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FAQs about Corallimorphs 2

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Ricordea propagation Hello Crew,  I have searched high and low and cannot find what I'm looking for. In Anthony's book, he describes in detail Corallimorph propagation. Though he does explain the difference between Discosoma, Rhodactis, and Ricordea, the book does not distinguish between these when speaking of propagation. <There is no difference, my friend... I show pictures in my presentations and lectures of doing this to a $200 rose anemone (E. quadricolor)... you can do it with your Corallimorphs> I have had great success with cutting and "pie shaping" my Discosoma, though everyone I have spoken to has told me I cannot do this with my Ricordea or Rhodactis. <Heehee... "everyone" is mistaken here then <G>. Limited experience/// healthy fear (especially for how expensive some of those Ricordea are <G>). No worries... the only limitation is that Ricordea as higher light lower organismal-feeding animals must be in healthier condition from Go as they cannot be fed easily after words and supported if they take the imposed technique hard> Could you elaborate on how I would go about propagating these? Thanks a ton.  Rob <Exactly as you have done for your Discosoma... they are fundamentally the same. Kind regards, Anthony

Unknown organism locomotion > Do take a read through your search engines also re sexual reproduction in "corals", re planula larvae. OK, will do...also just noticed that this morning after a dark night the volume of webs didn't seem too great...but they rapidly reproduced with the lights on...and as the webs fill they break apart the and individuals free float around...took another look thru the loupe and the free floaters are more that...floating...than the herky jerky I thought. So I may have the light thing backwards.....they may not be able to reproduce (as rapidly) without light. Might try 24 hours of dark....will now check out the coral reproduction entries on the web, but don't know why they would so voraciously eat the mushrooms. Oh, meant to mention earlier, during the initial horrible bloom they also demolished a small bubble tip anemone that split from my large one. Oddly enough I brought the large one (about 18-24" across- got too big for the aquarium) to the store several weeks ago and only kept the offspring. I've had a lot of splits over the years. So the baby just went from looking great to a silver dollar size piece of slush which I flushed. This isn't surprising but shows how quickly they attack and demolish the anemones. As always, appreciate your help. Will pick up the 6 line wrasse and see how it does. Fish still not bothered at all by this but imagine if the volumes of free floaters reach soupy proportions it will affect respiration. Steve <Mmm, am going to cc Anthony here re his input... Antoine, pls find the ongoing corr. re here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shroomfaq2.htm Bob Fenner>

Re planula larvae Hi Bob, I looked at a dozen or more sites on two different search engines and those with photos depict things that are the closest to what we have been discussing, however with major differences: Several of the articles refer to the free floaters as being ciliated, none of mine are. Another referred to mass floating slicks....that sounded promising - except mine never are on the surface, just the substrate.  Finally I can't locate the source of planula in my tank since I have mainly soft tissue corals except for one now sickly pagoda. <I was thinking about the Corallimorphs... like the Ricordea> I also have a lot of low level sponges: the common bright yellow "smears" and small while "golf ball" looking sponges that form on the underside of the rocks. Have healthy colonies of both but neither appear to be a source of the webs and subsequent carnivorous "bugs". As they say on the X-Files.....the answer is out there..... Steve <Now I can't get the "Twilight Zone" theme song out of my mind! Bob Fenner>

Planula locomotion? Hi Bob, Yes, they are very active...they are in constant motion within the webs and once free floating are high speed herky-jerky throughout the water (rather than a smooth fluid motion) Well, was hoping it was a common problem that I hadn't seen / read about before but I guess not. Going back to the six line wrasse....is it worth a try or does this type of thing appear outside its area of culinary interest? <Worth trying, yes> Will also await input from those who view your posting. Thanks again so much for your time and consideration. Steve <Do take a read through your search engines also re sexual reproduction in "corals", re planula larvae. Bob Fenner>

HELP - Web like parasites or bacterial bloom? OR? Hello all, I've spent several days trying to research the following on the net, your site and the local marine fish store specialists, all to no avail. I've had marine aquariums for about 25 years and have never had the following problem. Set up: 75 gal, mini reef, mix of a few fish (Sailfin tang, maroon clowns, coral beauty pigmy angel, mandarin and many mushroom anemones, and 2 scarlet cleaner shrimp. VHO lighting, SG about 1.023. Use RO water for weekly 10% changes. Bare floor, just a dusting of coral sand. Not as aggressive as I should be on siphoning detritus. The problem: Nothing is "all of a sudden" of course, but one morning last week I noticed none of the mushrooms opened up fully after the lights went on. Ricordea also less than fully opened. <Good observations> No distress in fish. Later that day noticed web or mucus like masses of what appeared to be small parasitic creatures...on bottom of the tank and coating some of the rocks. Using 10X loupe could see they were oval, mostly white like little eggs, but some were brownish or half brown.  Webs took on a rusty color. Easy to see them quickly moving about like little microscopic fleas in their webs. Also free floated when webs were disturbed. Then noticed these webs were eating the mushrooms and Ricordea starting with masses of the web material at the bases and moving to the tops!  A horrible situation as I had literally dozens of mushrooms. Tried siphoning off as much of the webs and free floaters as I could, even then realizing leaving just one in the tank would result in rebloom. And the webs seemed to keep coming back even faster and more encrusting rocks as well. Tried Chem Rid from Boyd at suggestion of fish store but didn't really have much red algae and all it seem to do was feed the growing webs. So it doesn't appear to be Cyano... Still no major discomfort on fish and no spots on any of them. Tried partial water change. No luck. Took some samples of them and found they die in fresh water. Die in potassium permanganate, aren't affected much by Furaloid. Die by heat but appear hardy until 90 degrees plus. Wanted to avoid totally breaking down tank and chlorinating it so moved the fish and inverts to a clean tank of new salt water, then siphoned about 90% of the water from the tank, siphoned out the muck at the bottom. Added fresh water to the bottom of the tank, gave the rocks a quick fresh water bath. (lost one of the shrimp in the process but all else OK) All in all about a 90% water change. I realized I didn't get all of it but hoped that I had done enough to keep it in check until I found what it is and how to kill it....preferably with a fish or invert that likes to eat these things. They do not appear to be Dinoflagellates...no cilia or tails...at the fish store they have a microscope hooked up to the PC and no one has seen anything like it before. Help! Hope I've explained this clearly enough for you to get a mental picture of what I'm facing.  Thanks very much. Best regards, Steve Grosvald <From the physical description and the organisms affected I'd guess (not with great confidence though) that you have a flatworm infestation... that the "webbing" is residual material from your invert. livestock reacting to their presence. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pestflatwrmanthony.htm and the "Related Articles", "Related FAQs", in blue, at top, and if you can send along a photomicrograph. Bob Fenner>
Re: Web like parasites....Could the problem be Foraminiferans?
Hello again...I'm working the internet and phones trying to find an answer since, as expected, the webs have returned to my tank. I just stumbled on a possible answer to my web like bloom.....Foraminiferans...the description of some of the species seems to match...including a comment about a mucilage like attachment between the creatures.....also found this as a food source for the six line wrasse....which mentioned they eat copepods and Foraminiferans.  Do Foraminiferans multiply this quickly? <Not generally in aquariums> And do they attack mushroom anemones and similar creatures? <Not as far as I've ever come across> That's the only thing that makes this diagnosis questionable. In any event would the six line wrasse be worth a try? <Worth trying, but not likely to consume Forams or flatworms> I also realize the mandarin fish would likely not get his share of the copepods in the tank since it is less aggressive and, unlike the wrasse, the mandarin is much more fussy re food. Sorry to be a bother. Will stop now and await your feedback. Thank you again,
Steve G.
<Bob Fenner>

