The Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral ,Sarcophyton sp., from Papua, New Guinea is referred to as a Sarcophyton Coral, Toadstool Leather Coral, Mushroom Leather Coral, Cup Leather Coral, Toadstool Coral, Umbrella Coral, or Mushroom Coral. It has a thick smooth, single stalk with a flared, smooth mushroom-shaped top that can be either folded or funnel-shaped. Younger sarcophyton colonies are more mushroom-shaped and mature colonies are more lobed and folded. Sarcophyton Leather Corals are easy to maintain in the reef aquarium and make an excellent coral for the beginning through expert reef aquarist.
Lighting & Flow Requirements
The Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral requires a moderate to high level of water flow and a moderate to high level of lighting intensity. Lighting can be Power compacts, T5's, LED's or even Metal Halides. All lighting can grow Leather Corals as long as the proper level of light is provided. For lighting spectrum we recommend to use between a 14-20K color spectrum for your bulbs for best coral coloration.
Allow about two weeks of time for the the Toadstool Leather Coral to adjust itself to its new reef aquarium prior to permanently mounting your leather coral, if that's what you wish. If desired you can mount your leather coral using a gel supper glue or a marine aquarium epoxy putty (which is the same as plumbers epoxy putty found in hardware stores). When deciding placement consider a location that will provide the necessary lighting level and necessary water movement the coral requires. Also be certain to leave enough room around your corals that they have room for good growth without infringing on another corals growing room for growth or will block the other corals lighting.
Diet and Feeding
Leather corals receive the majority of the nutritional requirements through the process of photosynthesis, which simply means their lighting creates symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae in the body of the leather coral which provides its nutrition. We do recommend providing supplemental food such as micro-plankton, baby brine shrimp, or foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates.
Most leather corals go through a natural process of cleansing, once in a while. Leather corals will shrink smaller and the outer skin will look strange as it sloth's itself off, shedding the top layer as it cleanses itself. Leathers may remain closed from just a few days to even a week or longer depending on the aquarium flow and other conditions, but they will reopen larger and even more beautiful than they were before.