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FAQs about Corallimorph Health/Disease/Pests 1

FAQs on Mushroom Disease: Mushroom Disease 2,
FAQs on Mushroom Disease by Category: DiagnosisEnvironmental, , (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest, Treatments 
& Mushroom Reproduction/Propagation,

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

Related FAQs: Cnidarian Disease, CorallimorphsMushrooms 2, Mushrooms 3, Mushrooms 4, Mushroom Identification, Mushroom Behavior, Mushroom Compatibility, Mushroom Selection, Mushroom Systems, Mushroom Feeding, Mushroom Reproduction, Stinging-celled Animals

My mushroom shriveled up Hello, 2 weeks ago I purchased a what the LFS store calls a super mushroom. <"What's in a name?"> In the store it was nice and big and all opened up. After several days in my tank, I noticed that it has all shriveled up and white stringy tentacle are oozing out of its stomach. <Ooops> I have never seen this Shroom bloom like I have seen it in the LFS. One night I noticed my camel back shrimp picking on it so I went ahead and removed all of my camel back shrimp and return them to my LFS. I hoped that now that my shrimps are gone my Shroom will not be stressed as much and will start to open up. I also have my Shroom on the top level on my rocks. I also have a small mushroom that shriveled up and turned purple on me. What could be wrong? My ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are what they are supposed to be. Here are my param.s:  46G Bowfront 2 - 97 W. PC lighting Rena XP 2 Filter Fluval 404 Filter Remora Skimmer Temp - 79 -- 80 I read that Iodine is essential for Shroom.. I used the Reef Solution once a week and feed my corals Marine Snow once a week. <The last is worthless> Should I be adding more Iodine?  <How much do your tests show is present?> Please help <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm.  Scroll down to the "Corallimorpharian" area... Identify this animal, read re its systems, feeding, disease... Bob Fenner>  

Corallimorph Explosion? Bob Fenner and crew, Thanks for all the help you offer to us hobbyists at no charge.  <What? Where's the free beer and dancing girls?> You do a great job keeping things going for many of us.  A friend has posted a question on one of the reef forums involving her mushroom corals. It appears to be in the process of spitting out many baby Shrooms all at once. I've seen them divide and split numerous times, but never anything like this. It was suggested that it might be some kind of flatworm, but it doesn't look like that to me. They LOOK like tiny Shrooms. Whatcha think? <Is a flatworm infestation. A few things posted re on WWM. Nice images. Bob Fenner> 

Mushroom health Hey guys, I have a question concerning my mushrooms I bought. I have a rock of purple mushrooms. It was doing great the first month I got it in my tank, now 4 of the 5 mushrooms on it have spit out there "intestines and shriveled up only to fall off the following day. <Oh oh> My water parameters are perfect, my tank is 18 inches deep and I run 2 65 watt Pc actinic/daylight bulbs. The biggest Shroom has not been affected by what ever has killed the rest.  <A good clue> I suspect light shock because My LFS tank was dimly lit with the mushrooms curling up. The survivor is doing awesome but it is also low on the rock away from light. What do you guys think? -Aaron <Sounds most likely a matter of incompatible mixing with other Cnidarian species. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm.  Scroll down to the Corallimorpharian article, FAQs... read re systems, compatibility. Bob Fenner>

Ricordea on Ice? Don't try This at Home! Hello there WWM Crew, <Hello, Jim> What I am about to describe is most definitely not one of my shining moments:  Earlier today my girlfriend and I purchased a nice little Ricordea piece from a LFS. After dropping her off at work I made my way home where I proceeded to totally forget about the little guy. The Ricordea then sat in my car for a good 6 hours with an outside temp around 45 degrees.  Only after I went to pick up my girlfriend did we realizing the situation, and as soon as we were home we started to acclimate the piece back to aquarium temperature by letting the bag with the polyp inside sit in the tank. What I really would like to know is does this poor Ricordea have a chance?  It is shrunken up quite a bit and it has retained some of its original green color. It is also still attached to its rock and looks like it is " mucusing" a bit. Considering what it just went through it doesn't look all that bad, but that isn't saying much. Thank you for your time and any words of wisdom you can offer would be greatly appreciated!  <Sure, it has a chance. God only knows what happens at airports when live goods are sitting around in below average temperatures and yet most seem to make it to their final destination. James (Salty Dog)> 