Re: Web like parasites....flatworms?...don't think so... Dear Bob, Thanks so much for your quick response.  I'll try to have the fish store make a jpg image from their digital microscope and send it to you. <Ah, good> As to the possibilities of it being a side effect of a flatworm / Planaria infestation ....there's not a single one in the tank that I'm aware of.  A few years ago I had an outbreak...all over the glass rocks etc, and finally eradicated them with an arrow crab or some other natural predator. Haven't seen any at all since at that time there was no web like debris with little creatures associated with their presence.   <Might be a different type/species> And this morning the webs and little pin dot creatures are returning, though with a cleaner tank, not nearly as quickly.   I tried one other "treatment" last night: left the lights on all night...saw an item on one of the web pages that suggested accelerating the reproduction cycle and not providing the night / daylight cycle burns out some parasites.....didn't work in this case and I was afraid of over stressing the fish as the temp begins to build with the lights one 24 hours a day. Any thoughts on that approach? <Worth trying> (As an aside, I believe you were in Tulsa recently and I was out of town so missed your presentation. One of the sponsoring stores was Aquarium Dynamics, and that's the one I use.)   <Sorry to have missed you> Will try to get a picture to you later today or tomorrow. In the meantime if you have any additional thoughts.....other than the dreaded Clorox treatment, please let me know. Regards, Steve <Will keep cogitating furiously. Bob Fenner>

Grosvald bug photos Hi Bob, <Steve> Thanks for your latest response....Well, attached are pix of the infamous bugs.....turns out at 60X and 200X magnification they look quite a bit different...it's as if each is an egg casing and inside are dozens more waiting to pop out.  In fact in some of the pictures you can see the smaller dots outside the "mother ship". <Yes> With these views perhaps it's something common you've seen before. <Actually, can't make out what this might be... can you describe how these animals move? Are they locomotory?> Hope so. The webs of them are back but as I mentioned, not quite as bad as before but will be if they start munching on the mushrooms again. Will try to siphon them off here and there and blow them off the base of the Ricordea. <Might actually be derived from the mushrooms... algae, or reproductive products> I look forward to your diagnosis. There are five photos. If the file downloads too slowly I can send one at a time. I presume they'll arrive in a zip folder and automatically unzip in your system. The first two are the same bug at 60x and then 200x magnification. <Yes, have them. Will post for others input. Bob Fenner> Thanks again very much.
Steve Grosvald

Someone is munching on my mushrooms - again Hi everyone.  This is for Anthony if he is there.   <cheers, Connie> Anthony, I wrote you about crabs and mushrooms, and somehow got the idea that red legged crabs were okay.   <likely yes... but we should be specific about what species of "red leg". In the big picture though... I avoid most any crabs for reef aquaria... they are true omnivores in most cases and quite opportunistic in time (read: risky)> Since then I have put in a deep sandbed and I seeded it with my old crushed coral in mesh bags. A good idea, but there was brown algae in it too, and it has spread into the sandbed.  I can't remove it at the moment because as soon as I do, it comes back.  I have all kinds of tiny critters, worms, amphipods, copepods in the sandbed but they are still tiny. <hmmm... have you tried increased water flow, more aggressive water changes and more aggressive skimming? Usually controls fine diatom growth easily> So I got 6 red legged crabs to nosh on my brown algae and last night (it had to be them) they had thanksgiving dinner on my mushrooms.   <they are candidates to be sure> Main question:  Is there any kind of crab or other algae eater I can use until the new tiny residents in the sandbed get bigger.  My snails are not interest in crawling into the sandbed. <as per above... more a matter of nutrient control... but if you need sifters... Nassarius snails are quite good. Brittle and serpents stars (most all except green brittle) are also good> Thanks so much Anthony, and I am looking forward to receiving your book (autographed of course) shortly. Connie <thanks for the enthusiasm... we hope you/all are pleased! Kind regards, Anthony>

Lemonade from Mushrooms (04/06/03) Hi fellows: Hope you can help or shed some light on a problem I'm having in my 120 gal reef aquarium. <Hi! Ananda here tonight with an idea...> At first glance, everything is doing well i.e. healthy fish, vibrant corals, and coralline algae all over the live rock.  However, my concern is that the mushroom coral (some blue-green, but mostly red) is spreading like crazy!  <Yep, they do that sometimes.> Initially, I thought that the spread was good, and a positive indicator that water conditions were in order (as verified by testing). But now that the mushroom corals are overgrowing polyps, such as yellow polyps, brown polyps, and ocean star polyps, and apparently stunting the growth of some hard corals i.e. Acropora and elegance, I no longer view them in such a positive light.   <I've heard that one before...> I have tried removing them with my fingers with very limited success.   <And somewhat bruised/abraded fingers, no doubt!> Attempting to siphon them off the rock also doesn't work.   <They're usually pretty firmly attached.> And they do not seem to have a natural predator to keep them in check. <I can't think of any particular ones off the top of my head, and if there were any, they might not be something you want to add to your tank!> Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! <Time to frag them. No, not with a heavy machine gun, though that might sound attractive at the moment. With a good pair of scissors. You can use the scissors to chop them off of the rocks. More info on mushroom corals and fragging them here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm and the linked FAQs ... Once you get them fragged, you may well be able to sell them back to one of your local stores.> Thanks. Grant <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Vanishing Shrooms 3/30/03 Hi Crew (and Anthony if you're back)!! <yep... last night <G>> I wrote earlier about a Shroom turning black and I removed it, etc. The rock has been back in the main tank for several days and remaining 3 Shroom healthy, alive and kicking.  I looked in the tank this a.m. and the two smallest are missing.   My other Shroom frag has not been affected, but they are not big and juicy like these. I now have only one left and I have to think that my crabs are eating the Shrooms.  Is this possible?   <yes... very possible... even likely with some species) I have a Centropyge angel but have never seen him go near this rock. <indeed a "nippy" genus with invertebrates> We are changing over to a deep sand bed today, so I will be cleaning the tank.  Should I just keep my snails and put the crabs elsewhere? <perhaps yes... even in the sump temporarily to see if that corrects the problem> Am getting a very expensive large red Shroom rock next week and would love to get this problem solved.  Have checked extensively on your web site and have found hints here and there, but I don't have a Mithrax, just red and blue legged crabs. <perhaps there is a rogue hermit species mixed in that is not red or blue... do check the faces/legs for greens or hairy species> Any help or ideas for me would really, really be appreciated! Thanks in advance, Connie <best regards, Anthony>

Crabs & mushrooms (reef tank) 3/30/03 Dear Crew: <cheers, Connie> I guess my previous letter got lost in the cracks or whatever.   <not sure... fast and loose around here answering mail. Not intended to be sure <G>> I have all of my crabs in quarantine pending your answer.   <wise move> I had a really nice frag with five Shrooms on it.  First two got smaller and turned black and I removed them.  Then a couple of days later I awoke and two had totally vanished.  Anthony told me that snails don't eat Shrooms, <true of Astraea turbo snails (and related Turban-type species)... not all snails though. Many predatory species> but vanishing overnight leads me to then suspect a crab.  I just switched to a deep sandbed this weekend (4"- a lot of work but worth it I hear).  I have a 60 gallon tank and about 20 each crabs and snails.  Maybe too many?   <hard to say what is enough... or too much. Really depends on if you can grow enough (or add enough) food to feed them. 1 per ten gallons is a common ration bandied about for either (6 of each here)> All water parameters excellent.  Thanks in advance for your guidance. Connie <best regards, Anthony>

