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Mushroom Coral: Expansive, Intricate & Unique Option For Your Saltwater Aquarium Reef


When designing your own saltwater aquarium setup, it is easy to get carried away. Everyone wants anemone-like corals with delicate branches and large frames. But, some of the most beautiful and unique options for your reef bed is not your stereotypical sun coral or Zoanthid. 

Mushroom Corals are often overlooked when it comes to saltwater aquariums. But, these incredibly hardy and versatile corals can become the center of attraction for your tank and help complete the reef ecosystem.

Sporting a central flat/concave mouth, mushroom corals have a disc-shaped flap around the opening. This gives them their distinct umbrella shape which resembles a common land mushroom - giving this coral its name. These discs sport spots, short tentacles, or bumpy textured protuberances that are often brightly colored or patterned.

Most Mushroom corals in saltwater aquarium setups belong to the category of corals called soft corals. They all have intricate patterns, colors, and tentacles. Let’s take a look at some of the best mushroom corals for your tank and some tips to keep in mind when ordering your next coral shipment!

TriColor Orange Ricordea Florida

This beautiful Florida native will spruce up any saltwater aquarium tank. Featuring a unique concentric pattern in three colors, the tri color ricordea looks like a group of rings and can be arranged in very attractive patterns on a reef base or rock before introducing them to the tank. 

Usually blue with orange and green rings, this coral also features a broad color range. They are found in pinkish-purple, light green, brown and yellow-orange shades too. They are easy to maintain and standard coral feed will do.

They are small in size, making them easy to group and maintain. They are roughly 1 inch in diameter when fully grown. They also add swimming passages for fish since they tend to stick close to the floor. A good-sized arrangement of Ricordea Florida will be the center of attraction of your reef display for sure!

Rhodactus Mushroom Coral

Rhodactus Mushrooms, like the popular Berrylicious is an easy-to-maintain, soft coral species that sports a wide range of colors, textures, and patterns. They come in a myriad of colors, with the primary shade being blue/purple. They are attractive arrangement coral and will flourish in most tank setups. 

They are predominantly ring shaped growing out in a pattern over the rock or reef plug they call home. They bloom and look like a flower with a lot of spots, stripes, patterns, and shapes on display. They have soft velvety and rough patches and add a lot in terms of reef diversity to the tank. 

Much like the other mushroom corals, the patterns on the disc all converge to the central mouth region. They thrive when arranged together with other Rhodactis coral on a rock. They also are hardy and spread and grow fast, which makes keeping Rhodactus coral an extremely rewarding journey.

Another fascinating fact is that they play host to a photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae. They share a symbiotic friendship with the coral enjoying the energy produced by the algae. This makes the Rhodactus an important stop for crabs and shrimp in the tank - making this coral an important center of attraction.

Hairy Mushroom (Rhodactis indosinensis)

Another Rhodactis species on the list, the Hairy Mushroom is found in warm tropical Indo-Pacific waters. They are a cross between the prolific anemone and the sea polyp, making it a unique coral that plays host to clownfish but also has the unique feeding habits of a polyp. 

The Purple Hair Mushroom coral sports shades of neon purple with blue highlights but can also be found in a variety of colors including green, orange, and pinkish gold. They often are found in a small ball-like clump and the tentacles move about in a graceful laze in the currents. 

They are hardy coral and like other Rhodactis, reproduce fast. Rhodactis feed upon bacteria and other microscopic organic matter like phytoplanktons floating in the tank currents. So, it is important that your tank has periodic wave generators or current filters. 

The brightly colored tentacle tips and the natural beauty of symmetry and design they offer are incredible. They can be placed in any location the reef setup and it will instantly become a zone of high activity with clownfish and crabs crowding its tentacles. They are extremely handy when placed slightly higher up in the reef display as it will encourage your fish to explore and swim around, adding activity to the entire tank. 

Why Mushroom Corals?

Mushroom corals are a very interesting alternative to other popular soft coral species for saltwater aquariums. They are easy to maintain and once arranged in a pattern, grow to occupy interesting rock shapes, providing that much-needed variety in the aquarium. 

Their interesting shape and size offer a unique area for fish and invertebrates to hang out in the tank. They can form swimming channels within the reef bed as they lie low to the ground. They are unique in appearance and function and within mushroom corals - there is immense variety. They sport tentacles, textured tops, and mushroom-like shapes that look incredible in an aquarium. 

The Actinodiscus SP., like the Red Actinodiscus is a great example of a coral that will add visual diversity to the tank. The portabella mushroom shape, brick red body with bright blue spots makes it a very Christmas-Esque addition to the tank. 

The bright colors of the Green Hairy Mushrooms and the Superman Rhodactis Mushroom Coral offer the tank a very psychedelic and enchanting neon color scheme and hypnotic patterns, making it a must-have. 

Their size, variability, and hardiness make them an extremely desirable tank addition for both beginners and experienced enthusiasts looking for something new to add to their saltwater aquarium coral setup!

So, what are you waiting for? Browse through our extensive range of mushroom corals and pick one that you think is the best fit for your aquarium. We guarantee you that you will be impressed with this species’ robust and unique range of looks, abilities, and function with the saltwater aquarium setup.