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LC Blog: Shrooms, The Latest Hot Trend?

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Legendary Corals

Hello fellow reefers,

Darwin here with another blog like story time post! I've been talking about this subject with a couple of friends and it's very noticeable that the demand for these squishies has skyrocketed in the past couple of years. Some people even make it a mission to collect every new piece that comes out now (or even some people who make a vow to collect all the nicest jawbreakers out there *cough cough*. But it wasn't always like this, and I thought it would be interesting to dive a little deeper into what makes these shrooms so intriguing all of a sudden along with a couple of highlights on the hottest pieces going out. icon_smile.gif

A long time ago, in a reef tank far far away, mushroom corals have been passed down for generations as being the ultimate beginner's corals to the point where reefers would be telling each other to never keep one in their reef in fear of an invasion. That simple red or blue shroom that looked good in the local fish store quickly became more annoying than aptasia and was branded off as being a pest.

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It all started with one harmless little blue shroom... That's now the size of a tang.

But oddly enough, lately it's been the opposite. There's been a surge of demand for all sorts of mushrooms from rhodactus, discosoma, ricordeas, st thomas, and the latest demand, bubbly sp. unknown. We've gone past the point where we see these corals as pests geared only towards beginners and started to scarf up any type of variety we can. Any unique kind of coloration demands top dollars now. Groups started to appear specifically made to appreciate these corals, and the amount of activity in these groups are growing everyday. These easy to care for softies are starting to get love from all over the country.

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Over 2000 members and growing everyday! Who knew so many people would specifically love these squishies?

But it's not just the United States that's started to love these corals. People overseas are even creating groups just for shrooms! The trend and demand for mushrooms is definitely noticeable, and something that's only recently occurred in this scale.

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People over in the UK are creating new groups to enjoy these squishies along with their cup of tea.

Where this latest craze came from is unknown. But thinking back on it, I believe what sparked this new found interest in mushrooms was the introduction of the WWC Bounce Shroom, which became the latest high end shroom since the Jawbreaker/ Tye Dye. Ever since the introduction of this unique shroom, the interest for all sorts of mushrooms started to appear. Simple shaggy looking mushrooms and rhodactus that just happened to get bubbly became top dollar pieces, sought after for the bubbly trait that makes the WWC Bounce so unique. Can we imagine what the demand for bubbly shrooms would be without the WWC Bounce??? I personally don't think it would be any where near what it is now.

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A simple green and orange rhodactus. But now worth 10x as much because it's gained one bubble? The thirst for bubbles is real.

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It's brown and grey in base coloration, but those sweet looking bubbles sure make up for it. IMO, the shroom that started the craze.

With the bounce setting a firey passion for mushrooms, hobbyist began to notice mushrooms again when new pieces came in. Let's view some of the unique pieces that have been hitting the scene, listed by species!

Discosoma
This was the first shroom species to start the craze with the infamous Jawbreaker/ Tye Dye. Now, there are a couple of other heavy hitters that are sought after by reefers all over (I believe this is the group that has the most famous pieces). These shrooms are characterized by their smooth shiny bodies. In my experience, these are the most finicky and most likely to float off when upset (all you disco collectors know this pain, especially those JB hunters).

The Jawbreaker:
This shroom is the first high end shroom to hit the hobby. Collected from Vietnam, this mushroom is infamous for gaining more colors as it matures. The colorations typically starts with orange/yellow, red, green, and (if you're lucky) purple. This is what I know of for how it got into the hobby (I'd love it if someone else who knew more about this shroom could shed light on it as well). The mushroom came into the Bay Area, California and went under the care of Dr. Lee of Aquatic Gallery. From there, pieces of the babies sold locally and the jawbreaker strain was spread. Now we'll go into the infamous The Tye Dye/ Jawbreaker debate. From what I've learned over the years, the Jawbreaker mother was purchased from Aquatic Gallery and sold through very few locals (1-2 people) until it got into the hands of TDF. When I was young, I do recall seeing a shroom that looked just like the infamous photo from TDF of the Tye Dye. So from what I can recall, it does support this story that the original Jawbreaker and Tye Dye are the same. This is just what I know of, so if someone else who has talked to these fine folks of the older reefing days please chime in! Based on the stories I've heard, I believe that Jawbreakers and Tye Dyes are the same, for I've seen Jawbreakers that get the infamous purple that people believe only Tye Dyes get (like the one we own in the photo angel.png).

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The Red Devil Shroom:
This shroom is one all hard core collectors know about. The red and blue version of a Jawbreaker... the Red Devil! This shroom starts off as all red and gains beautiful baby blue speckles on a maroon/ purple splotchy body as it matures. Very few reefers still have this unique mushroom.
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The infamous Red Devil... This is the oldest photo I can find of this fine gem.