Dead Shroom Emergency 3/25/03 Dear Crew and Anthony. <cheers, Connie> I was given another Shroom frag two weeks ago, I don't know species but when closed they are green, when they are open they are a spectacular red.  Yesterday I noticed part of one had turned black.  When I touched that part, a powdery substance was emitted.  This a.m. it is completely shriveled and black.  I have three questions:  1- will this foul the tank or spread to the others? <could be infectious... do remove to a QT tank and be sure to run all new livestock through QT for 3-4 weeks before even putting in the display> 2-could one of my snails have done this or is this a disease which might spread, <not form the snail at all... perhaps simply irritated, but could be necrotic (is it dissolving and slimy?)> 3-do I remove it out of the water so nothing spreads into the water? <Hmmm... its hard to say without more info or seeing it. QT is best move here> I am concerned for the others on the same frag. PS:  It is about 8 inches from another mushroom frag, similar species only smaller. <no worries> Any info you can give to help me with my first Shroom crisis will really be appreciated. Thanks for all your help. Connie <best regards, Anthony>
Re: 'Shroom emergency 3/27/03
Dear Anthony  {and crew): <Cheers> Thanks for responding so quickly.  I removed the mushrooms from main to quarantine, but this mushroom was black and slimy so I scraped it off with a sharp dental tool.  This a.m. I checked and an adjacent very small mushroom is starting to turn really dark.  Should I remove it so whatever it is doesn't spread? <if it definitely seems to be necrotic, yes> There are five others on this rock. BTW, I checked water parameters in main tank and all is well.  Thanks so much for your help, and have a ball at the meeting referred to in today's Q&A. <thanks kindly :) > Sorry about large type, can't correct it, something not working. <no trouble at all, my friend> Promise to fix B4 writing again. My very best to you all, this website is my daily guide! Connie <best regards, Anthony>

Dense mushroom colony 3/23/03 Hi <cheers> do these look ok? <very fine... AKA Green Hairy Mushrooms/Rhodactis. They feed and grow very well even among hardy mushrooms (exceptional in color and hardiness)> there's about 24 heads of mushroom on this little rock (started with 5) I'm giving them iodine and calcium. Will they eventually move? I have a 30 gallon long tank and they are all in one spot also heard they sting each other in battle :( thanks JM <when a colony gets too dense, polyps will relocate and spread colonies. They will not battle each other, but are indeed aggressive to many other coral. Keep a safe distance between all coral (6-10" min) and maintain good water quality to temper the effects (aggressive skimming, carbon, water changes, etc). Best regards, Anthony>

Rhodactis inchoata (mushroom Corallimorph) 3/19/03 My lighting system isn't that great.  It consists of 1 NO fluorescent 10,000K and 1 NO fluorescent 50/50.   <for invert keeping, keep that lamps and canopy/lenses clean by weekly wiping down, and change bulbs every 6-10 months> I was thinking about getting a Rhodactis inchoata because of its low light requirements.   <you may feed it a small amount of food several times weekly to compensate for the lower light regime> I'm I crazy? <perhaps... but you can still keep this mushroom <G>> If not, what about placement.  Would I need to place it near the top in my system? Thanks! Brian <indeed...in the top 10" of the surface of the water would be fine. Anthony>

Mushroom with bubbles growing under it! 3/18/03 Hello to you all! <cheers, dear :) > I am hoping you can help me with a mushroom that has been in my tank for three days.  Today I saw it "grow" bubbles on the underside of its own tissue. They seem to inflate and uninflate at random. They are not tiny bubbles, the larger ones are about the size of a large pea. Can you please tell me what it is? Is it not a healthy specimen? <bubbles in coral tissue are often caused by excessive/bright light as with low light corals under shallow halides. I doubt this is your situation. From the picture, it looks like the tank has a lot of microbubbles floating around in it. This is often caused by a pinhole leak in pump plumbing (air is aspirated) or from a skimmer shedding them in the effluent. They can make the tank supersaturated with O2 and come out of solution from within coral tissue. Do find and correct the problem of this is so> It appears perfectly normal when there are no bubbles. Please see my photos here http://wetwebfotos.com/Home? ctionRequest=userview&userID=2171 All water specs were normal Saturday and I will check them again tomorrow. Thank you for all of your help! Amanda <best regards, Anthony>

Red mushroom Dear Anthony: <cheers, dear> I was given a frag last month with a few reddish pink mushrooms and wrote to you about feeding them.  I asked you "do I feed them when they are open?".  Am sure you responded yes, but I'm not sure how much they're getting (krill every couple of days.) <very finely minced meats like krill (or better with tiny Mysids, Gammarus shrimp, etc) just a few times weekly is fine. Even less with heavily fed fishes> I am having a rock 6 x 8 sent to me next week, it is gorgeous and really covered with red mushrooms.  My LFS has a lot of soft corals and polyps, and they tell me that they are not fed food, photosynthesis is the answer.   <not true at all... they simply survive in well-stocked or overfed tanks but they are only 70-80% fed by photosynthesis> I would really appreciate an answer before they arrive to go into quarantine this coming Wednesday.  I trust your judgment, but on the other hand the LFS has some beautiful soft corals.  Is the answer somewhere in between? <indeed... most stores simply have packed tanks (of course for sales) and the corals get plenty of incidental organics in these tanks without target feeding.> Anthony, I have ordered your book on this site, and am really looking forward to it.  Never though I'd be a soft coral fan, but you never know. <thanks kindly... I do hope you enjoy the read, my friend> My very best to you and Bob. Connie <and to you in kind my friend> PS:  My paintings are now showing in St. Thomas, <wow... How cool!> but never did paint the fish called Anthony; however, he resided on my desktop until yesterday. <fascinating... I don't recall seeing a short furry fish by that name <G>>

Stocking 30 gallon follow on - 3/7/03 hi Paul, <Hello> Thank you for the quick and very informative answer. <my pleasure and really hope you found it useful. I have an interesting link regarding the mandarin fish for you check this out: http://www.ozreef.org/reference/mandarin_survey.html>  It sounds like stocking my 30g reef tank will be trickier than I thought <Well, I like the fairy wrasse idea <VBG> So many fish to choose from and not enough tanks> - and as difficult as it is to choose the fish, <Understood. Just a little research and I am sure you will come up with the perfect fish.> it's incredible that the answer for attaching a mushroom was as simple as attaching it to a rock w/ a needle and thread! <Is that what you did? I have tried so many different ways, but for mushrooms this is the easiest in my experience. You can also make a corral of small pieces of rock and let them attach to the substrate. Sometimes they will migrate to a piece of rock on their own without any help from you. This is the technique I am now perfecting. =) Good luck, Paulo>  Ben