Is My Mushroom Dying? 3/16/05 I have a 2 Ricordea yuma Mushrooms I bought about 3 weeks ago. Both have been open very wide and looking very good in my 30 gal. reef tank. Water quality and such have been kept in check. Within the past couple days one has started to look like its spitting out its intestines. <ah, yes... mesenterial filaments. These are stimulated by aggression from another coral placed (too) nearby, often so> I've left it alone to observe and it seems to be looking like an anemone just before it turns to mush and dies. Is this happening with my mushroom?? Should I worry about the safety of the rest of my tank inhabitants? Beyond this question I've been able to keep mushroom type corals in my tank sharing space with a coral beauty angel. I have found that it pokes at anything like xenia or Kenya trees. Can you suggest other corals that the angel will leave alone. <Centropyge angels are slightly risky as "reef-safe" goes. Once a nipper, always a nipper. This fish will likely cause you (greater) troubles in the future re: corals being eaten.> Thank you, David Conway <kindly, Anthony>

Coral question, actually Corallimorpharians Hey everybody. <"You're a Day Breaker..."> I have a question about coral today. <"Oh boy, about a petfish boy who had a tank...">   I recently decided to try out a small reef system (60 gal) with some beginner corals.  Everything is fine for the most part with the system.  Two mandarin gobies, a cherub angel and a small crew of inverts are the only non-coral inhabitants. My question has to do with mushroom corals, however.  I have a bunch, different colors and textures.   The green mushrooms seem to be always a little stunted. <Mmm, they may be mal-influenced by the others> I have identical mushrooms in other colors that are fine, expanding to a fairly good size, budding (they do literally bud, right? <Yes> I didn't think they were sexual), etc. <Mmm, can be as well>   These green mushrooms always stay much more contracted and very flat to their base, almost as if they are getting too much light.  Do they require less light than the darker variety? <Don't think so> I read they will expand and reach upwards when in need of more light, so is it safe to assume they are having the opposite response because of over-lighting?   <A good guess> Also where is the happy medium for their shape (i.e. reaching is not enough light, flattening is too much... should they be more frilly and still close to the rock or reaching, but small?).  Sorry about my fantastic coral vocabulary.  Like I said, I just started and I haven't really worked out the appropriate descriptive terminology yet.  I hope I have painted a vivid enough image of the situation to help you. Thanks for all your help! Reuben <Have you read through our Corallimorph files? Please do: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm Bob Fenner>

Hairy Mushroom Problems 9/27/04 Hi there.  I recently brought a rather nice looking piece of live rock for our 40 gallon marine aquarium with what were described as hairy mushrooms covering it. These appeared flat and brown in shape/colour. However within the last 48hrs they have been progressively turning into a pink spaghetti like form ..... they are obviously dying - we have performed a water change but don't know what else to do..... should we remove the rock?!!!!! <Sorry for the slow reply... sometimes questions get moved around until the person most comfortable with the topic gets them.  If they appear to be "melting", I would siphon them out rather than removing the rock.  These corals can lengthen their tentacles and change colors fairly rapidly, though, so be sure they are dying!  Best Regards.  Adam.>

