer.  <keep an eye on those nitrates with that wet/dry ;) > There are assorted fish plus a Ritteri, bubble <Hmm... how long have you had the Ritteri and the bubble is what? anemone or coral> and golden toadstool. All my water tests are good.  <good...?> I add iodine and Kent CB parts A and B to maintain Alk and ph. Here's the problem. I have never been able to keep mushrooms and polyps alive!  <a common problem is mixed garden aquaria so severely assorted as your (anemone, LPS, Octocoral, etc)> The mushrooms start off great, grow for a month or so and then slowly die off. The polyps just stop opening and over several months die off. HELP! I don't understand. Dave <no worries here... it is quite natural and a sign that your tank is not as nutrient rich as most. Corallimorphs and Zoantharians usually hail from deeper, nutrient rich waters... where as your Ritteri and Toadstool hail from very shallow, lower nutrient waters. In the wild they are separated by perhaps more than 60' of water! It would be impossible to homogenize the parameters of a tank to suit the needs of both in the long run. Best regards, Anthony>

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!  <Heeeee... 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 fluor 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  <no worries again about color. Such a statement about blue mushrooms is not fair or accurate without the accompanying information of which blue species and how much light. There are many species that are blue (red, etc). Best to keep all in the lower 1/3 of the tank. Anthony>

Mushroom Corals Falling Off Bob/WWM Crew, I am new to the hobby and have recently found your site. I thoroughly enjoy it. About two weeks ago I purchased a mushroom coral with about seven mushrooms. Over the past two weeks four of the seven mushrooms have fallen off!  <many possible reasons for this, most all stress induced> It looks like two of them have reattached themselves elsewhere. (How long does this process of attaching themselves take?)  <with healthy polyps, sometimes days...even hours in rare cases> All of the mushrooms appear healthy and all of my water tests have been normal. What could be causing these mushrooms to fall off of the rock?  <alas... again, stress of some physical parameters most likely. Excessive light or an abrupt exposure in acclimation to new light. Coral aggression is also a problem less commonly> I do have them placed close to my filter. Could the water flow be causing them to fall off?  <only if extreme> These were fairly large (2 1/2 - 3 inches) mushrooms and appeared to be securely attached. I also have 4 hermit crabs and 2 snails. Could they have had a role in this?  <unlikely> Thanks for your help. David <with kind regards, Anthony>

Melting Mushrooms Hi, I have a 50 gal. "reef" tank using a wet/dry and a Red Sea Berlin classic skimmer.  <assuming that your skimmer does not produce DAILY skimmate (5-7 days weekly) full cup of dark product... do consider second, better skimmer. Voice of experience. Noxious dissolved organics that are allowed to accumulate do terrible things to a tank in time> The tank has a sandbed of approx. two inches of aragonite mixed with the "live super reef" and has been running for about 1 1/2 -2 years.  <please review the archived FAQs on DSB/Deep sand beds... I have a strong opinion about med. depth sand (1-3") causing problems in the long run. I'd say have much more or much less depending on your need for denitrification>  I have about 50 or 60 lbs. of Fiji live rock of which 15lbs. has been added over the last couple of months (approx. 5lbs every three or so weeks). The tank has great coralline growth (the older rock in the tank is almost 100% purple and the new rock gets more growth very quickly). <outstanding> I have no fish in the tank at the present time and have decided to leave them out of the equation while I build up the amount of rock and other life in the tank.  <very very wise! I wish more aquarists realized this. Their tanks would be so much more diverse with microfauna/plankton to go fishless for a longer period in the beginning> The inhabitants of the tank are about a couple doz. snails and hermit crabs( mostly blue legs and a couple red ), a brittle star, Ricordea, white star polyps, green star polyps, yellow polyps, various button polyps, a colt coral ( which has recently had a "baby" ),various other mushrooms, red , speckled , striped, mottled, and hairy green metallic of which there was only one that has over the last couple of years multiplied into 18 or 20 beautiful specimens..  <most of the reef invertebrates you have named are some of the most toxic/noxious available! I would strongly recommend a second skimmer and heavy chemical filtration/water changes for optimum growth> Here is my regimen : I use Tropic Marine salt <excellent salt> and keep the tank at about 1.022 to 1.023 (usually closest to 1.022).  < a dedicated reef aquarium needs to be higher/closer to natural (1.024-1.026... even a little higher is possible). Low salinity is better for fishes but harder on inverts> I top off the water that evaporates nightly with RO water exclusively we are fortunate where I live to have water with a ph of 8.0-8.4), <RO water is aerated, then buffered always before use? Else you are taxing the buffers in the tank/salt mix> which I use in my discus tank as well as drinking for that matter. Every few days I add maybe a 1/4 teaspoon of Tropic Marine Bio Calcium in the top up water at night with 5-10% water changes every week or two.  <Hmmm.... I wouldn't be surprised if you tank Alk is on the lower side because of this practice. Do search FAQs for RO/DI treatment of water too if you like> On the week that I don't change the water I add one capful of Kent trace elements. I was adding Coral-Vital up until a couple of months ago when I read a couple of your advice columns which said "keep the sugar out of the tank", so I did. I'd like to keep this simple and your approach seems to make a lot of sense to me. Your advice column is great reading and always an education. I think that's part of the reason that we are interested in this hobby because there is an endless amount of knowledge that is partially "required" and mostly "desired" by all those that get want to successfully maintain these fascinating mini ecosystems.  <very eloquently put...thank you!> Now that you hopefully have the long winded background information, here is my problem. Last night I was watching the tank and it looked almost as if a couple of the green metallic mushrooms that I have nurtured for so long had begun to disintegrate. It almost looked like they were melting.  <sounds like an infection. Can be brought in by new coral or new live rock that is not cured or quarantined (please QT live rock and coral just like fishes... pathogens are non-discriminating and Scleractinian product has the added risk of bringing in a pest or predator (shrimp, crab, flatworm, etc... do screen in QT)> I haven't really changed anything other than getting rid of the coral-vital and adding the live rock.  <hmmm... I'm suspecting that the rock wasn't fully cured from the LFS and may have went unnoticed to rock for having so much other cured rock in the tank. Any rotting plants or sponges noticed on the rock?> I forgot to mention I only have NO lights, 2 actinic, 1 10,000k and 1 daylight but the tank is close to a window where it receives some real sunlight. <yes... does help. But your lighting is way too modest for some of your inverts to live to see 3, 5 or more years. In the meantime, change the bulbs every 6-10 months, keep bulbs very clean and use small amounts of carbon and/or poly filter weekly to maintain water clarity for optimum light penetration> Even worse, this morning even more of them are melting. I'm worried that they'll all be gone soon.  <have you checked water chemistry? ph, Alk, Ca, etc? Please do so> I also have problems keeping fish , which part of the problem is self abuse in not having a quarantine tank and introducing some lovely disease to otherwise fine fish.  <bingo, my friend> One beautiful six line wrasse committed suicide and jumped out even though I have a hood. Tangs get white spot, I've even killed a red lipped algae blenny which seemed healthy when I got him but one day..... well you get the picture.  <indeed QT is necessary for all livestock.. else it is a game of Russian roulette with vulnerable living creatures> Is part of my problem somehow shocking the tank with the top off water (even though it's RO at the same temperature). Should I be adding a buffer or something else to the top off water each night? <yes... raw RO water is rough: completely demineralized and acidic. Needs aerated and buffered> Should I use a dripper Kent Aqua Dose).  <please don't get me started on Kent products <G>> I want to keep adding more rock hoping to help the stability of the tank maybe someday I can get a Mandarin).  <Hmmm... if mandarin is the goal... kudos to you on the fishless tank to help copepods establish. Better yet, do add a small seagrass refugium (also fishless) an d allow to mature as a continuing source of food once fish make it to the main display> What am I doing wrong??? Any advice about what's happening to my mushrooms,  <based on above info... sounding like an infection of the first victims of straying water chemistry> what I'm doing wrong or something I'm not doing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and sorry for being so long winded, Ken ( from Brantford, Ontario, Canada) <cheers, mate. Anthony Calfo>

