The Rhodactis Mushrooms are a fairly common variety of Corallimorpharia, and found throughout Indo-Pacific Ocean. They have beautiful oral disc covered with pseudo-tentacles that are generally branched out. Some species even have thick tissues, but most have a rather thin tissue that is moist and slippery to the human touch. Frequently referred to as The Tonga Blue Mushroom, The Giant Green Metallic Mushroom, The Hairy Mushrooms and The Small Elephant Ear Mushroom, this magnificent organism is easy to care for and would provide an amazing tropical feel to any home aquarium.
This genus of mushroom is enormously diverse. Some Rhodactis remain small while others such as the Elephant Ear can grow up to 12 inches in diameter. And vary in a rich array of colors such as; violet, green, brown, pink, purple and blue. Usually the color of the tentacles contrasts the color of the mushroom. The Rhodactis Mushrooms may also vary in mass based on location of the tank, the water flow conditions and the surrounding aquatic life forms.
One has to be aware that the Rhodactis Mushroom reproduces by the use of fission or laceration; so there is a major threat of excessive growth, which could eventually become an issue. A small polyp detaches from the base or mouth of the parent polyp and grows to full size in as little as 2 months.
In its natural environment, the Rhodactis Mushroom lives in shallow, warm water environment. Therefore, before placing this mushroom into your tank it’s vital that you check that your saltwater aquarium’s water temperature is between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit, the water flow is medium and that you provide it with plenty of lighting. Rhodactis feed on free-floating microorganisms, so the water flow should be intermittent or alternating.
This Mushroom feeds via photosynthesis. There is photosynthetic algae zooxanthellae that lives within the Rhodactis and the 2 have a mutually beneficial feeding relationship. Externally, Rhodactis Mushrooms prefers feeding on plankton and larger organisms that can be found in the tank water, such as the miniscule marine phytoplankton and zooplankton. Supplemental foods include trace elements, iodine, plankton, brine and minced meaty substances.
An interesting fact about The Rhodactis Mushroom is that it’s a cross species between coral and sea anemone, which makes it a great hardy add-on to any aquatic tank and the perfect host for the clownfish.