Please welcome yet another newcomer to the AquaNerd Blog, Miguel Tolosa. Miguel is the author of Practical Coral Farming, an insider’s guide to the coral farming industry, and his work has been seen in many other publications and aquarium blogs. We look forward to having Miguel share his vast wealth of knowledge with the AquaNerd community.
Although they’re some of my favorite corals, I’ve never been a fan of propagating Corallimorphs, or mushroom corals. Nearly every way is messy, and all seem to involve removing the mushroom from the rock, and end with having to patiently wait up to a few weeks for the now fragged mushrooms to reattach. In my tank, the common risk of a detached mushroom floating around the tank inevitably meant a date with destiny: becoming Euphyllia food.
It turns out that Corallimorphs all share the ability to leave a trail of clones if they decide to “walk” due to remnants of the base being left behind, and this auto-propagation can be induced artificially as well. Simply find a mushroom that has the base stretched as seen in the first picture, take a very sharp razor blade, and gently but deeply cut the stretched base down the rock. Make sure to add a few extra sawing strokes since mushrooms can reattach to the foot if it is not sufficiently isolated.
After 10 days you should see something along the lines of the time lapse photos, finishing with a fully formed and attached mushroom. This works with Corallimorphs of all kinds, from Ricordia and Rhodactis to Discosoma, some varieties of which are notorious for never splitting on their own (as was the case with the one pictured here). This is as easy as propagation gets, and will hopefully help with spreading some of the more beautiful Corallimorph colorations that have until now stubbornly refused to propagate themselves.