I am planning on turning my current setup (7 months old) into a dark (in the metaphorical sense) and mysterious mushroom forest. I have always enjoyed mushroom corals and how much variety there is in that one species. They way they reproduce, feed and cover the rocks, and sway in the current is brilliant. So I thought, I want my tank to show off as many mushroom species as I can safely fit in the tank.
FTS last month
Currently I have some small Indonesian Purple/Blue Tonga mushrooms (that look more Burgundy when they swell up) and some green hairy mushrooms. I also have a GSP which Iím unsure about keeping in my setup. Itís very temperamental and Iím not sure if it will fit in with what Iím wanting to create here. The shape of the rock is also very difficult to work with (maybe if it starts spreading over more rocks I could use it to mimic the grassy look I was wanting to have in some places).
Other than those corals I have a pair of common clowns (Sosuke, the small male and Mononoke, the fat greedy female), a skunk cleaner shrimp (Howl, he owns the tank), a peppermint shrimp (Calcifer), a blue tuxedo urchin (Totoro), and a midnight feather duster worm (I have a lime one as well but I think itís about to die because Howl wonít leave it alone so it never comes out its tube). I also have three brown legged hermits, a blue legged hermit and an antillean hermit. And if you are wondering, my little sister gets to name all my critters and she is a Studio Gibli fanatic which explains the names.
Hereís some info on the tank everything is in:
...Boyu TL450 - 10gal
...Lighting: 2x 10000K(18W) Fluorescent Lamps
...Circulation: Submersible pump + Hydro Koralia nano = 2320lph (submersible pump set the the lowest setting though so my mushrooms donít get blown to bits).
...Filtration: Live rock (10lb) and Sand (1Ē deep, less in some places), protein separator (going to upgrade to the protein skimmer that is designed for the TL550 when I can find one), activated carbon and filter wool.
...Temp - 79F (26C)
...Salinity - 1.022-1.024 (sometimes my LFS doesnít get the salt levels right but I get it back up by topping up the evaporation with saltwater)
I donít think Iíll be rearranging the rock work much I quite like how it is sitting (Iím sure Iíll change my mind though along the way). Iíll just need to replace some of the rocks that wont fit when I need to put more coral in. Plus Iíll need to find somewhere for my GSP to go.
So here are some things that Iím looking to put in my tank:
...Some more midnight feather duster worms (the deep red/purple colouring of the plume is ideal for creating that ominous look).
...A feather duster cluster or pulsing xenia (need to do more research on the xenia before I make my decision)
...Some florida and yuma rics (deep blues and reds like the red caribbean rhodactis), bubble mushrooms, green stripey mushroom, one thatís red with white dots, etc. Basically a whole host of numerous mushrooms.
...Iíd also like some types macro algae if I find it anywhere.
...Possibly an elephant ear mushroom or a larger bullseye mushroom specimen (not sure if I want to risk that though with there being the chance that my clownfish will try to host in it and I wake up with two dead clownfish and a very fat mushroom, plus they can grow a wee bit too big for my tank)
...Iíd also like some suggestions from you lot as well. Any other types of mushroom that are a wee bit out of the ordinary to take centre stage. Any other low to medium light corals that remind you of forests/magic gardens of despair?
So far I have suffered a few set backs, the major one involved melting mushies. The first shipment of green hairy mushrooms was a disaster, they came a day late and were in a terrible condition. I tried to rescue them but they practically melted into a brown gloop. I noticed that it started on the most shriveled mushroom and then spread VERY QUICKLY to the other three. I didnít know what it was at first and thought they were bleaching or something but eventually I sucked one up and realised it had fallen apart and had large mushy holes in it. I sucked the rest up and phoned the company. They sent me out another one which had 9 massive mushies on it for compensation. These ones arrived on time but I noticed one was slightly shriveled, I kept an eye on it and then saw the brown stringy gloop of death appearing on it, I quickly hovered it up and tried to save it by cutting of the infected section. Unfortunately the mushroom was too far gone as the dissolving brown stuff had began at the base of the mushroom. However my quick actions were able to save the rest of the colony.
After that fiasco I have decided never to order online again and I am currently trying to persuade my LFS to take orders for me. They are actually a garden shop with a small marine aquarium section (LFS are very difficult to find in Scotland!) I have heard of a place in Glasgow but itís about an hour and a bits drive away...
So Iíll try and keep you all updated with pictures and info on how everything is coming on quite regularly! Oh and if you have any suggestions on how to recreate the look Iím after let me know as well!
Iíll add some pictures once my green hairy mushrooms have settled down and Iíve found somewhere appropriate to place them. For now here is a picture of some mushrooms I found in my garden.