How long for Ricordea to recover from high heat? Crew, I have had a thriving reef aquarium for about 6 years.  Over the past couple of years I have introduced a number of different colors of Ricordea in my system.  I have around 10 colonies, many are great morphs colors.  About 3 months a go I decided I wanted to introduced stony corals as well.  So I went through the process of adding a calcium reactor and went up to 250/20,000 XM metal halides.  I have and continue to run blue actinic VHOs. In the process of the change, I raised the tank temperature to 80-84.  My Ricordea colonies suffered.  The size of the polyps shrunk dramatically.  I installed a chiller about a month ago so I am maintaining 76-77.  Most of the polyps are returning to close their original size.  However, not all of the polyps are bouncing back as well.  It seems the blue and blue hue Ricordea are the ones that are still having the most trouble. << Unfortunately I don't think there is anything you can do to expedite the process. >> Although some other color varieties are struggling as well.  Oddly some polyps in the same colony have different bounce back characteristics.  Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. << I think adding phyto and zooplankton is a good move.  At least keep them well fed and happy as they recover.  The only other thing to do, is to give them time. >> Thanks, Mike <<  Blundell  >>
Hoping my Ricordea will recover.
Blundell, Thanks for the response.  << That is why I'm here! >> It confirms I am on the right track.  I do regular feedings of both phyto and zooplankton. << That is good to hear, too many people don't. >> I will hang in there and give them time.  It is a puzzle why some are recovering faster than others. << I guess it is part of what makes this hobby so interesting. >> Great site!!  Thanks again. Mike <<  Blundell  >>

"Goo" on my Ricordea... spreading sponge 7/6/04 Here's my best shot at a scientific statement regarding a problem with a small piece of live rock / Ricordea...I have "goo"....this stuff started growing underneath my Ricordea, then it slowly began moving to other sections of the small piece of live rock that the Ricordea was purchased with (nine months ago as one mushroom...now about seven), and now it has grown long fingers / branches that attach to anything it touches.  Is this "goo" something I should try to get rid of?  If so, what do you recommend? (Please see attached picture) Thanks, Scott. <it is a healthy, calcareous sponge that can grow to nuisance measures but only so in the presence of adequate nutrients. If it flourishes... its a sign that you may have nutrient export control issues (too much feeding, poor protein skimmer performance, weak water change schedule, etc). It is not photosynthetic and as such is wholly dependant on filter feeding in the system. Control the nutrient and you will control its growth. Anthony>

Acoel flatworms on Corallimorphs 6/18/04 I hope you all are well at WWM, I have not written with a question for a while as all was well in paradise.  However just today I noticed some brownish flat heart/gall balder shaped things on the Shrooms they are about 4-5mm in length and about 2-3 mm across.  Looks like some sort of fluke, there are several on every Shroom and blend in with the colour of the mushroom they have kind of spasms from time to time without any obvious movement.  At first I thought that it was part of the body of the Shroom, they are of the Rhodactis species. Do you know what they could be? <yes... Waiminoa Acoel flatworms. Do use this term in the Google search tool on the home page: wetwebmedia.com find more info on them fast in our archives. Search for Convolutriloba too> Are they harmful to the Mushroom and if they are what is the best thing to do? <they are not directly parasitic, but they cause harm by blocking light, water flow, etc. Increase water flow and skimming first for a cure. And be sure to properly QT all new livestock in the future to prevent the introduction of such pests> Regards, Jorell <kindly, Anthony>

