Rhodactis Mushrooms: The Colorful Beginner Coral For Saltwater Tanks

Rhodactis Mushrooms: The Colorful Beginner Coral For Saltwater Tanks
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The Bright and Colorful Rhodactis Mushroom Coral

In the ocean reef aquarium hobby, mushroom corals are some of the most popular beginner corals. With their relatively easy care requirements and bright colors, it's no wonder mushroom corals like the rhodactis remain aquarist favorites. If you're looking to add a vibrant pop of color to your saltwater tank, rhodactis mushroom corals are an excellent choice.

An Overview of Rhodactis Mushrooms

Rhodactis mushrooms, also known by their scientific name Rhodactis indosinensis, are a member of the coral family Fungiidae. As their name suggests, these corals resemble colorful little mushrooms swaying in the ocean currents. Their round discs can grow to about 8 inches in diameter and come in a rainbow of shades like green, brown, blue, purple, pink, and reddish orange.

These mushroom corals have short, compact tentacles around the outer edge of their discs. The tentacles are typically the same color as the oral disc center. Rhodactis mushrooms can be found growing singly or in groups in shallow warm waters of the Indo-Pacific ocean reefs. Under the right conditions, they can propagate quickly to form large colonies in reef aquariums.

Caring for Rhodactis Mushrooms

Compared to other corals, rhodactis mushrooms are relatively easy to care for. Here are some key care guidelines for keeping them healthy in a saltwater aquarium:

  • Place in low to moderate water flow areas
  • Water temperature between 72-78°F
  • Weekly water changes of 5-10%
  • Stable alkaline pH between 8.1-8.4
  • Dim to moderate strength LED lighting
  • Regular reef aquarium calcium, alkalinity, and other trace element supplementation
  • Feed micro plankton foods 2-3 times per week

Provided with stable water quality and lighting conditions, rhodactis mushrooms are generally hardy and resilient corals. They can bounce back quickly from occasional minor parameter fluctuations. Their low aggressive temperament allows them to be housed with other non-aggressive corals and reef safe fish.

Purchasing Options for Rhodactis Mushrooms

Thanks to their enduring popularity in the saltwater aquarium trade, rhodactis coral frags are readily available from online retailers and local fish stores. When shopping for rhodactis mushrooms, look for specimens with full, rounded oral discs and short tentacles along the edges. Make sure the coral tissue appears full and inflated without signs of dead spots or recession.

It's normal for rhodactis polyps to partially retract their tentacles, so don't be alarmed if they appear short. The most vibrant and intensely colored specimens usually demand higher prices, sometimes over $100 USD for a large frag. Small starter frags can be found for around $20-40 USD. Purchase multiple frags to start your own mushroom forest!

Cultivating a Sparkling Rhodactis Mushroom Garden

A lush garden of rhodactis mushrooms can transform any reef tank into a shimmering wonderland. Rhodactis are known for rapidly splitting and spreading into dense colonies under optimal aquarium conditions. By starting with several frags, you'll soon have meadows of colorful mushrooms.

Give your rhodactis plenty of space to expand across the bottom rocks and decor. Frequently use coral propagation tools like bone cutters to fragment large mushrooms into new frags. Trade in frags at your local fish store to share the mushroom bounty!

For maximum pop and contrast, combine different rhodactis morphs across the color spectrum. Contrast green and pink varieties across limestone boulders, or create a rainbow sand bed with red, purple, blue, and orange mushrooms. The creative possibilities are endless!

Pairing Rhodactis with Complimentary Corals

The peaceful disposition of rhodactis mushrooms allows them to mingle nicely with other corals. Small polyp stony (SPS) corals like acropora and montipora make classic companions, contrasting their intricate branching structures with the smooth rhodactis mushrooms. The bright colors of rhodactis also complement zoanthids, palythoas, and ricordea coral colonies.

For special effect, intersperse rhodactis mushrooms within large colonies of pulsing xenia or green star polyps. Or try underplanting the swirling tentacles of melanarus wrassefish with rhodactis mushrooms. Creatively arranged, combinations of rhodactis mushrooms and other corals can result in a show-stopping reef aquascape!

A Beginner-Friendly Saltwater Showpiece

From humble starter frags, rhodactis mushroom gardens can transform into gorgeous underwater landscapes that become the talk of local reef forums. What beginner coral would you trust to anchor your tank's design? Look no further than the durable, vibrant rhodactis mushroom for an enthusiast favorite that delivers lasting beauty. Add a few today and enjoy watching your mushrooms multiply!


What is the ideal water flow for rhodactis mushrooms?

Rhodactis mushrooms thrive best in low to moderate water flow conditions. They prefer gentle current rather than highly turbulent flow. Position them away from powerheads and directional outlet nozzles.

How often should I feed my rhodactis mushrooms?

In most reef tanks with enough natural plankton production and supplementation, feeding 2-3 times per week is sufficient. Target feed the rhodactis mushrooms directly with marine snow, phytoplankton, or reef roids.

Why did all my mushroom's tentacles retract?

Rhodactis tentacles retracting is usually a sign of stress, often from sudden water parameter changes. Test and restore calcium, alkalinity, pH, salinity, and other levels to normal ranges. The tentacles should extend again within a few days.

Can I keep rhodactis mushrooms with fish or other corals?

Yes, rhodactis mushrooms are peaceful corals compatible with most reef safe fish that won't nip at their tentacles. They also tolerate other non-aggressive corals like softies and LPS provided adequate space and water flow.

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