Ricordea farming - 3/03/03 Hi Paul <Hello again> > <Nice. Do you know if these are farmed?> No idea if they are farmed or not.  But it was written in their website at $25 per polyp.  Hefty prices but very nice brilliant colours. <Agreed based on the picture you showed me.> I went through the links, but am still very confused <How so? The links were to give you a few ideas for application and about the needs of Ricordea>(actually I read the links before I emailed you). Ok, here are the details of my plan. <cool> I have a staircase leading from my upper story apartment leading downwards.  Everyday when I move up and down the stairs, I will look DOWN onto a empty space next to the stairs.  (Hence a tub and not a regular tank).
<Still, why not a tank so that when you get down those stairs you will see beautiful Ricordea from the side too? <VBG> Be sure to use a tub deemed aquatic safe so as to not leech chemical residue to your inhabitants>  I was thinking of utilizing this space to create a nice "colourful flowerpot".  The Ricordea seems to fit the requirements well, at least look-wise. <Agreed. Even hardier if from propagated stock>  I was hoping to propagate these so this will essentially be a propagation setup that has the additional benefit of looking nice :)
<Ahhh! Very good> Tank description, outdoor section about 3ft (L) by 2 ft (B) by 1.5ft (H).  Ricordeas will be about 1ft deep in the water.  I am concerned about "burning" the Rics as all descriptions suggest that I avoid MH. <Yes>  Now, the outdoor area is very heavily lighted  for 4 hours a day by the tropical sun, during these 4 hours, I expect the light intensity at water surface to rival MHs.
<Probably better than MHs but four hours might not be all bad. Will still need more "daylight" for these corals. What kind of supplementation light will you use? Actinics alone will not suffice>  
Will this "burn" the ricos at the proposed depth? <Well, there is potential. Anthony Calfo may know a little more about this as he has used natural sunlight for his propagation farm. I will forward this to him as well for his take on the proposed setup> How about I place a sheet of glass overhead to dampen some of the light intensity?
<Yeah, maybe a screen might do the trick or a lightly tinted plastic sheet> The outdoor tank will be partially cooled by some fan units.  In addition, I will plumb it to a sump that is placed in the shade and the sump will be cooled to about 26 deg by a chiller.
<A chiller, eh? Pretty expensive in my book. Seems like a lot of equipment, expense, and work for a Ricordea only prop tank>  
Properly sized "needle wheel" skimmer will be used.  I will do freshwater top-ups daily to maintain salinity.
<I assume all normal water maintenance will apply. Not so necessary to heavy skim here. Ricordea can take and will accept small pieces of foodstuffs such as pureed Mysid and krill are readily accepted.> As for fish, well, I can throw in a mated pair of my maroon clowns presently sited in my other tank.  I originally do not want to keep any fishes in this tank as I do not want another tank to "feed".  But I did read that ricos do better with some DO in the water.
<Agreed here as well. These fish you mentioned should be fine. Will add a bit of food for the Ricordea as well> Please do comment and let me know if my plans are reasonable.
<Well, not sure about the chiller, or sump. I agree it is necessary to maintain temperature just not sure if a chiller is the right way to go based on expense. Too many variables involved with the natural sunlight warming the water then chilling water? Hmmm.....maybe Anthony will have more insight. Otherwise, I think this is a very expensive, and equipment reliant way to go. A tank with a heater and PC lighting in a simple glass tank would easily cost less than a chiller and sump. Add a deep bed of oolitic sand and a good amount of live rock (for filtration) and it will look really nice and cost a little less if not the same as the chiller alone (figuring that the dimensions you gave me roughly comes out to about 67 gallons that would need chilling which would require a pretty good size chiller) So I would go with a 50 gallon aquarium with 50 pounds of live rock, no sump, a hang on the back skimmer, PC lighting along the lines to fit the aquarium size and depth, a heater, and place in the house. Now this is a very moot point if there is just no room in the house. Heheheh (thus the reason it is outside) but in any event I think this a very expensive way to go with too many variables to remain stable over the long haul. Anthony???>

Question about Ricordea Cheers, Paul... <Goo' day mate>    Hmmm... not sure what to say here. I agree with your reply indeed.
<Cool. Just wanted to make sure I was on the right track.>
I don't believe I can add anything of use in the short forum of an e-mail.
<Totally agreed!>
This fellow needs to read and research a lot more before he asks more questions.
<alas, most do>
Otherwise, you and I will waste a lot of time on him at the expense of many other people we could be helping just because he hasn't done his homework.
<Understood>    Your protocol is cool, bud... do e-mail a fellow crew member always if you need help.
<very well. I just wasn't sure how to go about getting second answers to replied emails. Especially if they are to be posted. In other words, I am fairly sure this email (between you and I) should not be posted, but sometimes I see there are two answers to the same email in various FAQs. So, I thought, maybe this was a case for that. Anyway, if I answered it well, then there is no need for a follow up. Got it.>
But you don't want to engage/drag in others for someone who is too "early" in the game (polite way of saying hasn't helped himself).
There is tons of info on the 'Net about Ricordea propagation. There are entire forums now just for coral farmers on the big message boards... this fellow just needs to spend a little more time in the books and visiting local/regional aquarists and aquarium societies to see the plumbing in action.
<Yeah, that is what I thought. I too, am still so new to this. Not sure how to identify a lack/laziness of general knowledge and how to tell them to come back later. Let alone how far I should go before I am either sounding full of shit or confusing them even more so that they are sending 20 more emails to follow up responses, if you catch my drift. As time goes on I suppose I will get better. I just don't want the rest of the crew to think I am some dope and I hope you (the rest of WW crew) will critique me directly if I am way out of line. =} I can take it.> Thanks bub :)
<Thank you. Are you coming to San Diego soon?>

Keeping Ricordea - 3/03/03 Hi guys  <Hi Joey. Paul here> I am thinking of ordering some Ricos from Dr. Mac. <Nice. Do you know if these are farmed?> I have attached something I liked very much but am not sure what are the requirements of these lovely creatures. <I keep my orange very high in my tank with Power Compact lighting, greens about mid way, and my blues a bit lower not quite at the bottom> I will like to build a tank catered solely for these creatures. <nice idea. Very beautiful. GARF also has quite a selection. I have mine with some various beautifully colored Zoanthids> I am hoping to keep bright orange and the bright blue ones. <Should not be a problem. Slightly different than typical Corallimorpharia. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm and here: http://www.garf.org/ricord/ricord.html>Is it advisable to keep these with some fishes? <Definitely possible. Just stay away from the polyp eating sorts. Look through various sites (ours is a good start) and books to help identify said fishes> Right now I am thinking of keeping these in a shallow tub <No tank?> about one and a half feet deep under direct sun. Supplemented by actinics fluorescent.<Why not a tank? Direct sun? Probably should be fine but curious why not a tank setup? What about heat? How will you control/manage thermal changes? (hot and cold) What type of filtration methods will you employ? Live rock? Sand? Others? Just curious about your setup. Hope the previous links help and good luck> Many thanks in advance. Joey

Melting mushrooms - 2/12/03 I have been reading your Q&A's about "melting" mushroom polyps and I have a question about it. <Paul here. Go for it....> Can a dying mushroom give off a toxin that could be effecting my frog spawn and colt corals? <I am fairly sure. A mushroom's level of toxicity is actually quite high while they are alive. A disintegrating mushroom is easily polluting the tank with its toxins as well as the mere fact that it is dying off and bio fouling in the tank> The rest of the corals look great and the colt and frog spawn don't look like they are dying...just very unhappy.<is the mushroom in question pretty close to these?> Would it be better for the whole tank if I removed the mushroom rock from the tank even though there are a few "healthy" polyps still on it. <No. I would use some carbon and increase the water changes>I have been changing 4 gallons of water a week trying to off set any problem the mushrooms might cause but It doesn't look like it's working.<Depending on the tank size maybe more of an exchange is needed. Also I would do it more frequently. More like 3 times a week.> Thanks <My pleasure. Try and find out why your mushrooms are dying. This is a fairly hardy coral. Could be a bad omen of things to come if not thoroughly checked. Good luck, Robert. Paul out-> Robert  

Melting mushrooms 2 - 2/13/03 Paul Here's a little more info on my mushroom problem. <OK> My tank is a 55 with a 3 in sand bottom, <Go with a little more sand or a less. 4 inches for a DSB or 1 inch or less. This will help keep nitrates down. Could possibly be a problem in the future. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/deepsandbeds.htm > I am running a whisper 5 power filter and a 125 gal. wet/dry...a sea clone skimmer (I know.. I know.. junk...I'm working on a EuroReef) and 155 watt power compact lights <Seems like really low light to me but may be fine for some mushrooms. Place them mid to high if not already there. Have the lights been changed recently? Do they need to be changed?>... all the water parameters are fine.<Cool> Tonight I added a magnum H.O.T with carbon.. so that gives me a additional 220 gph of filtration and the carbon you suggested. <Cool. Be sure the mushrooms are not in the way of any high flow. The seem to struggle with that in my experience> Any other thoughts as to what I can do till my mushrooms have figured out what they are going to do? <Increase the water changes is about all I can think of. Check placement of the mushrooms. I can't really think of anything else at this point. It has been said that mushrooms do a bit better with a touch of nitrate. Not sure if this was the case with your scenario. Look around our FAQs some more. Have you checked here? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm Good luck to you, my friend. Paul> Robert  

Bleached/Sick Corallimorphs I picked up a rock with yellow mushrooms at the fish store today and I got to wondering. <nothing to wonder... no such thing as yellow <G>. From the picture, these Ricordea are simply bleached. Feed them heavily to recover/re-color or they will simply wane in time (months)> These mushrooms look a lot like some of the Ricordea that I have except for color. So I would like to no what are the defining characteristics of Ricordea vs. mushrooms? <all are Corallimorphs... your appears to be specimens of the Ricordea genus> I really appreciate your help. I love your web site and think very highly of the advise you give so wonderfully. <thanks kindly, Anthony>

