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Mushrooms & PolypsMushrooms & Polyps

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Clove Polyps - Clavularia species - Glove Polyp

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Mushrooms & Polyps

Mushrooms & Polyps are one of the most popular Corals for Marine Aquariums. Belonging to the Class Anthozoa, Mushrooms & Polyps exist in colonies consisting of a large group of individual organisms. Their unique branched body structure and vibrant colors add immense visual appeal to an aquarium. Fresh Marine offers several interesting types of Mushrooms & Polyps. However, prior to moving on to them, let us have a fundamental idea about the key features of Mushrooms & Polyps.

Compatibility. Mushrooms & Polyps are semi-aggressive towards the other tank mates.
  • Habit & Habitat. Mushrooms & Polyps exist in the shallow waters of Tropical Seas & Oceans in all parts of the world, and grow on rocks, Reef Slopes, Lagoons. When Stressed, Mushrooms & Polyps shrink or what we call close down.
  • Morphology. Mushrooms & Polyps are Hard Corals of Polyp types, which are extremely beautiful due to their beautiful body and striking colors (mostly Purple and Red). The color of Mushrooms & Polyps may vary according to the degree of light they receive in their habitat. The growth and therefore the size of a Polyp varies, depending upon the depth of the marine water, the flow of water and the overall environment of your marine aquarium, etc. As is evident from the name, Mushrooms & Polyps resemble a Mushroom in appearance with a short stem and a nearly round Cap. The Caps can be single shaded or multicolored, smooth or rough, and plain, striped, or patterned in any other way. Mushrooms & Polyps do not have any Exoskeleton.
  • Ideal Marine Aquarium Environment. Mushrooms & Polyps grow well in an aquarium with stable high water quality having a temperature range of 72-78°F; the Specific Gravity of 1.020-1.025; and the pH level of water within 8.1-8.4. Mushrooms & Polyps require moderate water current, and moderate to high intensity light (for the Zooxanthellae within them to manufacture food). Some species however, may require low illumination and low water current. Therefore, for the brightly illuminated tanks and the ones having strong water current on the surface, keep these Mushrooms & Polyps at the bottom of the tank. Keep ample Live Rocks, caves, and holes in your tank for the Mushrooms & Polyps to grow on.
  • Aquarium Feeding. Mushrooms & Polyps are Carnivorous and feed upon Plankton. The primary source of nutrition however, is the food manufactured by Zooxanthellae, the Acellular Photosynthetic Alga living inside Coral Polyps. In addition, Mushrooms & Polyps require mineral supplementation for Iodine, Strontium, Calcium, and Trace Elements.
  • Aquarium Breeding. Mushrooms & Polyps breed easily in aquarium, especially by budding or fragmenting asexually.
  • Care. Mushrooms & Polyps are easy to maintain. However, some species may continue their growing spree on everything in your aquarium, including on other Corals.


  • Let us know check out the specific species of Mushrooms & Polyps, available at Fresh Marine.

    Genus – Anthelia.
  • Anthelia Polyp (Glove Anthelia Polyp). Also known as Green Glove Polyps, Eight Tentacle Polyps, and Encrusting Polyps, these Mushrooms & Polyps are available in Brown, Cream, Tan and Green colors. Anthelia Polyp grows a few inches long and has distinct eight leaves like tentacles.


  • Genus - Actinodiscus.
  • Blue / Green Metallic / Hairy / Assorted / Red / Spotted Mushrooms (Actinodiscus species). Also known as Disc Anemones, Flower Corals, Mushroom Anemones, and Actinodiscus Mushroom Coral, they are available in Blue, Metallic Blue, Blue-Green, Violet, Brown, Tan, and Red colors. These Mushrooms & Polyps have a Pinkish or Purplish shade or pattern on them. They require low illumination and low water current.


  • Genus – Discosoma.
  • Bullseye Mushrooms (Discosoma species). Also known as Disc Anemones, Flower Corals, and Mushroom Anemones, these Mushrooms & Polyps occur in the color combinations of Brown, Red-Green, and Purple-Blue colors. They require low illumination and low water current.