Frilly green mushrooms Hi guys. Hope you're having a great day. Question about my frilly mushrooms. (new purchase) Are the mushrooms 'supposed to look flat on the surface they are on opposed to a ruffled look?  Really depends on species mostly... a little to do with light and water flow> I was wondering if I have them too high in the tank.  <that depends... are they freshly imported or had they been acclimated to a vendor's tank for some weeks? What kind of lighting did they come from and is your similar. Are they closed up early with your photoperiod indicating excessive light?> My tank is 24 inches deep and they're about 12 inches from the lights. <sounds reasonable... perhaps a little higher than they need to be if you want to leave room for more demanding coral later. Be sure to put coral in a good place and leave them alone. Making a habit of moving coral around often is a good way to kill them> The lights are two 110 pc and twin tube 40 each NO. 300 watts total in 120 gallon tank. One of the mushrooms on the rock is about two inches in diameter and white. It's not slimy looking. Looks just they others except white with slightly green tips. Thanks! <if it turned white after you got it may very well have "bleached" (expelled Zooxanthellae from light, salinity or temperature shock of an abrupt acclimation. Please consider this article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm> -Becky <kindly, Anthony Calfo>
Frilly Green Mushrooms II
Thanks for the quick response as usual. <Not really typical anymore as we have lost a large number of emails. Don't know where they went, but we have been getting a lot of replies asking why their question was not answer, only we never saw them.> I think the mushrooms were in the vendors tank about one week. I'm not exactly sure if it bleached after I bought it or not. When I asked the guy at the store to turn the piece around so I could take a better look at it, he dropped it. Then all the mushrooms shrunk up. The lighting in the store was much lower than what I have in my tank. I'm shocked sometimes to see the way people treat sea creatures. <Yes, me too.> I live in Wisconsin and the pet stores that are big enough to carry a good selection of marine animals/life are usually run by some big wig that employs a bunch of 16 year old brats who don't know a thing about what they're touching. <We have the same kind of problems here in Pennsylvania.> The others are so incredibly expensive. <I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for.> Anyways, thank you for the link. It was a very informative read. I have been guilty of moving corals around to find the right lighting. I'll try to keep my hands off of them! Thanks again! -Becky <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

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>

Help!!!!!!, Infection on Corallimorphs Anthony and Bob, I have a dire situation in my reef, I am systematically losing ALL of my mushrooms!! I have a feeling that this whole episode started when I added a gold Turbinaria and believe it or not a free Goniopora.  <Ughhhh! please don't tell me that you bought one of the color dyed Turbinaria corals?! A dreadful thing that some collectors are doing to more coral nowadays... just shameful. I suspect that you haven't heard about it?> Since then I had a feather duster blow its cap,  <stress induced, usually because of water quality> I have lost around twenty mushrooms, one at a time, they seem to simply be melting!  <indeed... sounds pathogenic. Did the Goniopora show a brown gelatinous infection at any point? Highly contagious if so> What's worse, everything else, including Acros are doing well, Anthony had suggested that it could be a bacterial infection, I fixed my U.V and commenced with two five gallon water changes a week (its a55). Is there anything that I can do to stop the rest from dying? Is there a reef safe antibiotic? <not at all... antibiotics kill desirable and desirable bacteria without discrimination. My advice is to isolate the infected and suspected animals in QT and address experimentally with water changes, iodine or ozone, etc. My choice would be the iodine dips.> This is one of the most frustrating losses I have ever experienced, as I cant figure out how to stop it, except to let it kill everything, go mushroom fallow for several months, and then start over. <this sad event should underscore the importance to you (that is overlooked by many folks) for quarantining all livestock (fish, inverts, live rock, etc) before putting them into the display. Since nearly all are wild caught and potentially carrying pests, predators and disease... it is like a game of Russian roulette. If 99 of 100 are clean, the one that isn't can still impose some catastrophic losses as you have seen. Martin Moe said it best...hehe: "[Adding livestock without quarantine] is like having group sex with drug addicts". Say no more... Anthony>

Mushroom Problem Hola Guys, <Hola! Senior Salty... Anthony Calfo in you service now craving toasty warm tortilla chips and tasty strawberry marguerites for some unexplained reason> I need to see if you guys have an idea what is killing my mushrooms.  <maybe they drank too much green beer on St. Patrick's day... how late did you let them stay out?> The mushrooms in my tank are dying off one by one. The water parameters haven't changed, besides if it was the water I would think all would be in bad shape.  <unfortunately not my friend... with only mushrooms in the tank, we have no frame of reference to make that claim. And fish vs. Corallimorpharians vs. crustacea vs. true coral all have very different tolerances and thresholds for various stressors. So it is possible that something is wrong/bad for the mushrooms but does not bother the fish for example> But, most look great, while one or two at a time will shrink up and slime away. I took out two big hermit crabs today, hoping that maybe they were trying to eat them or something.  <Hmmmm... if it was the hermits there would not be so much of the pathogenic slime symptom and less material left...they are clean scavengers> My fish are all happy and healthy and there are no corals in the tank. Only tons of live rock, fish, and lots of mushrooms. And some small hermit crabs and snails. Please throw some thoughts at me <it sounds like a water quality parameter or predator that is imposing itself on the Corallimorpharians and inviting the pathogenic symptoms (the necrotic slime). Many things it could be. Look for camouflaged flatworms on the mushrooms for starters. Also do a water change and add poly-filters to absorb possible 'Shroom contaminants (trace metals e.g. would harm the Shrooms before the crabs or fish). Another concern would be inadequate or aged/dirty lighting. Are the bulbs and glass canopy clean and less than 10 months old? Any new supplements added recently (like liquid "Stop-Aiptasia")? Try these measures first and see if you don't enjoy stabilization or improvement within a week.> Thanks, Ken <good luck, my friend. Anthony>

