The mushroom leather coral is a well-known and widely available soft coral. While it is rather plain in color, it has interesting shape that can appear folded or similar to a funnel. These corals are good for beginners because they are quite hardy.
Care level: Easy to moderate
The mushroom leather coral has a reduced digestive system. Instead of using mucus nets or their tentacles, they warp their surface area to direct water into the feathery pinnules in their tentacles and sieve water for nutrients. They are photosynthetic and receive nutrients from marine algae and zooxanthellae.
Stable water conditions are required, and iodine levels should be topped off since it will be used up quickly. Mushroom leather corals need moderate water flow and moderate to bright lighting.
If the mushroom leather coral goes limp for more than a week, it may be affected by snails, poor water quality, or disease. Common diseases include flatworms, jelly infections, and black band disease.
Known for being aggressive, the mushroom leather coral may be toxic to other corals, especially stony corals, so it needs to be given plenty of space. The coral lives well with shrimp, hermit crabs, and most other fish. Clownfish may become a problem for this coral if it uses a surrogate anemone.
Some leather corals shed their skin periodically. This helps them get rid of waste, algae, and debris, making them look bigger and even more beautiful than before.