  • Genus – Epizoanthus.
  • Button Polyp – Green/Brown (Epizoanthus species). Also known as Sea Mats, Moon Polyps, and Encrusting Anemones, these Mushrooms & Polyps occur in Tan or Brown colors with Green color in the middle as a variation, these Mushrooms & Polyps emit a very poisonous chemical toxin, Palythoa Toxin. The victim needs immediate attention in case toxin reaches the victim’s blood vessels. The patient can get badly sick and may even die in some cases, if even ten grams of toxin reaches the bloodstream. In case you have handled Button Polyp with bare hands and post-handling you are experiencing flu symptoms but without fever then, seek medical advice without any further delay. To avoid any health risk, it is always better to wear rubber gloves while handling a Button Polyp.


  • Genus – Clavularia.
  • Clove Polyps (Clavularia species). Also known as Glove Polyp, these Mushrooms & Polyps occur in Brown, Green, Tan, Pink, and White. These have long and big polyps with feathery, eight-leaved, Pale Brown or Grey colored tentacles. When closed, Clove Polyps retract their polyps fully, so much so that the closed heads are visible. Also, Clove Polyps can disturb or can even kill Zoanthid Anemones, if kept in vicinity.
  • Star Polyps - Green Assorted (Clavularia species). Also known as Eight Tentacle Polyps, Encrusting Pipe Coral, Waving Hand Polyps, and Encrusting Star Polyp, these Mushrooms & Polyps grow on everything in their vicinity. These creatures occur in Green and Silver colors. With Purple colored base, each Polyp is brightly colored, long, narrow, and has Tentacles sticking out at its tip. The polyps together form a crown like structure.


  • Genus – Rhodactis.
  • Elephant's Ear Mushrooms (Rhodactis mussoides). Also known as Disc Anemones, Flower Corals, and Mushroom Anemones, these Mushrooms & Polyps resemble the shape of an elephant’s ear and occur in brown and Green colors. Rhodactis mussoides has leather like texture and has multiple mouths.
  • Giant Cup Mushrooms (Rhodactis indosinensis). Also known as Giant Coral Anemone, Giant Disc Anemone, Giant Mushroom Anemone, and Giant Flower Coral, these Mushrooms & Polyps occur in Tan, Brown, and Green colors. Rhodactis indosinensis needs a low flow of water in the tank.


  • Genus – Ricordea.
  • Blue-Green / Green / Red-Pink Ricordea Mushrooms (Ricordea yuma). Also known as Ricordea Mushroom Coral, these Mushrooms & Polyps, being delicate, are difficult to maintain. Blue / Green Ricordea secretes harmful toxins after propagation. Therefore, keep other aquarium inmates away from Ricordea.


  • Genus – Acrozoanthus.
  • Tree Stick Polyps (Acrozoanthus species). Also known as Encrusting Stick Anemones, Stick Polyps, and Tree Stick Polyps, these Mushrooms & Polyps are Brown and Tan in color. These Polyps grow on the dead or discarded tubes of fan worms or tubeworms. The organisms have long Tentacles that can sting other Corals or Polyps in a tank. The Sting, however, is non-venomous.


  • Genus – Parazoanthus.
  • Yellow Polyp (Parazoanthus species). Also known as Yellow Colony Polyp, Bali Polyps, Ballet Dancer Polyps, and Yellow Encrusting Anemones, these Mushrooms & Polyps come in Golden Yellow color, deep Yellow, Goldenrod, Saffron, and Tan colors. Each Polyp has eight colorful Tentacles. The other Corals may sting the Tentacles of Yellow Polyp and vice versa and therefore, place Yellow Polyp away from the other Corals in your marine aquarium.


  • Genus – Zoanthus.
  • Zoanthid Mushroom - Assorted Color Button Polyp (Zoanthus species). Also known as Colonial Polyp, Gold Zoanthid, Sea Mats, Moon Polyps, and Encrusting Anemones, these Mushrooms & Polyps are Stony Coral of Large Polyp. The Zoanthus species occurs in Purple, Orange, Red, Cream, Green, Yellow, Blue, Tan, and Brown colors and their variations. Keep it distant from its other tank mates as it secretes a poisonous toxin, Palythoa Toxin. You too handle the Zoanthid Mushroom carefully with your rubber gloves on for sure.


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