Feeding Mushrooms Hi all, <Steven & Anthony answering in tag team fashion.> I believe I read in CMA that healthy mushrooms can live for "months" without feeding. Also something like it would be good to "spray food in their direction"....but what do they EAT? Where can I get it? Does it have a drive through? Wes <Generally, mushrooms feed heavily, but primarily through the absorption of dissolved organics with a little feeding on small creatures. There are some mushrooms, namely the Elephant Ears, Amplexidiscus & Rhodactis, that are capable of eating large fish. Steven Pro>

Red Mushroom corals Hi Bob,  <Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob travels Australia in search of a really good steak> I have a 90 gal. running for 3yrs. with 100lbs live rock lighting custom sea life 4 96 watt split actinic & 10000K mixed with corals &fish, everything was running great then one day my red mushrooms bleached out their color along with a red open brain coral, couple other things I have noticed is that my 2 pagoda cups , green button polyps just don't open up like they used to. is their something I should test for that I'm lacking ,I do know calcium is 400 450 no ammonia very low nitrate salinity a little high 1.026 I add trace elements iodine on a weekly basis, Thanks for any help, or if you need more info I'll let you know Brian  <sudden bleaching often coincides with sudden increase in water clarity as with from the following: changing of very aged bulbs (over 1 year old... while fluorescents should be changed every 6-10 months when over coral), addition of carbon or chemical media (Polyfilters and the like) after a long period without (which suddenly takes light reducing yellowing agents out of the water) or a good cleaning of a very dirty glass canopy or lens. Basically, think of how it was possible that more light could suddenly penetrate the water. Else look to water quality (what is your alkalinity, for example...aim for close to 12 dKH. Best regards, Anthony>

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 Acros 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>

Amplexidiscus Hello. I saw one of these at the LFS a few weeks ago, and it is truly amazing and beautiful. I was thinking of purchasing one for my reef. However, I read of it's fish eating tendencies. What fish are largely at risk? Do the mushroom need a "species" tank? <yes... an impressive Corallimorph, but not to be underestimated. This mushroom can grow to a foot or more in diameter and eat fish the size of Yellow tangs. The event is relatively uncommon, but is still a concern. While many keep this animal in a mixed garden reef, a species tank (or at least a Zoantharians mostly/only tank isn't a terrible idea. Try achieving this animal here on WWM FAQ/Articles and beyond. Best regards, Anthony>

Mushrooms that Multiply like... Mushrooms Hi, <<Hi, JasonC here filling in for Bob while he's away diving.>> Thanks for all help in advance and all previous help. I bought a rock with about 13 different mushrooms about a month ago. When I bought the rock they all seemed to fit but now it seems really crowded, one of the smaller mushrooms is totally covered. <<if the conditions favor it, they will grow...>> And to top it off I found a new baby green one and on the only bare patch on the rock I noticed that there are polyps of some kind making their own way, and taking up space. <<and reproduce too>> So is there a way that I can move some of the larger mushrooms to a new rock? The LFS said to "pop" them off by prying a small amount of the foot off with a butter knife to annoy it and then it would come off on it's own, is this the only way? <<I've seen much rougher ways - these things are pretty durable. Probably a safe enough way to get them loose.>> I value the lives of my animals and do not wish to harm them in any way. These guys are my first reef fish type inhabitants. And if "popping" is the only way do I do it under water or above? <<under>> My next question is how big will these things get? And how fast do they grow? <<varying sizes, probably not larger than a CD at most.>> I kind of likened them to coral, which I understand grows kind of slow. <<they are related to corals. All of these will grow at varying rates depending on the situation's).>> On another rock I have a tiny mushroom (he's the only one on this rock) and I have had him only a little longer then the other, he (it) started out the size of my pinky nail and is now the size of a quarter! I only feed them once a week and that consists of the water that I use to melt my frozen for the fish, brine shrimp, formula 1&2, and pureed seafood mix that I did myself. <<should work pretty well>> The light is only 175w using regular fluorescents. <<regular how? You do have some bulbs suited for aquariums, yes?>> I really like these things but are they going to take my tank over? <<If there's nothing there to compete with them, perhaps, but all sorts of fates await the detached mushroom polyp. Could as easily end up in your filter.>> Finally the last question. I also with my mushroom rock bought a rock scattered with xenia (of what kind I do not know) and little button polyps. The rock had been in the dealers tank for quite a few months (I think that's where the buttons latched on) and was doing great, I put it into my tank and it did well for the first few days then it started to "melt". In two days I had a rock with button polyps and nothing else. I thought it might be the little Dottyback that I had just put in (he got blamed for every thing the nasty little devil. He has now gone onto a better, bigger, and less destructible tank) Then one night I looked in with a flash light to see what weird things were popping up in the tank and I saw my emerald crab rip a big chunk off and stuff it into his mouth (AAARRRGGG!!!). Now was he the problem or only the cleanup crew? <<There aren't many crabs I trust much farther than I can throw them...>> I had to move my tank last weekend and today I either pulled out his dead body or a molted exoskeleton.... <<probably the latter>> funny thing is I also noticed that the xenia is coming back. <<Xenia can defy some amazing odds.>> There are all kinds of baby polyps and they are coming back with a vengeance!!! So was it the crab or do you think it was my water. <<crab methinks - your other polyps/mushrooms wouldn't be so happy if you were having water issues.>> I had the water tested and it was great (I've had very little problem since I began using purified sea water, <<lucky you!!>> just one ammonia spike and that was over feeding.....sigh) Thanks again for all your help Kim <<You are welcome. Cheers, J -- >>

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 mushroom I recently bought a small blue mushroom (that was a hitchhike on a liverock). How long does it usually take for one to split in optimal water conditions? <I will give you an idea from my experience. I have gotten several different mushroom frags (just one mushroom anemone from someone). It would usually take months for that one to develop to two, but then things would pickup. The more there are, the more they produce.> I also have a small lionfish (possibly a dwarf lionfish) how dangerous is their sting? <I have been stung be a Volitans lionfish. It is something I recommend be avoided at all costs. For the first hour it was not too bad. By the second hour, it felt like someone was repeatedly hitting my wrist with a hammer. Definitely seek out medical attention as there is some concern for allergic reactions.> Thanks, TRON <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