The Electus Mushroom:
The newest discosoma to make a hit in the reefing scene... The Eclectus Shroom! This one is very similar to the Jawbreaker but instead of red streaks it has unique looking spots. Whether or not it gets green or purple like the Jawbreaker does is unknown. It seems like the lucky few vendors that got their hands on one are growing them out.
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The Vietnam Shrooms:
Vietnam is the origin of the Jawbreaker, so it's no surprise that there are lots of sweet shrooms coming in from Vietnam again. Most of these discosomas are a variation similar to the Jawbreaker (some even looking the same).
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Let's talk about another shroom family now, this time it's going to get fuzzy!

Rhodactus
These guys are characterized by their fuzzy bodies. It's argued that the Bounce is a type of rhodactus based on its body. I mean, if you think about it... Pop the bubbles off a Bounce and you're left with a grey rhodactus (who wants to volunteer and cut those bubbles off? nerd.png). Rhodactus come in an assort of colors and patterns, even some with weird bodies.

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This is one type of rhodactus, which is the smoother variety.

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Yet this is also a rhodactus! This one is usually called a "hairy" rhodactus.

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And this is also a rhodactus! This one is generally called a "carpet" rhodactus. They come in so many different body types.

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And lastly... The debatable. Labeled as Rhodactus Sp. What reefers would do for such a rock now!

Ricordeas, Florida and Yuma
The last of the groups I'm going to be covering are the ricordeas. Sadly, this is the group that's been grouped altogether and uniqueness for these guys aren't as sought after anymore. They fall more so under a "grading scale" on than desired traits. This is most likely because because the color variation from one piece to another is so different that it's hard for people to try to go after a specific strain of ricordea. These guys don't get any fancy names like the other shrooms but are still loved for their vibrant colors.

Florida:
These guys are collected mostly from Florida, but some unique strains are collected from Puerto Rico or Haiti which get unique colors we don't see too often. Both have similar care with the Florida pieces coming in rubble the Puerto Rican/ Haitian pieces coming in rock. These guys are still a mystery to me, as some reefers can keep them without any issues while others have constant problems and can't keep them happy even with a full blown mixed reef.

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So much color on a shroom. It's no wonder why they're so popular with reefers of all experience.

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The infamous red mouths of Haitan Ricordeas

Yuma:
These guys are the risk takers of the shroom family. Known for being infamous melters, reefers still buy them in the attempt of being able to find one healthy yuma to oggle at home. It's almost a checklist of all established reefs to have a sweet happy yuma. These guys come in all sorts of colors and also follow a similar grading scale to Floridas, with green being the low end to pink and rainbows being the most sought after. Yumas are have a more hairy appearance and are also much larger than Floridas.

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Finding a pink yuma that won't melt is on the list for many reefers!

I hope you enjoyed my little cap on mushrooms, would love to hear your thoughts on this new trend along with photos of your favorite shroomy!

Cheers,
Darwin

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Red_Blenny

I think shroom trend is going thorough the chalice craze that hit the hobby a few years back. Some are into the coloration of shrooms and some are in the "trying to strike it rich scheme". I'm in the shroom room FB group and some of the people out there are pretty freaking crazy.

 

For example: I saw a guy posted his ironman shroom and he was pretty much like "WILL THIS BECOME A JAWBREAKER???" Another person also posted a orange discosoma and asked "how much will this cost?" Someone replied back saying "since it's orange, minus the red and green, $100-$200" :blink:

 

Either way, I'll admit, thanks to the shroom craze, there's a lot more imported mushrooms with the craziest color combination/pattern that I would never dreamed of when I first started the hobby back in the days.

 

Side note, Rhodactis & R. florida FTW. Those bubbles :wub:

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Legendary Corals

I think shroom trend is going thorough the chalice craze that hit the hobby a few years back. Some are into the coloration of shrooms and some are in the "trying to strike it rich scheme". I'm in the shroom room FB group and some of the people out there are pretty freaking crazy.

 

For example: I saw a guy posted his ironman shroom and he was pretty much like "WILL THIS BECOME A JAWBREAKER???" Another person also posted a orange discosoma and asked "how much will this cost?" Someone replied back saying "since it's orange, minus the red and green, $100-$200" :blink:

 

Either way, I'll admit, thanks to the shroom craze, there's a lot more imported mushrooms with the craziest color combination/pattern that I would never dreamed of when I first started the hobby back in the days.

 

Side note, Rhodactis & R. florida FTW. Those bubbles :wub:

LOL. I'm friends with all those crazy peeps... I'm actually not sure if this craze is what started the demand for more shroom to be imported, but I can definitely agree that all these new shrooms are fueling the fire!

 

You can't do wrong with a nice fuzzy rhodactus or beautiful ricordea. :)

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Psychosis

My favorite craze was the Maxi Mini rush. I skipped the chalice craze, dabbled in the zoa and palys craze, embraced the lordhowensis craze, and still won't spend more than $30 on a mushroom. I think the most stable market has been the various high end Acropora. I'm still waiting for a fungia craze, a black plate with a red center/striations is my holy grail.