Croaking coral question Bob For some reason my mushroom corals are croaking....there have been no changes in the tank... <keep in mind we have no idea what you had to start with. Skimmer? Performing daily? Water changes...weekly, monthly and how much? Carbon... changed weekly or monthly? Water flow 10-20X tank volume?? water tests are great... <send us list if you want that confirmed. Assuming pH does not dip much or at all below 8.2/ by night... 8.3 or higher by day? What is your ALK levels and Ca levels too please?> and everyone else is happy...the fox, leathers, candy cane, frog spawn colt, Alveopora...they are all happy as can be...but the mushrooms are all turning white and disappearing... <could be lack of feeding or the use of a stop Aiptasia type product... many possibilities> what would be your first things to start checking? <please begin with our archives regarding fundamental husbandry issues. Also browse the FAQs on Corallimorphs for insight> Thanks Robert <best regards, Anthony>

It's the 'Shrooms man...... I just wanted to say first of all how much I appreciate your guys help....<Got Paul here this evening, glad to be of service> I have a 90 gallon tank with 110 watts pc and 80 watts N.O. actinics. <Seems a little underpowered in the lighting department for most corals but should be plenty for Corallimorpharians like your mushrooms. Depends on what kind of animals your going for though.> I bought my first coral 5 days ago. <Cool. Were they shipped or did you pick em up at your LFS?>  it was a mushroom rock. <Good first coral> when I got them home they immediately started opening up, which they continued to do for the next two days.  yesterday and today only a few of them have opened and they don't look fully opened..< In my experience, it seem that it depends when I look at my mushrooms as to how "scrunched" they look if. About a 1/4 into my light cycle (no TRON reference intended, rad movie though) they are fully open and outstretched.> they are kind of scrunched up.  they look really wavy <I wouldn't worry too much about the waviness are these hairy or Rhodactis by chance?>....the edges are facing down also.....  I have them placed half way up the tank....is this the correct placement?? <With your tank setup should be fine there> is not much water movement where they are <good>.....should I try to move them to where their is more or less light or just leave them alone?? <well being that they have only been in the tank for a few days I might just leave them where they are for now, let them adjust a little more. Mushroom corals are extremely hardy, in my opinion. Things I would look at are your water parameters as I believe you stated that this is a fairly new tank setup.> is this normal behavior with them just getting use to my system??? <Hard to say. there is some acclimation that is involved. Takes corals sometimes days before normal behavior is resumed.>I'm worried cause they seemed to do well the first 2 days but not now.......  my nitrates in the tank are 0....  so should I feed them something?? <Depending on the type of mushrooms you have will depend on the type of food they might consume. I have various types of 'Shroom corals in my tank for well over two years now and seems to me that I have never been able to spot feed one Mysids or anything like that. Again, these corals are quite hardy but water quality with ammonia or nitrite is very problematic. I would look at the various articles and FAQs on feeding here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fdreefinverts.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mushroom.htm and I would look here if you haven't already: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm.> this is my first coral ever so I'm really lost here <Congratulations on your first step into beautiful and wondrous world of reefkeeping. I was bitten over two years ago and it still pumps forcefully through my veins as I type this. I think about it all the time. Time is the key here though. Give them some time to adjust.> thanks for any help <Hope I was of some help. Let me know if there is anything else I can do. Have a good night. Peace.> Matt

Shroom ID Hey Gang, How's it going? Just a quick question, after searching till my eyes hurt, I still don't know what type of Mushrooms are, can ya help? Thanks, Scott <popular hobby literature calls it a Rhodactis "hairy" mushroom. Anthony>

Mushrooms Are Bleaching Gentlemen - <Hi! Scott F. with you> I have a 165gal fish only with live rock tank that also includes 1 rock with mushrooms.  The mushrooms have seemed to bleach out and have lost their vitality.  I have not been specifically feeding the mushrooms.  My lighting is NO fluorescents in 2 30w actinic blues and 4 30w 10000k whites.  Last readings on calcium was 280 and Alk was 15. I know these readings are out of whack and was wondering if an upgrade in lighting and correcting the calcium and Alk is in order.  Any suggestions would be helpful.  Thank you. <Well, I agree that you may need to make some corrections to the water chemistry. Frankly, with many Actinodiscus species mushrooms, fluorescent lighting  and lower current may suit these animals quite well. I'd review the overall tank conditions to find out what could be causing some of problems that you are experiencing. There are many possible factors, ranging from too much light (maybe at the dealers?), chemical "attack" from other corals in the tank, sudden exposure to too much light, poor water quality, etc. Do a little review and see if you can come up with some answers.> Steve <Thanks for writing, Steve. Touch base again if you need more help! Regards, Scott F>

Mushroom Meltdown? (Cont'.) Scott, thanks for your response.  In checking the water parameters I have the following: ammonia 0, nitrite 0, PH 8.6, silicate .012, Phosphate O, Nitrate 60. <All sound within acceptable limits. Nitrate could be lower, but this is probably not too bad for these Corallimorphs> I have been running an Aqua C EV 240 skimmer and seem to be having good luck with it.  I also have been battling a hair algae problem but it is slowly getting better.   <With such a good skimmer, along with good husbandry habits, you should defeat the nuisance algae> The tank inhabitants are a 5" harlequin tusk, 8" sohal tang, 5" clown trigger, 5" Picasso trigger, 4" Fiji devil, 4" lawnmower blenny.  I don't have any other corals in the tank.  I have approx. 125lbs of live rock but the coralline algae is very slow in developing. <With proper calcium and magnesium levels, it will happen- be patient here!> The rock with the mushrooms is about mid height in the tank and does get some current from the return flow.    The combination of the hair algae, the slow growth of coralline, and the mushrooms is what led me to think that my lighting is underpowered. In reading the FAQs and the forums I thought that my tank should have at least 2 to 4 watts per gallon of light.  In my 165gal and 180 watts I am barely over 1watt/gal. <Depending on the species that you have, lower light levels may not be too much of a problem...> I hope this helps in fleshing out my situation. Should I move the mushrooms around some to try to find a better location?  Is the lighting adequate? Anything else I am missing?  Thank you again for your input and your experience.       <Well, you may want to try re-positioning the rock where it gets a little less current. This is probably a long shot, but exhaust all possibilities here. Perhaps there was a temperature-related incident (too high at some point for a protracted period?) that caused the bleaching event? Try re-locating the colony. If this doesn't seem to bring about improvement, you could try gradually increasing the lighting levels, or adding some increased "blue" spectrum in your lighting...Experiment a bit here. Give it a shot and see what happens. It's hard to say if a bleached animal will recover-but don't give up! Contact us again if we can be of further assistance! Regards, Scott F>

Feeding Mushrooms Dear Anthony: <cheers> I just received a piece of live rock with about five mushrooms on it.  They are small and pinkish brown and very much alive.  I checked out the info on mushrooms at the WetWeb site, and still can't figure out if I should feed them or not, and if so =what?  One piece of advice is no and the other said small meaty things. <depends on the species. Some feed more by absorption. Do try fine minced foods> I also wonder, will they spread and become a nuisance?   <it is possible. Hence the reason for not mixing them with SPS corals and other less defensive species. Mushrooms don't look mean, but they are some of the very most aggressive "corals"> They are too small to bother my fish, I assume. <likely yes unless Amplexidiscus sp> Now that I own my first invertebrate, I will have to put my name down for your new book.   <they are wonderfully hardy and a great first chose/starter coral.> Thanks a lot for any help you can give. Connie C. <thanks kindly, my friend :) Anthony>

