Caribbean Umbrella Mushroom
Discosoma Mushroom Care
Discosoma mushrooms are a great choice for both beginning hobbyists looking for hardy additions to their reef tank as well as experienced collectors looking to add a potentially rare showpiece to their aquarium. These corallimorphs come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, some of which are highly sought-after by reef enthusiasts. Please see below for additional care tips for Ricordea as well as checking out our Top 5 Tips for setting up a reef.
LocationDiscosoma mushroom corallimorphs are found all over. Indo-Pacific - Islands of the Indopacific including Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, and the Great Barrier Reef.
Discosoma mushrooms do not require as much light as some other corals. It can be kept under normal output fluorescents without much difficulty. In some cases, it may extend more readily under subdued lighting, however these corallimorphs may display more attractive colors when placed under stronger lighting. Overexposure should be avoided. When Discosoma mushrooms get too much light on the reef, they develop oxide radicals in their flesh that resemble white bubble-like growths.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.
We recommend keeping the mushrooms in a relatively low flow area of the reef aquarium. Too much water flow may cause Discosoma to become stressed and not extend fully. Worse yet, the mushroom may detach altogether from its substrate. Once a mushroom gets detached it generally fares poorly unless it can reattach elsewhere.
Discosoma derives much of its energy from the products of their zooxanthellae. Originally it was thought that these mushrooms did not "feed" on anything, but rather passively absorb dissolved organics from the water column directly through its "skin." In reef aquariums with low flow, it is possible to feed them as you can see in the video above.
This genus for the most part has been propagated extensively in captivity and is an excellent candidate for aquaculture. It is reasonable to believe that a sustainable harvest can be achieved in time. The video below covers some techniques for propagating Discosoma as well as what to do if it becomes detached from its substrate.
Proper acclimation is extremely important considering the stress imposed on the animals by the shipping process. Please take a moment to review our Acclimation Guide.
The images were taken with a Canon 5D mk II and 100mm macro lens under T5 Fluorescent lighting. Quite a lot goes into how we go about shooting the corals and anemones you see on Tidal Gardens. For an in-depth look at our methods, check out our comprehensive Reef Aquarium Photography FAQ.