By Bob Goemans
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Family Ricordeidae

Ricordea florida

Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1860

Florida False Coral, Mushroom Anemones, Ricordea

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Tropical Western Atlantic Ocean: Southern Florida to Brazil, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Natural Environment: Usually found encrusting substrates of various kinds (rocky areas and dead coral rubble) in very shallow coastal environments where currents are fairly swift.

General Husbandry: The Ricordea family contains only two members, the species described here, and R. yuma hailing from the Tropical Indo-Pacific. Both have surface areas that are usually covered with short, bubble-like tentacles. Both are also fairly shallow water members and need strong light and swift water movement. Those are requirements opposite of those other members in this Order.

These mostly photosynthetic corals are among the easiest of all corals to maintain because they do better in somewhat nutrient rich surroundings. Most attain a size of approximately 2 - 3 inches (5 - 7.5 cm) in diameter. Keep in mind they neither are not true anemones nor are they true corals, however, they are somewhere in between or more appropriately a comparative anatomy or simply put, a morph.

The majority of its nutrition comes from its ability to photosensitize; nevertheless, this animal has short tentacles and is also a suspension feeder. As with any animal with tentacles, they can be directly fed and have responded nicely to zooplankton-like foods such as Cyclop-eeze and baby brine shrimp in my aquariums.

Generally hardy, disease resistant, and fairly fast growing, however, can damage other corals if they touch them, therefore allow sufficient space between it and other corals.

Iodine additives, used as their manufacturers recommend, also seem to have a positive effect on these so-called "mushroom" corals.


    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Cnidaria

    Class: Anthozoa

    Subclass: Hexacorallia

    Order: Corallimorpharia

    Family: Ricordeidae

    Genus: Ricordea


    Experience Level: Beginner

    Diet: Photosynthetic/Absorption of nutrients/ Micro plankton/detritus feeder

    Temperament: Slightly aggressive

    Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

    Coral Safe:With caution

    Fish Safe: Yes

    Invertebrate Safe: Yes

    Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

    Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy

    Calcium (Ca): 380 - 430 mg/l

    Alkalinity: 2.5 - 3.0 meq/l

    Phosphate (PO4): <0.05 mg/l

    Magnesium (Mg): approx. 1350 mg/l (relate to specific gravity)

    Strontium (Sr) 8 - 10 mg/l

    Temperature Range: 72 - 83°F (22 - 28°C)

    Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

    Lighting: PAR 450+

    Water Movement: WM 3

    Specific Gravity: 1.023 - 1.025

    pH: 8.0 - 8.4

    Iodine/Trace Elements Monitor/as necessary to maintain quality seawater.

 Ricordea florida (Florida False Coral, Mushroom Anemones, Ricordea)
Photo © Bob Goemans
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