Mushrooms Dear Anthony: Thanks for your quick response.  Question, what is Amplexidiscus?? <many names... long taxonomic history/debate. AKA: Amplexidiscus or "Elephant ear mushroom. A fish eater that grows large> Question 2, will they eat flake food, or only fishy food.   <few corals will survive on flake food even if they eat it. It is only a staple for fish at best and even then should not be much more than 50% of their diet if that (lacks vitamins). Thawed frozen meaty foods like Mysis and Gammarus shrimp are ideal. Pacifica plankton and krill if fine enough or shredded too are quite good. Never adult brine shrimp (remember <G>)> Do I place it in the middle of each mushroom when they are open?   <correct> Or what?  Sorry to be so basic, but with corals I am definitely a "newbie" <no worries... you'll learn in time :)> Lots of thanks, Connie C. <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Buttons / Mushrooms Well I was sitting watching my first addition to my (hopefully) newly started reef tank. Last night, as posted earlier my green buttons started curling up...I realize now this is normal from the stress of the move.  This rock with four buttons is just my first piece to test the tank.  Anyhow, all was good but when I fed the few fish in the tank, blenny and few damsels I cycled it with, the buttons started to curl back up, but very tight. I only fed a small piece of frozen brine shrimp to the damsels.  Well the buttons shriveled up so tight, from the size of a half dollar to the size of a dime.  They then started to secrete a white stringy material from their centers.  Only 2 of the four did this.  The small tentacles on the buttons swelled as if they were going to burst.  I did an emergency water change of about 15%.  All tests were fine except pH a little low.  I have no idea what happened and was hoping that someone else might have had experience with the same fate.  Are these buttons dead now...I've just left them to see.  Any info would be appreciated. <Boy John, relax it's alright. It is normal for Zoanthids and mushroom/Corallimorphs to change size and shape and to react to food and sometimes movement in the water from fish, etc. Your water is likely fine and in a new tank, a slightly depressed pH isn't all bad, i.e.: ammonia toxicity. If you have the proper lighting and water movement it is unlikely anything negative has happened to your new inhabitants. These are some of the hardiest of all captive corals. This is the first of many such experiences, more than you can imagine! Don't hesitate to write to us again if you have any other questions. Enjoy!  Craig>

Questions (elephant ear and discus) I have two questions (one saltwater and one freshwater) <nope, sorry one or the other, just kidding.> First: Regarding Amplexidiscus sp. (elephant ears) do clown fish host with them?  I have never read anything of the such, but I thought I would check. <I am not familiar with any successful relationships between the two.  Trouble is... elephant ears are known fish eaters.> Are they fairly stationary or do they move around like anemones? <fairly stationary> Could you keep one with a bubble tip anemone or would they clash? <Quite dangerous... high aggression> And would a 29G mini-reef be too small for one? <yup, elephant ears get huge.> Second: I have a 100 G freshwater planted tank (ph 6.0-6.5, hardness minimal-all peat soaked RO/DI water, temp 78-82) heavily planted (large red tiger lotus, Japanese spatterdock, red Rubin sword, etc) with small schools (10-15 fish) of amber, cardinal, Rummynose, Costello, dwarf Pencilfishes, Hatchetfish tetras and 10 panda Corys and 20 or so pygmy Corys along with a 2 Harrison Pencilfish, 3 emperor tetras, 2 Kerri (king) tetras, 1 black phantom and a Bristlenose Pleco, bulldog Pleco, and several Otocinclus.  Okay, after all that background info, I was thinking about adding a pair of pigeon blood discus.  I think the water quality is good enough but I have concerns about whether my smaller tetras would disappear?  In your experience are Discus fairly peaceful toward smaller tank mates?  also I have several small freshwater shrimp in the tank.  Are they future discus food? <sounds like a gorgeous tank, I might hold off on the Discus, could get a little cramped, and yes your small fish could become food.  Really depends on the Discus.  Safest bet is to rely on the fact that big fish eat little fish. Best Regards, Gage> Thanks for your advice. Steve Thornton MD

Elephant ear I have a 34 gal w/50lbs live rock, 2-3" DSB, BakPak2 protein skimmer w/BioBale, 2 55w PC (1-actinic, 1-10k) and a Rio 1400 in the left rear corner for circulation flowing across the top front from left to right..  Good flow over the elephant ear.  Also have some small green stars and two 1" colt frags.  Water Params are 77 Deg, S.G=1.025, PH=8.2, ammonia and nitrite=0, NO3=2.5, Iodine=.05, DKH=11.7, PO4=.03, CA=400, all measured w/Salifert Tests.   <No complaints so far> Two days ago, the elephant stayed retracted and still hasn't opened.  Up until then it was opened fully every day.  It's size is appx 5" across and it's stalk appears healthy.  It even started growing a very small split on it's base.  Placement is about half-way up in the water and is firmly attached to it's rock.   <Nothing has changed? The rock hasn't been moved from it's location? Lighting hasn't changed?> All other critters in the tank appear to be doing well.  There are/were (2) peppermint shrimp, two emerald crabs, (1) small clown, and (4) damsels.  I got the elephant ear approx 1 month ago and, as I said, up until two days ago it was expanding fully every day.  Also, 20% water changes are done weekly and I'm using RO/DI water (Kent Maxxima).   Any ideas on why it isn't opening?   <As listed above. Sometimes these guys can be temperamental. Keep noticing that splitting base that you referred to. This anemone may be letting go of the rock. If so, it will need to be relocated and reattached to the rock. If the anemone has started to let go of the rock, you will notice the anemone begin to wave in the current. This shouldn't be a fatal condition> I also moved the Colt frags to the top rear side of the tank away from the elephant Ear.  Thanks much for your ideas. <You're welcome! Keep me posted! David Dowless>

Moving mushrooms and Starpolyps I'm moving my 37 gal reef into a 115 gal tank I just acquired at an amazing price (rich guy, got bored, sold very nice system for $500!).  The new tank came with a lot of nice-looking live rock and hundreds of small, light yellow mushrooms all over the place. <Hmmm... no such thing as light yellow Corallimorphs (mushrooms). At least not healthy ones. These creatures are bleached of Zooxanthellae from neglect (aged light bulbs, aged water blocked light from yellowing agents, poor water quality, etc). Some will survive, some may not. All will require feeding to recover> After browsing through your FAQ /articles I still have some questions and need your expert advice. 1. Is it possible for hundreds of mushrooms between dime and quarter size, all pale yellowish, to be healthy specimens of something?   <good intuition on your part. These are stressed mushrooms> This does not sound like mushrooms anyone else describes, nor have I ever seen such a thing in a store.  (Their tank had SG 1.024 pH 7.8 NO3 15 KH 6 when I took it apart, lighting is six VHO bulbs, 3 actinic, 3 white, can't read wattage but incredibly hot, ballast is 2 120V Ice Caps, guy said they were 6mos old.) <Hmmm... take a good look at the lights... 6 month old lights are already getting too old for coral care (change fluorescents every 6-10 months). If the lamp ends are darkening noticeably, they may be older. More importantly... then pH of 7.8 and the dKH of 6 indicate old water likely that hasn't seen a water change in a long time (no doubt part of the neglect of the system)> 2.  They were out of water for about 2-3 hours during the moving process 24 hours ago (simply too many to keep submerged, though I did keep them wet).  Most look ok, some have brown sections.  Are these likely to die?   <not that big of a deal... most all can take it. Dying ones are unmistakable... they slough a lot of mucus and appear to melt> If they are dying, should I remove them?   <ASAP... could get infectious to others> (I seem to remember reading something about dying mushrooms producing something terribly toxic, but can't find it today).  Do I need to run a PolyFilter for a while if a lot of them die? <indeed... PolyFilters, carbon and water changes will all be very helpful> 3.  The live rock/mushrooms are in a heated, circulating tub in my bathroom while I am waiting for the tank to settle (very fine silty substrate) and generating enough RO water to fill the tank so it can run.   <understood... be sure to aerate the water before buffering it and then before salting it> This will probably take another couple of days.  Will they be ok in the dark in the bathroom without significant lighting or am I creating an emergency?   <nope... food is more important right now for these creatures. If you can do water changes you may feed them a little. Else simply  wait for the tank to be set up> If this is not ok, what do you suggest in the meantime? <cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers today> 4.  Non-mushroom question:  I have lovely green star polyps growing all over the back of the tank in my little reef (I like this so much it has made me put off getting a new tank for months!).  When I move out of that tank, can I peel them off and stick them to something (of course I can, but is there any hope of survival?) <they will easily survive. The underside of the stolon mat can be superglued to a temporarily dry wall  of the new aquarium (drop water level... glue coral... wait a few minutes and refill). They can also be glued or tied to PVC pipe or anything else you might like. Slashing or nicking the underside of the stolon mat with a blade will also spur growth and reattachment (mentioned in my Book of Coral Propagation)> or do I just have to let them die? <absolutely not my friend... they will almost certainly live. Very hardy> Thanks in advance Tracy :) <best regards, Anthony>