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>

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>

Orange Dots (likely a Platyhelminth) Your book and WetWebMedia are the best sources for great information! Thank you for both.  <You're welcome my friend.> My reef tank is about 1 year old and doing very well, I think. I have to questions that I was unable to find answers from the web-site or book. 75-gallon tank. about 60 pound live rock and 60 pound aragonite. (2) 175 watt MH, 5500 & 10000 (10 hrs/day). (2) 40 watt NO (12 hrs/day). turbo skimmer. (1) magnum 220 with micron filter, use to pump water through UV unit. 18-watt UV unit (12 hrs/day during refugium light cycle). DIY over-flow box with "Whisper Bio-Bag", replaced weekly. (2) heaters, one in refugium and the other in the tank. (2) chemical metering pumps used to feed Kent Tectra CB products separately. Fed daily from 5-gallon buckets with top-off water (RO/DI). 30-gallon refugium with 10-pounds live rock and 20-pounds aragonite. (4) 20 watt NO bulbs for refugium, alternate light cycle from tank. Ca 365 to 400, normal 375 ppm Alk 3.0 to 3.5, normal 3.25 NO3 less then 1 ppm. pH 8.2. Temperature 78F winter and 82F summer. Specific Gravity 1.0230 to 1.0235, normal 1.0233. 30-gallon water change every 2 to 3 months with RO/DI and Reef Crystals. Add 1/4 recommended dose of "SeaChem" reef iodide and reef plus (to food) weekly. Foods: Flake, Nori, Krill, Frozen Brine and my homemade recipe, based on your recipe from the "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist". <Sounds like a very nice system> My questions! My mushrooms have orange dots (2mm in size) that cover them, what are they? <Likely a type of Flatworm (Phylum Platyhelminthes)... and nothing to be overly worked up about... perhaps semi-predatory, but not easily removed, not "that" detrimental... best to leave alone... will likely "disappear" on their own someday soon> I noticed; today, that they can move around on the mushroom. The mushrooms completely open and seem fine. Is this budding reproduction? <No> The only green algae in the tank is bubble algae probably due to the yellow and purple tangs. How can prevent the bubble algae from spreading?  I have a (matrix?) crab but he is not interested. Coralline algae covers all of the side and back glass. <There are a few other predators. These are mentioned on the "Marine Algae" control FAQs on our site... otherwise, I would extract what you can by scrubbing the rock involved, ignore the rest.> My Royal Gramma that is about 1 year old has always appeared to have a white tint over his front purple part, is this a problem that can be corrected? <Try a cleaner organism here... otherwise no real problem> Thank you all the questions you have already answered through you book and web-site. <That's only for today! Many lifetimes worth of material still to go. Bob Fenner> Robert Burns

Mushrooms scrunching up Hi Bob, I just read the page on mushrooms, trying to figure out what is going on with mine. What is the difference in appearance between a mushroom "cupping up" from too much light, and a "folding in of the body with tentacles everted" from stressed out animals? <One's "in" the other description finds the animals folded "out"> I have some Fiji Red mushrooms from FFE that I got about 2 months ago. At first they were great--expanded, open wide and appeared to be growing new ones for the first couple of weeks. Then at some point they got sort of scrunched and have not opened up since, into their normal wide flat circular appearance. I moved them up closer to the light and they may be slightly improving. <Sounds like they're either "settling in", displaying a lack of nutrient (possibly alkalinity and/or biomineral) or negatively reacting to some other stinging-celled life in the system> I have 3 fluorescent tubes (30 watt) 1 actinic, 1 Trichromatic, and 1 10,000k. They initially were about 15" from the light (I have green striped mushrooms thriving at that height) and I moved them about 2 weeks ago to about 9 or 10 inches from the light. (all water parameters are good) thanks for any suggestions you have. Katherine Steichen Rosing <Try checking the above parameters, possibly augmenting them and a dose of iodide/iodine weekly. Do run activated carbon in your filter flow path once a month. Keep your mushroom colonies distinctly isolated (on their own rocks) from other sessile invertebrates. Do feed them twice a week... Bob Fenner>
Re: mushrooms scrunching up--feeding
Thanks Bob, You mentioned feeding the mushrooms twice weekly. I had thought they would feed themselves, what and how do you recommend feeding them? <Ah! http://wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm> One of the things I have tried since the mushrooms seemed to go into a decline is feeding Phytoplex -- just adding to tank water daily. Is this enough? (I do add 1 drop iodine almost once per week) <Please do try the "macro" feeding mentioned on the WWM site. Bob Fenner>

