Discosoma Mushrooms are a Corallimorph that is found extensively throughout most coral reefs. They are also sometimes called Mushroom or Disc Anemones. They come in a wide variety of colours and patterns with green, red, blue and purple being the most commonly available. They multiply by leaving a small piece of themselves behind as they move very slowly around the tank. This new piece will then grow into a new mushroom. Don’t worry about them moving all around the tank however, as they may only move a few inches a year.
They are found throughout the Indo-Pacific region. They grow on reefs at various depths but are generally found in shaded areas under ledges or other corals. They are definitely not a light loving coral. In a home aquarium, they do best in areas of low light and low flow, although they should not be placed in complete shade. A coral that is “cupping” or appearing to reach upward is likely not receiving enough light. They should be placed in the lower portion of the tank. They should be placed in a low flow area of the tank to prevent them from being blown off the rockwork. Like many other types of mushrooms, they may grow faster in tanks with higher nutrient levels.
Discosoma Mushrooms are photosynthetic and are able to use aquarium lighting to meet their energy needs. However, they will grow faster if they are spot fed. They can be fed microplankton or brine shrimp and a good choice is Vitalis Soft Coral Food. Be aware, however, that overfeeding can cause nutrient levels to rise and may upset more delicate corals.
Propagating Discosoma Mushrooms does require patience and creativity. The easiest way is to remove a small, newly growing mushroom from the rockwork and place it in a low flow area of the tank with a piece of rubble rock and allow itself to attach naturally. This may take some time and some hobbyists use a small basket for this. It is important to note that mushrooms cannot be glued to a frag plug.
For both beginner and experienced hobbyists, Discosoma Mushrooms offer an easy way to add colour and texture to a reef tank.