Mushroom Good Morning Gentlemen and Happy New Year! I've been perusing your site in answer to several questions and have come to a few conclusions - the first is that the warm tortilla chips and margarita's probably induced the belly button ring for Bob - I will remember this next time I partake in the worm juice. <agreed... thank goodness it was only a "clip-on" ring> On to my questions; I have 2 mushrooms (Corallimorpharia) most likely blue but appear both brown and florescent blue most likely due to the angle at which they receive the my PC light (blue actinic and 6750K white). They were hitchhikers on some LR that I received when I purchased some pulsing Xenia (Pom-Pom). My tank gets slightly more than 20 turnovers per hour <excellent water flow> and I have 4.9 watts of PC lighting per gal. The Shrooms were on the underneath side of the rock when I positioned the Xenia in the tank. All (Xenia and Shrooms) are doing wonderfully which leads to my dilemma. The Shroom on the back side has gotten large enough that it's outer edges are overlapping the base of the Xenia. It is the larger of the 2 but is not visible due to it facing the >backside of the aquarium. Will the growth of the mushroom and it's overlapping at the base of my Xenia cause any problems for either? <the Xenia will be reduced in time for this. Corallimorphs are very noxious and there are no corals that can permissibly touch> The other mushroom (which I will refer to as the front one) will soon grow where it will be doing the same thing so my Xenia will be covered on 2 sides by the overlapping edges of my Shrooms. I am considering moving (one at time) although I hate to disturb any of the life forms in the tank, My opinion is; if it ain't broke don't fix it, but I am considering some preventative maintenance if necessary. <correct> I read in one of your FAQ's where a butter knife gently applied under the mushrooms foot will induce it to fall off. <correct, but crude and risks a tear> Is there any way to remove it other than letting it fall off? <yep... camping scissors or poultry shears (kitchen scissors that cut through bone... basically sturdy scissors) can snip at the rock at the base of the mushroom and skin it from the rock without ever touching tissue. The mushrooms can then settle out elsewhere or be superglued (the rock under their disc pedal) elsewhere> When it falls off, it will then still be on the back side and even less visible and I may not get to it before it reattaches it's foot. The Xenia is growing wildly. I've only had it for a few months and it has many new (polyps?) growing from the base and inside all of the other branches. One last question (a bonus question for me since I have your undivided attention....Hello...are you still there?...lol) I also have a branching frogspawn in closer proximity to the Xenia and a Lemnalia than I like. <Yikes!> They have been together (seemingly) peacefully now for several months and all are doing good. <nope... slow poisoning/allelopathy... one will simply melt down in the 12-18 month picture but look fairly good until then> I have attempted to watch for the sweeper tentacles on the Frogspawn in order to watch for currents and possible relocation but have not seen any (sweeper tentacles). <its not about sweepers... they are but a small part. This is about nematocysts shed and other noxious exudations.. silent chemical warfare> Since they have been together for several months now, can I assume that they will be O.K. together or should I put as much space as possible between the frogspawn and the other soft corals? <correct on the latter... Euphylliids are some of the worst. They need 10" or more between corals and that is an underestimate to many> Thanks and hope the New Year treats you all well. J.T. Craddock <and to you in kind. Best regards, Anthony>

- Lighting for Mushrooms - Hey, <Hey...> I was just wondering if my lighting was appropriate for the beautiful mushrooms. I know they are anemones and are not to corals, <Actually, the other way around... mushrooms may look like anemones but they are qualified as Corallimorphs.> but would one Power Glo fluorescent bulb on each side of my hood be sufficient lighting, I leave the lights on for at least 14 hours a day. <Are these standard 40w bulbs? Probably not... you would do better with compact fluorescent lighting for these.> Will my lights meet their needs, Also will I need a protein skimmer? <It's my opinion that all marine systems need a protein skimmer.> I have a47 gall tank with At least 20 lbs of live rock a HOT MAGNUM canister filter and penguin 330 with two small BioWheels and my tank has been established a little less than a year. Thanks for your help, Nick P.S. happy holidays :) <Thanks. Cheers, J --

Trace elements Hey, I just have a quick ? Should I add any trace elements or iodine if I wish to keep mushroom anemones? Are they the same as Corallimorphs? Thanks Nick, age 12 <cheers, Nick... mushroom anemones are indeed Corallimorphs... not anemones at all. They may benefit from a small amount of trace elements added on occasion, but they will fare much better getting incidental organic matter from fish fed well in the tank and from small weekly water changes that replenish these elements and do so much more for water quality. Best regards, Anthony>

Hardy Inverts Hi. My tank has a nitrate level of 25 ppm. Which invertebrates are rather nitrate tolerant? <Mushroom anemones would be ok.> I would like to add algae grazers and scavengers but have good growths of Caulerpa and Halimeda as well as coralline red so I would rather not have too much eaten. Which herbivores could now be added to control other algae but which would leave most of these introduced species alone? <Various algae eating snails would leave the macroalgae and coralline alone. -Steven Pro>

Messing Around With Mushrooms Hi. <Hi! Scott F. here!> I don't know if it said under mushroom coral on your web site but is it good/safe to feed your mushroom anemone crunched up Omega One saltwater flakes? If so do the grab it or do you have to put it directly on their mouth? Thanks a lot! JM <Well, I assume that you are referring to Mushroom Corallimorphs when you say "mushroom anemones", so my answers will be based on that assumption, ok? Some of these animals may not even accept supplementary feeding, instead deriving most of their nutrition (dissolved organic material) from the water in which they live. First order of business for you is to figure out which species you have (a good book on Corals, like Eric Borneman's, should help easily identify yours). Some of the larger mushrooms, like the Elephant Ear (Amplexidiscus) can and do feed on meaty foods, including fish! I would pass on the flakes if you are feeding these animals, favoring things like finely chopped sea foods. Most of them have very minimal feeding responses, so you would try to get the food near the animal's mouth when attempting feeding. Good luck!>

Feeding Mushrooms Hi! I was wondering if I could feed the mushrooms Omega One grounded fish flakes until I get some Mysis? <That should be ok.> Do you think they have Mysis at the pet store? <They should.> Thanks, JM <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Iodine for mushrooms and soft coral I read on your web site,  mushrooms need iodine.  <all corals, especially soft coral, need iodine> My salt which is one that says it has every trace minor major element in it like iodine, will this be enough till next week when I buy some liquid iodine  <yes... a week delay is fine. But iodine only lasts for 6-12 hours in most tanks. That is why some people prefer to dose a very small amount daily> I also noticed brine shrimp adult centimeter in size could I feed them this do they need to be dead? Thanks, JM <brine shrimp is a very poor grade food (low nutrition). Other frozen foods would be better like krill, plankton and especially Mysid shrimps. Anthony>

