Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral Aquarium Care, Lighting Requirements and Feeding Information
The Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral is a popular species of coral for many beginners to advanced reef hobbyists. This species is commonly available within the hobby because of its attractive appearance, ease of care and versatility in placement within the reef aquarium. Within the hobby the Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral is often referred to by many different names, including: Sarcophyton Coral, Sarcophyton Mushroom, Sarcophyton Leather, or Trough Corals. The Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral varies in appearance anywhere from a cream or tan all the way to a light brown or green, all with white or gold polyps. As this species increases in age, the crown will develop a folded appearance. It is often difficult to identify all the various species because they all have the similar appearance of mushroom or toadstool, each with a distinct stalk and capitulum (cap).
The Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral is such a popular species in part to its ease of care and excellent adaptability to reef aquarium life. Toadstool Mushroom Leather Corals are a peaceful species that can be placed in most any location within the aquarium, but adequate space should be provided between them and other corals. Toadstool Mushroom Leather Corals require medium to high lighting combined with medium to strong water movement and for continued good health, they will also require the addition of iodine, strontium, and other trace elements to the water. Many varieties of this species can be found for sale in the reef aquarium hobby, the more plain Sarcophyton Leather Corals from Indonesia are easy to maintain in the reef aquarium and make an excellent coral for the beginning through expert reef aquarist; however, the colored Sarcophyton Leather Corals from Tonga are much more difficult to ship and maintain, and are only for expert reef aquarists. Toadstool Mushroom Leather Corals will normally be sold attached to a small piece of live rock or rubble, for ease of placement within the aquarium. One can Culture this species by cutting off a portion of the Coral's crown and attaching that piece to live rock or placing it in the sandy bottom of the reef aquarium; however, this should only be attempted by an experienced reef hobbyist.
The Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral receives the majority of its nutrition from the symbiotic algae zooxanthellae hosted within its body by the light driven process of photosynthesis. Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral will also benefit from additional food such as micro-plankton, baby brine shrimp, or foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates, that can be taken out of the aquarium currents.