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>

To be a mushroom, or not to be a mushroom???? Hi, I am sorry to bother you but am not sure who else to ask. I saw your website and believe that you will know what I have. <Hi Carissa, Lorenzo Gonzalez here holding down the fort for Bob-in-Indonesia...> I kept fresh and brackish water all my life, and have recently moved into the world of salt . . . Two weeks ago I added live rock to my 38, and on one of the pieces I found what looks like mushrooms. They were about the size of dimes to quarters, and flat, but when the lights are off or they are bothered they pull themselves up so that they were taller but tighter, about the size of my little finger around. <They're almost certainly some sort of anemone, could very well be a mushroom, but they don't usually move that fast.> The reason why I am not sure if they are mushrooms is that they are pure white -- sparkling white with just a faint trace of iridescence that is so faint you think maybe your eyes are tricking you.  <Hmmm. Doesn't sound like any Corallimorpharian I've ever seen. More likely a tube anemone.> One of them disappeared, and I found it later (I think) higher up on a different rock. <There's the best clue. Mushrooms move. Sure. About 1 inch per day, at absolute full-clip. Anemones on the other hand, can travel the length of your 38g in an hour or two.> I haven't seen any pictures of them when they were supposed to be white, and only references to them being white that I could find was when they were dying...  <Me too. I have some white ones. They're definitely dying.> but when I asked the pet store (sigh) they said that I was lucky, that Shrooms do come in white and I got some freebies. What do you think? <I'd stop worrying about it altogether. If you end up with a LOT of them (some small anemones can reproduce asexually REALLY fast) you may end up picking them out of the tank. Or you may end up with a fish that eats them like cake (Butterflyfish comes to mind) and they'll all be gone before you know it.> They seem to be happy now, but I don't want to risk them dying and souring the water. If you need to see pictures I have a digital camera and could take some for you. <Don't sweat it. If you have enough live rock, other diversity, a few tiny dead mushrooms are not going to kill your whole tank.> Currently I have other goodies that piggy-backed on the rock, several Featherdusters, snails, crabs, and one feather duster that I had added. As far as fish go, I have the four damsels I used to cycle the tank, and a Firefish. <Those damsels are clobbering the Firefish?> Also, I don't have a skimmer on my tank. I hadn't been planning on adding Shrooms, corals or anemones for at least a year, but since I have these I am considering it . . . will I need to buy a skimmer? <You should definitely have a skimmer eventually. Right now, you're probably fine without. > Thanks for the help, I appreciate it! Cari <No problem. -Lorenzo>
Re: To be a mushroom, or not to be a mushroom????
Cari, Those are definitely mushroom (Corallimorpharian) anemones. If they do well, that'll be neat, as I've never seen a pure white one that wasn't really sick/half dead. For other neat, peaceful fish to work with your Firefish (once the damsels are out), you could do well with a small blenny (bi-color or Midas), small butterfly (Flame or Coral Beauty), Banggai Cardinal, 6-line wrasse, Coris wrasse, green-bar goby, Royal Gramma, and many more, including Percula clowns (preferably tank raised), if those are appealing to you. Don't do any anemones until your tanks is well, well established, when you do, the best IMHO is the bubble-tip. If you really get into this stuff, one fine weekend you may want to make the trip up into Michigan to visit Tropicorium... www.tropicorium.com Be chatting, Lorenzo
Re: To be a mushroom, or not to be a mushroom????
Hi Bob, Nice to meet you! Been chatting with Lorenzo, he is so nice! I just love your website, so much work! I can tell that you really love working with it. <Yes my friend, a work of a lifetime... or two> Thinking I am going to upgrade my lighting -- have a 38 with lots of live rock, some feather duster worms, snails, macroalgae, the 4 damsels, and a Firefish, and as far as invertebrates goes some button polyps and these white mushrooms . . . really was lucky with my live rock since everything but the fish and one large duster worm came on it! LOL! Right now I have 2 fluorescents, all that will fit on the top of the tank, a actinic and 50/50, but they only throw like 80 watts. (Thank-you to the pet store for telling me that was what I needed -- how convenient that strip lights were all they sold! SIGH!) <Hmm> I've been told to upgrade to the Formosa, which has 4 compact Fluorescents and comes in a total of 144 or 220 watts for my size (36 long) . . . would this be acceptable? What would you suggest? I am going to wait to add corals/anemones and such, but want to be able to add them when the time comes without buying new lighting. <This is a worthwhile upgrade, and is about what I would do> Here's a link to the hood, although I think you know which one I'm talking about: http://www.anchofish.com/_drygoods/lighting_system/drygoods_jbj14.htm <Okay> Am looking into a skimmer as well -- would like one that hangs on the back and am thinking I will go with the Remora you suggest. I am running the Magnum 350 pro with 2 BioWheels right now. <Okay again> Thought you might like to see a look at the mushrooms too -- have had them for about a month and they are still white as snow -- they open during the day and close at night, but don't seem to be getting any bigger, sigh! I have read your website and if you have any opinions or suggestions I would love to hear them!  <About these Corallimorphs? Keep them isolated on their own separated rocks> I have the button polyps at the top of the tank with the mushrooms, and they seem to be doing fine, except for a small section that doesn't like to open up. <No worries.> I would also like to know what the spotted stuff is on the rock as well if you know. <Can't tell from here. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Cari
Re: To be a mushroom, or not to be a mushroom????
Thanks Lorenzo, I appreciate the suggestions -- I am wondering if I can talk dear hubby (who is not into animals and at times thinks I am insane) into a road trip -- Michigan is pretty close!! (I'm in Ohio). <Bob Fenner here. Do say hi to Dick Perrin if you go over to visit Tropicorium> I think that I will go re-read the page on the Shrooms, as I would like for these to make it. That's what I am worried about -- that they are sick or dying -- although they've been holding on now for a while. I guess I'm not out anything if they do die, but still! <Indeed... the parable of "found money" comes to mind> I appreciate all your suggestions, will have to call the man who lent me the damsels and see when I can take them back to him. He deals in tank-raised fish so I like to buy from him . . . he will be surprised to hear that I still have all four of them, he was sure that I would loose one or two. Thanks again, Cari <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Mushroom rock problems Hi Bob, <Hello> I have two questions so I think I will ask them separately. One is a problem and the other is for curiosity. The problem first. A few weeks ago I bought a smallish mushroom rock. Besides the green stripe mushrooms there are some raised splotches of very pale lavender and bright yellow. This rock is quite live with lots of stuff growing all over it. The yellow still looks fine, but the lavender has turned totally white. <This happens... different organisms, requirements... perhaps conditions are less favorable to the lavender life in their new home...> Btw I think this happened during my recent vacation. I had a kid watch my tank and he is quite competent but I wanted to discourage him from putting his hands in the tank by keeping algae back so I cut the photo period to around nine or ten hours. I have no other corals (or coralish creatures. Everything else did fine but the whitish stuff. <Hmm> I have no idea what this is. It is not on the mushroom itself. The LFS suggested it could be a bacteria or even the some propagation. However I don't think I made it clear that it was not on the mushroom itself. Someone on the reef ng suggested it could be a sponge. I was reading Tullock yesterday and thought maybe it is a truncate. <Maybe a tunicate/sea squirt/Ascidian... many other possibilities> Anyway do you have any idea what it could be and what to do about it? I tried moving it up in the tank and the mushroom liked that but the whitish stuff has stayed the same. I tried feeding it but I think it didn't react. <How many openings to the outside do you perceive? I am inclined to think this is some sort of sponge material...> Of course I could take it back to the LFS as they are very good about stuff like this. <I wouldn't move this rock, the life on it... more harm than good> Btw I have 144 watt JBJ lights on a forty gal breeder (I'm the one you want to get a 300 gal tank or something :-)). Last time I tested: SG: 1.024 Temp: 80 pH: 8.1-8.2 ammon. 0 nitrites trace nitrates >10 Phosp >.2 Ca 490 Alk 6 m/L <Calcium's a bit high, alkalinity a bit low...> The only additive I use is buffer due to using DI water. I have since done a 10% water change to get the nitrites and nitrates down and because I'm an obsessive nut case. :-) I'm sparing you by asking the other question another time. So you luck out. <Indeed? Bob Fenner> Thanks. --Jane J
Mushroom rock problems continued
Hi Bob, More on the mushroom rock stuff. Besides the green stripe mushrooms there are some raised splotches of very pale lavender and bright yellow. This rock is quite live with lots of stuff growing all over it. The yellow still looks fine, but the lavender has turned totally white. This happens... different organisms, requirements... perhaps conditions are less favorable to the lavender life in their new home...> I think he had metal halides on the tank. Also shallow water and with lots of current. The mushrooms are doing better--spread out more, but the lavender stuff not being lavender isn't doing well at all. <Perhaps "sun" burned...>> itself. Someone on the reef nag suggested it could be a sponge. I was reading Tullock yesterday and thought maybe it is a truncate. <Maybe a tunicate/sea squirt/Ascidian... many other possibilities> Yes that's what I meant. Anyway do you have any idea what it could be and what to do about it? I tried moving it up in the tank and the mushroom liked that but the  whitish stuff has stayed the same. I tried feeding it but I think it didn't react. <How many openings to the outside do you perceive? I am inclined to think this is some sort of sponge material...> Hmm (you say that a lot). I don't see any. This is completely smooth. The texture, feel of mushroom. But very puffy. (I think has become more puffy.) <<Still, likely a sponge... or maybe an aschelminth... perhaps a Bryozoan..> > Of course I could take it back to the LFS as they are very good about stuff like this. ><I wouldn't move this rock, the life on it... more harm than good>
Re: Mushrooms
OTOH, I don't like this white stuff. Though maybe coralline will grow over it in time. (like everything else). The mushrooms are very nice though. Perhaps they will grow over this? <Definitely a possibility... they are very propitious...> Ca 490 Alk 6 m/L <Calcium's a bit high, alkalinity a bit low...> I know, you said not to worry about it. ? <Not much.> The calcium and Alk haven't been tested in a few weeks so they might be going down. The other stuff was tested last weekend. I'm sparing you by asking the other question another time. So you luck out. <Indeed? Bob Fenner> It is a regional display type question. <Oh? Bob Fenner> Thanks. --Jane J

