Believe it or not Pseudocorynactis is actually a type of mushroom. Although a common name for this corallimorph is an orange ball anemone, the Pseudocorynactis isn’t actually an anemone at all. It’s easy to see why some might think that this type of corallimorph is an anemone, they share a lot of similarities with a lot of the popular anemones in the hobby, such as long tentacle and bubble tip anemones. The Pseudocorynactis has a thick crown of tentacles, a fleshy body, and a single large mouth in the center.
Despite these striking similarities to anemones, the Pseudocorynactis is a type of corallimorph, which they seemingly have nothing in common with on a surface level. Other corallimorphs tend to be flat in appearance but they do have various textures that are easily differentiated.
Appearance isn’t the only thing separating Pseudocorynactis from its mushroom counterparts, it is also an outstanding predator. The tentacles that it has are incredibly sticky. The stickiness of the tentacles I would say is pretty on par with that of a large carpet anemone. I have been able to stick my hand into a tank, have the Pseudocorynactis stick to my hand, and lift my hand out of the tank without the coral letting go, and that also includes the rock that he was anchored to.
This stickiness and ability to respond quickly to animals that come in contact with it make it a poor choice for any tank that houses many small fish or inverts. They’re really good at catching anything that dares to wander too close. I like to keep mine in a tank with just macro algae. In a tank like this I can appreciate this corallimorph in a nice setting, but I don’t have to worry about them eating something like a fox face or a tang; they’re more than capable of grabbing and eating large prey items like that. The ones we have right now are pretty small, but they can grow to large sizes. The largest we have grown has been around 12 inches in diameter.
The Pseudocorynactis is found in the Indo-Pacific region, however they are mainly found near Indonesia specifically, and not as far south as the Great Barrier Reef.
Now that we’ve discussed the outward appearance of the Pseudocorynactis, let’s dive into some care tips, starting with lighting.
The Pseudocorynactis corallimorph is a non-photosynthetic species so it does not require lighting. However, for the best viewing we noticed that daylight to 10k brings out the best lighting, compared to a lot of other corals that look better under heavy actinic light. This corallimorph doesn’t fluoresce, so heavy actinic light tends to make it less visible.Low Light
Low light translates to about 30-50 PAR
Medium Light is between 50-150 PAR
High Light is anything over 150 PAR
Lighting is a loaded topic, so for a more in-depth discussion of lighting, please see our Deep Dive article.
For the Pseudocorynactis we generally recommend a stronger water flow. This particular corallimorph doesn't care too much about flow, but we keep it in higher flow areas so that it has better access to food that gets trapped in the current.
Speaking of food, the Pseudocorynactis is actually non-photosynthetic, which means that it doesn’t take in nutrients from sunlight and lives off of solid foods alone. Due to the Pseudocorynactis being non-photosynthetic, it does require regular feedings. Since it has the ability to reach out and grab other fish with its sticky tentacles, we like to give it large, meatier foods such as shrimp and silversides. Since this corallimorph is rather aggressive and likes to grab its food and eat it almost immediately, the feeding display is pretty spectacular to watch.
Since the pseudocorynactis is part of the mushroom family it requires the same water chemistry; and just like most other mushrooms, besides the more sensitive Ricordea yuma, the pseudocorynactis is also on the hardier side and can handle most tank conditions.
That’s all we have on the pseudocorynactis mushroom. This anemone look-alike is great for more advanced reefers that want to do a coral specific tank. I say more advanced, only because it is a non-photosynthetic coral and those can be a little more difficult to feed regularly. However, it does help that this coral eats meatier foods. Lots of other non-photosynthetic corals like sea fans get their food through filter feeding, which is a lot harder to maintain.
Thanks for reading, and as always, happy reefing!