Hairy Mushroom Coral Aquarium Care, Lighting Requirements and Feeding Information
The Hairy Mushroom Coral or Rhodactis Coral is a member of the order Corallimorpharia and occurs in multiple colors including brown, tan, green and purple. Rhodactis corals in general are very hardy and are considered excellent choices for beginning reef aquarists. The Hairy Mushroom Coral is a common form of Rhodactis coral that is found in most local fish stores that carry marine fish and corals. The Hairy Mushroom Coral gets its common name from the hair-like tentacles that cover the majority of its surface area, thus giving it a hairy appearance. Under proper conditions this species is known to grow quite quickly and should be given enough room to expand laterly as it grows. Another reason to provide ample room for this coral is that it is aggressive to other corals if it comes in contact with. Overall though, this is an excellent species for beginning reef aquarists.
The Hairy Mushroom Coral like all corals requires good water quality, but unlike many other coral species only requires medium light intensity and medium water movement. In shallow aquariums Hairy Mushroom Corals do well when placed in the middle areas of the aquarium or placed in higher areas of the aquarium in deeper tanks, with plenty of room for them to grow laterly. If higher intensity lighting is used, it is best to place the Hairy Mushroom Coral in a lower area of the tank to prevent bleaching. One should not allow this species to come into contact with of corals or sessile invertebrates as it will overgrow and damage or possibly kill them. Ideally this species does best when it receives alternating or indirect medium water currents, as some of its nutrition comes from filter feeding on plankton and other micro-foods.
Most of the nutrition the Hairy Mushroom Coral receives is provided by photosynthesis of the hosted symbiotic algae zooxanthellae contained within the coral. However, they also filter small plankton or other filter foods from the water and may be fed plankton, brine or other similar smaller meaty items.