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

Looking at a polyp on some live rock... Mr. Fenner, First I would like to say I really enjoyed your web site. It was very informative. You come highly recommended by many members of a bulletin board I subscribe to called Aqualink. I was searching your FAQ and looking to find out something that I got when I purchased some Live Rock. But have been unsuccessful. I have attached a picture of it. Thank you in advance. Paul Specht <Hmm, well, the one polyp like animal is likely a single Corallimorph, aka Coral Anemone, False Anemone... you can find some images of similar organisms on the www.WetWebMedia.com site under "Mushrooms", "Corallimorpharians"... Bob Fenner>

Mushy Mushrooms I recently emailed you about some mushroom corals that I has purchased that are still not opening up.  <Not a good sign> While browsing through your site today I noticed that fire sponges can sometimes release toxic chemicals.  <Yes...> I am wondering if this may be the problem. I have some damsels as well as a porcupine puffer in the tank along with these corals. I am also having a problem with my one Atlantic anemone that I have. It has progressively gotten smaller and smaller and has turned almost completely white in color. It still moves around the tank but it seems to be shrinking away.  <Another bad sign... Condylactis should not keep moving around...> The fish all are fine with very hardy appetites and good coloring but the anemone and corals just don't look good. I have tested and have had someone else test my water for all parameters and everything looks good. I have a 55 gallon tank with 4 20Watt bulbs (2 50/50, 2 Actinic Blue). Should I remove the sponge?  <I would... and I would look into increasing the amount of light in this system... this size, shape tank needs a few times more light intensity than what you're providing for the types of livestock you're trying to keep... At least boosted VHO or CF lighting...> The corals are also right at the top of the water just about an inch from the surface for maximum light. Thanks, T.J. Sylvester <Bob Fenner>

Mushrooms, by any/all other names I recently starting adding corals to my system. I started with a hairy mushroom coral due to it's hardiness and my lack of experience with these items. After two days in the tank the mushrooms finally opened up fully and looked great like they did at store where I purchased them from. On the third day I was introducing some food to my anemones and decided to treat the corals to the same. I used a dissolved invertebrate food that I sprayed around the corals.  <Pardon the interruption to the flow here... to browsers, many folks in the US not-so-discriminately call various organism groups "corals"... The mushrooms are actually Corallimorpharians, and just as much "corals" as anemones... back to the input> The coral readily accepted this food and closed up on themselves. They have since opened back up after about a day but they are nowhere near the size they were, they seem to be shriveled up still, and some have a white discharge coming from there mouth area. I am assuming that the direct introduction of the food is the cause for all this but am concerned I have started these corals on a path to destruction. Is there any way to reverse these effects or will it happen naturally. The corals are all still brightly colored but they just don't seem to be opening up like before. T.J. Sylvester <No real worries here... these Mushrooms (many other common names) will re-open... Please read through the sections on these stinging-celled animals and related FAQs files posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Mushroom question I noticed that one of my mushrooms had been recently nibbled on, about half was taken off. I wasn't aware that anything ate them. but I guess not, anyways what could it be? I have two small urchins, I'm not sure of the species and one green Chromis waiting to be eaten by my lion. other than them, no one else in my tank has ever taken a bite out of my mushrooms. any ideas? Jon Trowbridge <The list is long... an unseen crustacean of some sort... many worm groups... even just microbes of some sort... Bob Fenner>

Blue Mushroom Hi Bob, I visited your webpage at Wet web media. It a very informative site. <Thank you, how would you make it better?> I purchased a small blue mushroom come with 3. Q1. I would like to know where is the best placement for these mushroom. For your information, my tank is [48" long x 18" width x 16" height about 57 gallon] and is using 2 daylight lamp and 1 blue lamp. <Not too light demanding or current... and you don't have much light... most anywhere away from your other attached sea life... best isolated, where they can't easily spread... so you can contain their asexual reproductive moving> Q2. From what I learn is that mushroom does not like strong current am I correct ? <Yes> Q3. Must I need to feed the mushroom ? <If there's enough "co-feeding" going on in your system (from food offerings to fishes, other invertebrates... or a refugium type sump... likely no...> Thank you, Danny C. <Be chatting my new fish friend. Bob Fenner>