Mushrooms turning white - Graham's Opinion I have had these mushrooms for about 5 years, growing so prolifically that thought they might overtake the tank. They stopped reproducing as much, then started turning white gradually over about 9 months, not overnight. <They're definitely responding to some stress factor.> Mushrooms at the top, middle, and bottom of the tank are affected, while other mushrooms right next to them are not. <Very interesting. What species of mushrooms have been effected? Has this been something which has happened to one species/genus of mushroom, or has this happened to various species?> It doesn't seem to matter what other corals the affected mushrooms are next to in the tank. As far as I know I did nothing unusual to the tank to cause the problem. As I mentioned earlier, water quality is good for Nitrates, Nitrites, Ammonia, Phosphates.  PH and Alkalinity got very low at some unknown point. Maybe that is the big swing you mentioned. The PH is back up to normal.  <This worries me. This may have been what initially caused the problem, however, the mushrooms would have most likely regained their coloration by now if that was indeed the problem.> The Alkalinity is around 3.0, slowly working its way up. Water temperature is 80. I change out about 8 gallons every 2 weeks during my major cleaning. The lights are on about 11 hours a day.  <How long have you had these lights?> You mentioned that the mushrooms were possibly losing their Zooxanthellae. <If they're white, they have lost their Zooxanthellae.> I bought PhycoPure microalgae which contains Zooxanthellae and have been adding a tablespoon a day. Will that help? <I doubt it would make any significant difference, if any.> Thanks, Russell <Russell, this is a very mind boggling problem. I'm going to forward this message to another WetWebMedia crew member for more suggestions. Take Care, Graham.> 
White Mushies - not the kind you grow in the dark
Hi Graham, <Hey Russell> Thanks for your reply.  <No problem. I apologize for the lateness.> I believe the affected corals are from the Discosoma family, Actinodiscus species. Although, it appears that the Ricordea are also losing some color.  <This is interesting to know. What other species have not been effected, or are nearby the Discosoma spp. mushrooms?> It may be coincidental, but I have tried a 3 bubble corals over the last 1-2 years and they did not survive. <What symptoms did they show when they died? How long did it take for them to die?> The lights were changed this past December. I change them every 7-8 months.  One thing I just discovered is the salinity is off. My coral book recommends 34-36 ppt, but my tank is only 31. Could this have anything to do with the problem? <I doubt it.> Thanks again,  <This is a very mind boggling issue. Possibly other crew members will be able to chime in. Take Care! Graham.> Russell 
Bleaching Mushroom Corals? - Again
I have had these mushrooms for about 5 years, growing so prolifically that I thought they might overtake the tank. They stopped reproducing as much, then started turning white gradually over about 9 months, not overnight.  Mushrooms at the top, middle, and bottom of the tank are affected, while other mushrooms right next to them are not. It doesn't seem to matter what other corals the affected mushrooms are next to in the tank. As far as I know I did nothing unusual to the tank to cause the problem. As I mentioned earlier, water quality is good for Nitrates, Nitrites, Ammonia, Phosphates.  PH and Alkalinity got very low at some unknown point. Maybe that is the big swing you mentioned. The PH is back up to normal. The Alkalinity is around 3.0, slowly working its way up. Water temperature is 80. I change out about 8 gallons every 2 weeks during my major cleaning. The lights are on about 11 hours a day. You mentioned that the mushrooms were possibly losing their Zooxanthellae. I bought PhycoPure microalgae which contains Zooxanthellae and have been adding a tablespoon a day. Will that help? Thanks, Russell <Well, Russell, I am also of the opinion that the Corallimorphs are. expelling their Zooxanthellae in response to some sort of stress. It could be due to the environmental fluctuation that you mentioned, or it could have been caused by some allelopathic competition between different species in close proximity. That's probably my #1 guess. Other theories for this rather common occurrence: Possible damage caused by excessive lighting, loss of UV reflecting pigmentation caused by an untold number of possible factors, such as lower pH, insufficient iodine or magnesium levels, etc.( I'd keep up regular water changes rather then supplement, however). Lots of possibilities, all of which are worth investigating...These are just a few of the ideas that come to my mind, though. Hope this helps. Regards, Scott F>

