Quick Care Facts
• Care Level: Easy • Temperament: Semi-aggressive • Waterflow: Moderate to Strong
• Placement: Bottom to Middle • Lighting: Low to Medium • Color Form: orange, yellow, blue, red, purple
• Supplements: Calcium, Strontium, Trace Elements • Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
• Origin: Caribbean, Tropical Western Atlantic • Family: Ricordeidae • Species: Mushroom Corals
Native Habitat and Species Information
Ricordea Mushroom native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.
Ricordea florida mushroom corals are indigenous to the tropical Western Atlantic, where they can be found in a variety of color variations including blues, pinks, oranges, purples, reds and yellows. Their bright coloration, relative ease of care and hardiness towards many fish species have made them one of the best ways to add dramatic color to FOWLR or reef aquariums. Minimal upkeep and a wide tolerance for lighting conditions and aquarium placement also make the Ricordea florida mushroom a good beginner species for aquarium hobbyists new to keeping corals.
In the wild, Ricordea florida are frequently found growing in large colonies that cover rock and coral rubble throughout shallow, turbid waters. They are also found in deeper waters, but tend to be in smaller colonies or as solitary animals. Their coloration is heavily impacted by their environment and current water conditions, thus water flow, temperature, lighting, etc. will factor in to the corals coloration and depth of color.
How to successfully keep Ricordea Mushroom in the home aquarium.
As with most other marine animals, Ricordea florida do best when placed in an aquarium that provides them habitat that resembles their natural surroundings in the wild. Fortunately for marine aquarists, Ricordea florida mushrooms are fairly tolerant of a wide range of both lighting and water flow conditions. However, it is important to properly acclimate them to the aquariums water conditions via drip acclimation, which will let them slowly adjust to the aquariums water temperature, salinity, etc.
In short, R. florida tolerate bright reef lighting much better than most other mushroom corals, but they also do fine in less well-lit situations such as shaded areas of the aquarium, extra tall aquariums or in tanks without metal halides. Under metal halides, it is recommended to consider a lower, somewhat shaded or vertical placement in the aquarium. With less intense reef lighting, a horizontal placement in the middle portion of the aquarium will likely suit them best.
After placement, the aquarist should carefully observe the Ricordea specimen to determine its overall happiness with its current location. If the specimen grows paler and shrinks, the lighting may be too intense or if an originally brightly colored specimen retains its size but loses some of its intensity, the lighting should probably be stronger. They can be kept with a wide variety of tank mates including many fish species that are normally too aggressive to be kept with other coral species. They should be place on rocks that do not connect to rocks hosting other coral specimens or at least 4 to 6 inches from existing corals so that they do not sting one another.
Captive propagation of Ricordea florida is easily achieved by carefully cutting the individual animal in half straight through the oral disc, column and pedal disc. Care must be taken to insure that the tools used are clean so as to avoid any bacterial contamination. Propagating Ricordea in this manner is easy for the experienced hobbyists and has a very high success rate with the animals healing fully within several weeks under ideal aquarium conditions.
Feeding & Nutrition
How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Ricordea Mushroom.
Ricordea florida mushrooms obtain their nutritional needs primarily from the symbiotic zooxanthellae that they host within their bodies. They also filter feed on plankton and small crustaceans that they filter from the water column. Ricordea florida mushrooms are often found in shaded locations of the reef in their natural habitat, and many hobbyists have found through experience that many Ricordea specimens actually do better when not exposed directly to bright reef lighting (e.g. metal halide lights) in the aquarium.
The reasons for this are not totally understood, but probably have something to do with the animal being able to rely on a combination of photosynthetic and chemosynthetic food production. They will benefit from bi-weekly target feeding of phytoplankton and zooplankton (or commercially available foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates), but this is not absolutely necessary.
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