Mushroom Anemones Hi,  it's me again.  I didn't do so good with the Condy so 2 days ago I went to lcp and they had coral half off!!!! I had a big shopping spree.  I bought a huge rock full of brown mushrooms.  They love the lights that I bought for the deceased Condy and today when I woke up they split and now there's two. These are a lot easier than anemones, tell me what you think? Thanks, JM <agreed, my friend. The mushroom "anemones" or false coral (Corallimorphs) and very hardy choices and much better than true anemones. The look and act very similar and many grow as large. The species you have is known in popular literature as a Rhodactis. Give it heavy actinic light and it will change to a lovely green color. Feed it several times weekly with very finely minced meaty foods for best success. Very nice specimen and choice! Anthony>

Mushroom/Soft Coral Lighting Dear WWM crew, My 30 gallon FOWLR tank has been set up and running for 3 months now and so far everything is going great thanks to your amazing site which has helped me immensely during the whole process. The tank is currently stocked with the following: 2 tank bred Clowns 1 Flashback Pseudochromis 1 YTB Damsel 1 Coral Banded Shrimp 1 Red Star Fish 3 Turbo Snails I have 1 x 30 watt & 1 x 8 watt daylight N.O. fluorescent and 1 x 30 watt actinic (all with reflectors). I know this lighting is extremely weak by reef standards but I was wondering if I could keep any mushrooms or soft corals under them and if I could, what types? <This seems too weak for me. If you add another 30 watt full spectrum in place of the 8 watt unit, I think you would have enough for some mushrooms.> My water quality is very good and the coralline algae on the live rock seems to be doing well. I have also got about 8 small anemones growing on the rock. I think they may be glass anemones. They are about an inch across, start off translucent but turn more brown in color as they grow and have around 15-20 3/4" tentacles. <They sound like Aiptasia.> I always thought that anemones needed huge amounts of light or are these a lower light variety? <The latter, Aiptasia can live in low light. They are most dependent on food. They will eat little bits of food and absorb nutrients from the water. Please see www.WetWebMedia.com for additional information. -Steven Pro>

Removing mushrooms Hi, I would like to know a way to rid my tank of mushrooms.  I have a 110 and the whole left side of the reef is full of mushrooms on the live rock . could you help with a suggestion thanks Donny. <the best and most direct way is to use poultry sheers or camping scissors and snip at the base of the rock just before and under the mushrooms. This will chip them off of the rocks without damaging their tissue or fragging their tissue which causes regrowth or propagation. They then can be sold or traded to the LFS or another aquarist. Do know that they grew well because of overfeeding or nutrient accumulation (lack of water changes, poor skimming, etc). Their success is very telling and may warn you of a bigger problem down the road. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: mushrooms and nutrient control Thanks for the info. I might be overfeeding  <indeed we all do at some point> I have a Berlin skimmer  <and I am not impressed at all with these skimmers to be honest. If you can get daily of almost daily dark skimmate out of this thing like clockwork (full cup 5-7 times weekly), then I'll agree that the skimmer isn't contributing to your woes. But most of these do not. Once you've seen a top shelf skimmer pull out foul liquid day after day in an otherwise pristine tank, you then realize how mediocre or poor many skimmers are (Berlin, Nautilus, Prism, SeaClone, etc). Good skimmers to consider: EuroReef, Aqua C, Tunze, Klaes. Idiot-proof and consistent skimmate production no matter how bad I abuse them <G>. > and my water was ok when I checked last.  Thanks again, Donny <best regards, Anthony>

Mushrooms Bleaching/SPS Polyps Closed I am having some trouble with mushrooms bleaching in my 135g tank. Here are the tank parameters, and other than some minor fluctuations the parameters have been consistent for at least the past year; Size: 135 gallon Biological Filtration: 4-5" live sand bed, approx. 120 pounds of live rock and I am running a protein skimmer in the sump. Mechanical Filtration: N/A Chemical Filtration: N/A Lighting: 2 - 7500K 175W Metal Halides, 2 - 10K 55W Power Compacts, 2 - Actinic 55W Power Compacts (None of the bulbs are older than 6-8 months) Water Movement: 3 - Maxi Jet 1200, 1 - Rio 1400 all on a wave maker. Quiet One return from the sump. Temp: 78-80f Specific Gravity: 1.024 Calcium: 400-450 pH: 8-8.2 (Depends upon when I test but this is the range) Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 0 dKH: 10 Makeup Water: Aged Tap (I have a copy of the water report and the water looks pretty good but I will shortly be purchasing an RO/DI unit) Fish: Yellow Tang, White Cap Clownfish, Skunk Clownfish, Lawnmower Blenny, Coral Beauty, Yellow Watchman Inverts: Usual mix of snails/hermits, pistol shrimp Corals: Acropora, Montipora, Pocillopora, torch, hammer, Fungia, brain, colt, finger leather, cabbage leather, Zoanthids, mushrooms I have encountered two problems in the past 2 months and I can't find a solution. All of the SPS corals show healthy growth, and no bleaching...but they do not appear to have the polyp extension they had a few months ago (especially the Montipora digitata). I have several different types of mushrooms throughout the tank, and recently they have begun indiscriminately bleaching. It is affecting them at different depths, different water flows, etc. One may bleach and die off but the ones surrounding it are fine. We moved the first week of July so I know some of the corals were stressed. But they have been open and healthy the first two months, and the SPS still show fine growth. Everything else in the tank is doing fine. What can I try next? Marc Daniels Elk Grove, CA <Hello Marc, the problem here is that SPS corals and mushrooms do not make good tank mates. The SPS require far more light that the mushrooms can handle for an extended period of time. What you are experiencing is photoinhibition. Photoinhibition is an individual specific occurrence, which will make it appear as if the mushrooms are bleaching at random. They usually tolerate it for 6-12 months before bleaching. Corallimorphs are collected typically 40-60 feet deep, some towards 79 where the light is a mere percent or two of that at the surface. I would try to get the mushrooms out of the sun and see if they do any better. Best Regards, Gage>
Re: Mushrooms Bleaching/SPS Polyps Closed
Gage- Thanks for the info...I was concerned that it may have been the lighting, but they have been under the halides for quite a while and I had a hard time tying the two together. I'll move them into a different tank and see how they respond. I also found quite a bit of literature online regarding Photoinhibition in corals and have several hours reading ahead of me. Thanks again, Marc Daniels <Good stuff, any excuse to set up another tank is a good one in my mind. Glad we could help. Best of luck, Gage>

Quarantining a Mushroom Anthony, (Or anyone) <will one of my personalities suffice?> A friend in another state is shipping a piece of LR with a mushroom on it to me. I have a question about quarantining this specimen. I plan to use a 5 gallon bucket as a qt (unless you believe that this is too small?),  <if you can keep the temperature stable I'm OK with it> and am concerned about lighting. The aquarium that it is coming from is a 55, and has modest light, I believe 80w daylight bulbs. My tank has 80w daylight, 40w 50/50, and 40w actinic. How much light should I provide the mushroom in the quarantine? I have a 23w 50/50 that I could use over the bucket but that seems extremely dim even though it's a 4:1 light ratio.  <not dim at all... but keep the mushroom propped up in more shallow water... say 8-10"> I could easily add more generic 'household' light. <the PC will be fine> I haven't been able to find specific information on QT'ing my new addition, so I was looking for a little advice. I don't want to shock this specimen more than necessary for the move. Thanks for your time and expertise. <agreed... do prop the specimen up and bait the "tank" with meaty food in search of hitchhiking crabs/shrimps, etc. Also scan for flatworms. 2 weeks min, 4 weeks max. Best regards, Anthony>

Mushroom question Hi guys , I have a 75 gal reef aquarium that has been set up for a year . I'm having a problem with my mushrooms, the fish and the rest of the corals are doing fine but the mushrooms are falling off their rock. Is this normal, after they fall off they grow in the aragonite on the bottom, I have checked the water parameters and they are all ok. Any ideas? thanks James Keenan <more likely a change in a physical parameter like water flow (clogging powerheads over time) or waning lights (fluorescent bulbs over 10 months old). Do consider. Kindly, Anthony>

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