Mushroom problems 5/3/04 I have a big problem, my mushrooms keep falling of the rocks (looks like their melting of the rock) and some are dying- just becoming grey slime.  Its mostly the red and green mushrooms.  All leather corals, polyps, fish and hairy mushrooms are fine. But I am losing my green/red mushrooms more and more each week. <Yikes!  This definitely sounds like a water quality issue.> Ever since this started about 4 weeks ago, I also lost 5 shrimp and every time I add new shrimp they disappear?? <This could be an acclimation issue.  Shrimp are very sensitive to changes in salinity and pH and must be acclimates slowly.> So I thought no iodine - So I bought a Salifert iodine test kit - it shows zero. So I started supplementing with iodine. <Kudos on testing before adding!  Many disasters would be averted if more folks followed this simple rule!  I would advise that you do not try to supplement all the way to normal levels, rather dose very conservatively, testing shortly after doses to be sure that you NEVER exceed natural sea water levels of iodine.> I have had this tank for years and never supplemented with it before so why would they need it now?? <Aha!  Good question.  Most tanks get all of the iodine they need through fish food and water changes.  The exception (maybe) is tanks with algal filters.> I noticed a few bristleworms and a lot of red thin tiny worms in the gravel however never see them on a live mushroom. <No worries, they are harmless.  True predatory worms are very rare, and the damage they inflict is distinctive and obvious.> I change water and VHO lights all the time and ammo/trite/trate show zero. salinity 1.023-4 and ph 8.4. <I am in favor of 1.025-1.026 salinity for inverts.  Also, what about alkalinity?  Alk is very important to test for and maintain.> All I add is stress coat during water changes and coral vital 3x a week and occ. Coralife trace elements. Can you suggest adding anything else that would help. <As a rule, adding things (other than calcium and alkalinity supplements) often does more harm than good.  Slime coat should not be necessary, and any product that does not indicate it's purpose and ingredients clearly should be avoided.> Would a U.V. take any good stuff out of water?  I know the protein skimmer takes out the iodine. Need advice.  Thanks, Dirk <UV cannot remove anything, but it can encourage chemical reactions that may change the form of some things.  Skimming will remove Iodine, but not much.  Best Regards.  Adam>
-Melting Mushrooms: Part II-
alk is fine but is it possible to get high TDS levels in well water. <Absolutely, well water can be full of all kinds of good and bad stuff. It's never a bad idea to start with water that you KNOW is free of impurities, like water filtered thru a reverse osmosis and/or deionization unit.> I never had an ro/di unit on this tank and everything has thrived for 6 years. maybe something is wrong with the well water now -is that possible? <Absolutely, it's what some call 'old tank syndrome'. It is possible that over the years, the consistent addition of your source water has given rise to undesirable levels of unknown (or known!) contaminates (heavy metals, pesticides, etc).> I know the ro/di cant hurt and I have to do something and this is the only thing I can think of. <It's a start. Since you have a well, you may want to go with a DI unit since they do not waste any water (more expensive long term though). I would begin by doing a few large water changes with pure water (and salt of course!!!), and by running some fresh activated carbon.> what about you. thanks dirk <I hope this is of some assistance! -Kevin>

Mushrooms turning white I have a 75 gallon tank with a variety of soft corals (and 13 fish).  The mushrooms have been growing and reproducing nicely over the past 5 years, then in the last 9 months, the growth rate slowed and some of the green and brown mushrooms are striating or turning white.  What's up?   <If the mushrooms are turning white, it's a sure sign that they're losing their Zooxanthellae. However, I cannot say what it is unless you explain your setup to me in great detail! Graham.> Thanks,  Russell
Re: Mushrooms turning white
Thank you for your reply.  I have a Sealife Systems wet/dry, RIO 2500 pump, RIO 600 protein skimmer, two power heads in the tank-one on each end; four bags in the sump: Chemi-pure, phosphate & silicate, Sea-lab no.15DOS dissolved organic scavenger, and nitrate sponge.  JBJ Aquatic Lighting: two blue and two white Coralife Actinic compact fluorescent 55watt 21 inch bulbs.  Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate at minimal levels.  PH a little low, but Alkalinity below 2.0, which has slowly been brought up to 3.0 so far. There is 30 pounds of sand and 80 pounds of live rock.  All other corals look quite well, but some of the mushrooms are turning white.  Thanks again for you analysis.   Russell <Hi Russell, it's still difficult to say exactly what the culprit of this is. How long have you had the mushrooms? Did you do anything different prior to the bleaching mushrooms? Any neighboring corals? What are your other water parameters? Did you have any quick pH swings which may have caused the mushrooms to bleach? Did the bleaching happen within 24 hours, or was this a gradual process? I apologize for the questions -- this is only to get the most accurate answer I can get. Take Care, Graham.>