Mushroom Corals Bob, First off, I wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you for the great advise concerning Ich that you gave me a few months ago. I moved all my fish to a 38 gal tank for treatment. In the main tank I lowered the specific gravity and let it go fallow for two months. Worked like a charm! My fish have been happy and content know for about three months with no problems. <Ah, very good to hear of your success> I have a 90 tank with overflow, a wet/dry (Amiracle), protein skimmer (turbo floater), I use Chemi-pure carbon in the sump of the wet dry. I have about 120 lbs of Fiji, Marshall islands and Tonga live rock that is covered with coralline algae and some nice macro algae of various species. Actually, one of the macro algae species came in on a few pieces of the Fiji rock. They have grow about 12 inches+ long and have reached the surface and then some (very nice).  <Do keep these trimmed back a bit... best to keep under the surface...> My fish include: an emperor angel (4-5 inches), he's about 3/4 of the way through changing to adult coloration, a flame angel (3 inches), six line wrasse, domino damsel, 2 Chromis, 1 yellow tail damsel, maroon clown (3 inches), a yellow tang (3 inches) and a blenny (red-lip I think). My inverts include: 1 blood shrimp, 1 cleaner (skunk) shrimp, various snails, blue legs and 2 brittle stars. Everyone gets along good an all seem happy! <Ah, good> My lighting consists of a 110 watt power compact 10,000K, 1- 40 watt actinic fluorescent and 1- 40 watt 6500K fluorescent. All my test parameters check out good. My calcium is a little low do to the excellent growth of coralline algae, so I started supplementing sea-chem calcium additive. <Okay> My question is: Are there any of the hardier corals that I can try like mushrooms that the flame angel and emperor angel won't eat and that don't require a lot of light.  My live rock goes as high as 3 inches from the surface and my lights sit on top of the cover glass. If I put the corals close to the top they would be about 5-6 inches from the lights. What do you think? Thanks again, Tom <Yes to their being hardy stinging-celled animals that would likely do well for you and your system... Mushrooms, "polyps", many of the tougher soft corals, even some of the more suitable species of true or stony corals. Please read over the articles and related FAQs files posted on the site www.wetwebmedia.com about the cnidarians, and their use in captive systems. Bob Fenner>

Corallimorph Identification I am growing a mushroom anemone I do not really know it's name. They come in brown and brownish red on the upper disc. The largest size about 10 cm diameter and average height above substrate 1-3cm. I was told to call it Discosoma to this day however recent search of pictures reveal different similar pictures and descriptions. I am now in between Actinodiscus, Discosoma and Rhodactis, Which is the correct genus for these guys? They look more closer to Rhodactis to me but I'm not too sure. I need your help. Cheers Kalo Pakoa <Take a look at the images on our site's pc. on this group: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm Sounds like an Amplexidiscus to me... but there are many variations within the genera of Corallimorpharians. Bob Fenner>

Where be Shrooms? I want to know where the heck those bad boy Corallimorphs are so prevalent. I was in Fiji for 2 weeks diving every day and saw like a total of one solitary (amazingly beautiful) mushroom polyp.  Chris Green >> Me too... the ones shipped from there are principally collected in one large part of Tonga... where they veritably cover all the rock... Great place to dive.... but don't drink the beer. Bob Fenner

Shroom Health Thanks for the recommendation on lowering salinity, it seems to be deterring the Ick that wrought this tank weeks ago. I do have a question though, IYO, I have a 55 that was reef until I had to stick a huge queen in it (i.e. Ick in other tank, Maroxy for sec. infect, killed bacteria), anyway water quality seems fine (trates about 20ppm), but I put a compact lighting system on at the same time. I have two corals (they are protected from the queen by crating, mushrooms, and polyps), the polyps are bountiful, but the Shrooms seem pissed about something, they are all shriveled up, but not detached. Is it the lighting? They are no on the bottom of the tank. Other than RedOx (I don't currently test for) there are no other causes. I add a supplement 2 a week, from what I understand, they don't require any outside feeding. Thanks tom >> Something is awry with the mushrooms... maybe an interaction (chemical or physical) with other stinging-celled life in the tank... maybe the lighting, perhaps the supplements... but about all you can do is move the colonies from other life forms, and hope for the best... You are correct in that they don't require specific feeding in an otherwise "fed" system... Bob Fenner

Mushrooms I have 5 different colonies of mushroom anemones. They are all doing good except one of them. I is a huge ten inch colony. When I purchased them on one corner of the rock there was a 2 inch colony of Zoanthids.  When it was new all of the mushrooms were 2 inches wide. They looked good for 2 weeks and now they have shrank to only one inch. The Zoanthids have now grown in between the mushrooms. Do you thank the Zoanthids are the problem. If so how could I kill the Zoanthids. Could the mushrooms problem have to much light. I have two 175 watt metal halide pendants.  The mushrooms that are doing bad are about half way up the tank. The ones that are doing good are about 5.5 inches below them.   >> Hmm, well, generally mushrooms (Corallimorpharians) are the "winners" in such altercations with colonial anemones (Zoanthids)... but as you state, maybe the conditions in your tank (bright lighting...) favor the Zoanthids...  Getting rid of them I wouldn't do directly... I'd leave them on their coral rock(s) island(s) and move the mushrooms... in the following manner to a different area/rock. 1) with a very sharp single edge razor blade (watch your fingers), cut some, all the mushrooms off, near the rock. 2) "tie" them onto the new rock with a bit of string, thread, fine fishing line... this can be removed later (in a few weeks) when the animals re-attach. If the mushrooms are in good enough shape, some, all of them will make this transition... if they're left where they are...  Bob Fenner

Detaching Shrooms I have a rock full of metallic green mushrooms. I have had it for a while now, but the problem is that I have noticed that a couple have detached from the rock. what's wrong? is there anyway to reattach them back to a piece of live rock? what should I do?  >> Sometimes mushrooms do just do this... may be a type of population-saving mechanism for preventing crowding, aiding in dispersion... You can reattach them... if it's where they want to be, by "tying" the polyp down on to a rock with thread, fine fish line... Do take care not to place these animals too near other stinging-celled life... they look easygoing, but are often "the winners" in physical and chemical contact contests... Bob Fenner

Propagating mushroom and salt Dear Bob, I am currently using Tropic Marin Salt for my reef(40 gal). I am thinking of switching to Aquarium System Reef Crystals Salt, which is better? By doing a 10% water change weekly do I need to use additives to the aquarium? One more thing have you propagated mushrooms before? I have 2 Red Ricordea, and 2 is just not enough( you know what I mean). Any way I can do this, if so should I be scared of cutting the little ball polyp on the mushroom? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Skull >> Hmm, I prefer the Tropic Marin, but it's easy and not dangerous to do your own "preference study" by switching brands for a few months. Unless you're otherwise "boosting" growth rates (via CO2 injection, very intense lighting...) to promote vigorous photosynthetic growth... I wouldn't add supplements.  Have indeed cultured by accident and on purpose, my fair share of mushrooms, including some new Ricordeas from the S. Pacific... sometimes go the lazy/safest route and let them divide of their own accord (for Ricordea floridae from the Atlantic this can be a long process... a division or two a year... depending on conditions)... Otherwise know of cutting techniques (mainly transverse, through the long division of the mouth... cutting through their siphonoglyphs...)... Even "water pik" type tools... And, no to being afraid to cut through their bases for me. If the animals are healthy, in an optimized environment, these techniques to increase asexual doubling. Bob Fenner