 

Edit: black/red plate for less than $200*.

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Mirya

I love the eye porn in your blog post, Darwin! I just wanted to give a shout out to an LC shroom as well.

 

Last fall I bought a baby "I WIsh I Were A Bounce" shroom from LC. It has been growing well, and I think it is forming its first bubble! I do target feeding once every other week or so. It really has an eager feeding response. I love this shroom! Here he is under daylights and under blues (shoot through an orange filter):

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Legendary Corals

I love the eye porn in your blog post, Darwin! I just wanted to give a shout out to an LC shroom as well.

 

Last fall I bought a baby "I WIsh I Were A Bounce" shroom from LC. It has been growing well, and I think it is forming its first bubble! I do target feeding once every other week or so. It really has an eager feeding response. I love this shroom! Here he is under daylights and under blues (shoot through an orange filter):

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Looking great! I see that little bubble popping out too! We've found that even if one adult only pops out 1-2 bubbles, the babies that come off the foot can sometimes make 3-4 bubbles when they're only 3 months old. So it's a very odd shroom!

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Nanimal

This is definitely on my list of corals to pick up :)

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Nano sapiens

Hey Darwin,

 

My old school' mushy island from circa 1997:

 

MushroomIsland2007.jpg

 

I still have a few that refuse to give up in my current nano tank...18 years old :)

 

I can remember when $20 dollars was a high price for a rock with 10-12 colorful Rhodactis...

 

The Bounce craze is so intense that even St. thomas 'Orinia torpida' morphs are being marketed as 'Bounce' 'shrooms.

 

I have found that Ricordia florida can actually get larger than Ricodia yuma. Reefers these days don't see them at full size much since water flow in reef tanks now tends to be much stronger than in days past. My floridas typically reach 6" in diameter before they split, yumas get up to maybe 4-1/2".

 

Wild yumas...tough customers! I have a crazy one that turns into a ball and rolls around at night, then flattens out during the day. Six months doing this and while a bit bleached, otherwise looks just fine :wacko:

 

Ralph.

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enderturtle

Excellent blog Darwin! Very informative. Ive noticed the st. Thomas mushrooms, even the gray nonfluorescent ones are increasing in price, making their way onto local bonus round and ultra round coral lists for frag swaps.

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Legendary Corals

This is definitely on my list of corals to pick up :)

Hopefully the little one you picked up at the LARS swap will grow well for you!

 

Hey Darwin,

 

My old school' mushy island from circa 1997:

 

MushroomIsland2007.jpg

 

I still have a few that refuse to give up in my current nano tank...18 years old :)

 

I can remember when $20 dollars was a high price for a rock with 10-12 colorful Rhodactis...

 

The Bounce craze is so intense that even St. thomas 'Orinia torpida' morphs are being marketed as 'Bounce' 'shrooms.

 

I have found that Ricordia florida can actually get larger than Ricodia yuma. Reefers these days don't see them at full size much since water flow in reef tanks now tends to be much stronger than in days past. My floridas typically reach 6" in diameter before they split, yumas get up to maybe 4-1/2".

 

Wild yumas...tough customers! I have a crazy one that turns into a ball and rolls around at night, then flattens out during the day. Six months doing this and while a bit bleached, otherwise looks just fine :wacko:

 

Ralph.

I have a couple of interesting discosoma pieces that grow pretty fast in my display as well. Once you'd had something for so long, you definitely get attached. 18 years must be a record on this forum.

 

The bounce craze, although increased the price on a lot of shroom, isn't a bad thing. It definitely sparked an interest into shrooms and I like to think that divers are looking more carefully for more unique shrooms to help satisfy the craze.

 

Your rics are simply on steroids lol. I've never seen a 6" ricordea before! Wild yumas are always risky, but luckily these now maricultured pieces seem to be much hardier. We've had great success with them so far.

 

Excellent blog Darwin! Very informative. Ive noticed the st. Thomas mushrooms, even the gray nonfluorescent ones are increasing in price, making their way onto local bonus round and ultra round coral lists for frag swaps.

Thanks Mike! Yeah, it definitely has to do with the increased interest in shrooms. All these regular rhodactus with little bubbles become "bounce rhodactus" out of the blue now. :rolleyes:

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Nanofreak79

Zach was my buddy in our reef club. He closed down TDF but is still slanging stuff to locals. I use to get most of my zoanthids from him. Anyway, as you walk in his house there's three tanks, and the tie dye sticks out like a sore thumb. It had basically it's own tank, a small nano cube. I always said frag it, frag it. no he would not. He had several babies pop up after that, with little to no colors. His main shroom was supposedly one of a kind. Beautiful shroom and I have yet to see one as defined and colorful.

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