Mushroom Corallimorphs not sticking to rock 4/6/04  I have a big problem! Ii have had a tank for over 6 years- conditions are perfect and have always been, however recently day by day I have mushrooms falling of rocks.  <do be open/minded to the possibility that you water is not "perfect" my friend, with all due respect. If your tank is like most, it has not had anything better than weekly/monthly partial water changes... and in this case, after 6 good years, untested/untestable things have accumulated and concentrated to the point where perhaps they are causing problems. Without knowing a detailed assay of your water chemistry (not just pH, nitrate, ammonia), its difficult for me to confirm your hope/claim or comment on the cause of the problem.>  It looks like their melting of the rock and just cant stick to it anymore. what is wrong please help. thanks dirk  <A change in a physical parameter is likely the cause of detachment en masse. If not water quality, then a change in water flow (power heads that have not been cleaned for many months) or most likely: a change in light - either lamps that are aged (over 10 months old and degraded to the point of low/inadequate output) or recently cleaned/changed bulbs (sudden increase in light that is shocking). I suspect a water change is in order here... large and gently: 50% "Dilution is the solution to pollution.". Then consider if clogged pumps, poor water flow or low strayed light is an issue. Anthony>

Tonga mushrooms 3/17/04 Your website is invaluable, thanks for all your hard work. <thanks kindly... do tell a friend> I love the purple Tonga Bullseye mushrooms but have not been able to keep even one alive. All other mushrooms do fine as well as a small trumpet & open brain. I have tried many different light levels, target feeding & anything else I could think of. <have you tried quarantine new specimens first to stabilize them and target feed them so that they get a good start later? Please do read more in the WWM archives about how critical it is to QT all new animals (fishes, corals, everything)> They eventually seem to open their mouths so you can see rock thru them & just disintegrate from the middle until there is just a ring of flesh which eventually also goes away without even getting gooey & ugly as I've seen in LFS. Is there something special that they require? It's a very frustrating mystery & I don't want to get any more just to kill them. Thanks much <please do QT all new creatures without exception. Sand, live rock, snails, etc... 4 weeks minimum for peace of mind from parasites, predators, pests and disease... and simply to give them a good solid acclimation/adjustment period without competition. Anthony>

Mushroom Corals 3/13/04 Anthony,  <Adam here today.> Thanks for all the advice. One of my mushroom corals is not doing well. How do you know when they have died or are beyond recovery? What do they look like when they are sick, dying or dead? If they are sick should you QT them? If so, how do you get them off the rock? They are still stuck like glue. <If they die, they will "melt" and disappear.  When they are stressed, they either fail to expand or they will expel mesenterial filaments (looks like tiny spaghetti), and occasionally they will bleach (turn white).  If you choose to quarantine them (or other corals attached to rock), you should do so with them attached to the rock.  Removing them will do far more harm than good.> FYI. My Yellow Twinspot Hogfish had ick and I pulled him and treated him for one month and he is back in the display tank. I thought I would let you know that I conditioned a QT tank with him in it with ick and he easily survived 2 weeks with very high nitrites until it cycled. They are tough fish! Thanks.  Mark <Congrats on the survival of your fish.  They are quite hardy indeed.  In the future, it is best to cycle the quarantine tank in advance of needing it.  Best Regards.  Adam>

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>

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 lite, 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

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

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

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>

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>

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>

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>
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.  <Ughhh! 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 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>

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

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