Shroom health and supplementation recently I have noticed that my metallic green mushrooms has shriveled up, and is not opening. I noticed that about 3 mushrooms have become detached from the rock in some places and are just hanging in there. I give it liquid calcium and also Coralife's gourmet gumbo. what is wrong? what should I do? >> Be careful with the liquid calcium... this or some other stimulus is poisoning your mushrooms... this is why they are shriveling up and detaching... They don't need to be especially fed...  At this point I would change a good part of the water out (maybe half), to dilute the supplements problem... and get/use a calcium test kit...  Bob Fenner

Mushroom anemones and macroalgae Hi Bob, I have a 75-gallon FOWLR tank. I have been thinking about introducing some mushrooms and macroalgae into the tank. I have three NO fluorescent light tubes. Do I have enough light? And what recommendations would you make as far as the different varieties of mushrooms and macroalgae are concerned? I am of course interested in great colors and hardiness. Thank you. Boon >> I think your mushrooms and macro-algae will do fine with the lighting... not super luxuriant perhaps, but as well as the wild. And any Discosoma/Actinodiscus specimens will do fine... choose as you wish color/fuzziness/shape wise. I would look into imported species from the Caribbean as far as the algae are concerned... Do label your fluorescent lamps as to inception dates, and start cycling them out after about eight months... Bob Fenner

Shroom Health I have just a quick question. About 4 months ago I bought a rock with about 10 blue/purple frilly mushrooms on it. They were doing fine up until about 2 weeks ago, now they are just shriveled up and never spread out. I know they are getting enough light, there's plenty of calcium, and I always add iodide to the tank. No nitrates/nitrites or any other pathogens are present.  Just wondering what you think may be the problem. Thanks for the help. Corey Hamilton >> Something too much or too little... maybe too much in the way of additives (stop pouring them in... make a large water change to dilute what's there)... Not enough circulation? Move a powerhead, other pumping mechanism to provide more water flow their way... Patience otherwise. Bob Fenner

Mushroom coral Hi Bob, I have had a brown giant cup mushroom (Amplexidiscus) for 14 months. At full expansion, it is about 7 inches in diameter. A couple of weeks ago, the mouth started to expand. At first I thought that it might die, but now it appears to be almost completely split down the center. I can see some slight white intestinal looking stuff along one edge. The other side appears to be trying to make a new circular shape? I'm not sure if it is reproducing or what. The outer part looks fine other than not being fully expanded. Any comments?? Thanks, Diane. >> Yep, sure does sound like a form of asexual reproduction... splitting, "schizogyny" (neat term, eh?). No worries, just do what you've obviously been: keep up water quality... what was one will be two. Bob Fenner

Mushroom's Diets Elephant Ear Mushrooms (Amplexidiscus fenestrafer) I watched mine eat several live (not too small fish). Is this normal? If so, what should I feed it that is less expensive than my aquarium inhabitants? Oliver >> Seen it... offer anything meaty (silversides, krill, shrimp, other crustaceans) once a week or so... Bob Fenner

Feeding mushrooms and Naso tang We have a marine reef tank ( 135gallons). We have 1 Naso tang, 1 lemon peel, 3 Anthias, 1 cardinal, 1 flame angel, 1 Desjardinii tang, some clean up crew. snails, crabs, tiger Cukes, 2 burrowing sand stars. Our set up includes an ETS 36, refrigeration. We light with 175 watts, 5500 X 2 , and 10000 X2 plus 2X 72 inch actinics. Our rocks have a good number of mushrooms that have in the past month deteriorated and shrunk. Can we feed them anything? Actually all our soft coral are in poor shape ( calcium reactor is online also) One other problem our Naso tang doesn't seem to be feeding ( his stomach looks pinched) ...we give him algae (red and green) light pellets. All the other are feeding well. We make water changes once a month 45 gallons down, pH is 8.2/ 8.3. We would appreciate any suggestions. Thank you Perla >> Hmmm, sounds like a very nice system... with some sort of chemical anomaly going on in it. You don't list a "supplement regimen" other than a casual reference to your calcium reactor... Do you use additives, a big part of your mushroom/soft coral/Naso problem may be found there. The lights are bright for mushrooms, but if they've been growing under these conditions, they should be fine under intense illumination. I would keep doing all you're doing with the following changes. Stop any purposeful supplementing other than the calcium reactor, and add a pad of PolyFilter and Activated Carbon (the HR, High Retentive product from Tropical Marine Centre if you can get your hands on it)... and do start offering your mushrooms and soft corals a "wash" of blended zooplankton (you can buy frozen, dry and reconstitute, even whip in a blender) applied in water suspension via a baster.. about twice a week. Just "sploosh" the mixture in the direction of the animals while your power filters are temporarily (maybe fifteen minutes... on a timer is best) turned off. Bob Fenner, who will offer more

Question: Thanks for the info. on bristle worms and green brittle stars. Just a question about a colony of brown star polyps I have in my tank. I have 55g. system w/ 4 fish.( two yellow tangs, a regal tang and a blue damsel.) I also have various crabs, snails , etc. The tank is lit by 160 W of fluorescent light and the bulbs are all new within the last six months. I have a colony of green and red mushrooms in there also which is doing great, it expands well and new mushrooms are sprouting. The brown polyps on the other hand are going the other direction.

When I placed them in the tank about 3 months ago they did great. They opened up well and even appeared to be spreading. In the last two weeks, fewer and fewer polyps are coming out and as of today they are little more than bumps with hardly anything showing. I have done some water changes and have even started to run a Magnum filter with carbon. Nothing appears to be working.

My next thought was to change the position of the colony in the tank. I don't overfeed and my nitrates are at about 20ppm NO3. What gets me is how the mushrooms, which I understand have similar requirements, are thriving while the polyps are dying. Any help you can offer would be appreciated.

Bob's Answer: Hey Roman. Well you're right on target with moving the Polyps. Very likely they're under-circulated and very very likely involved in chemical warfare with the seemingly acquiescent mushrooms. Those Corallimorpharians are actually quite virulent in their campaign to take over all available hard space, and you'd do well to arrange "breaks" or demilitarized zones to prevent their spread/proximity to other stinging celled organisms. Place the brown polyps above, away from the Corallimorphs my friend.

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