Mushroom Coral Shriveled Up. Stress, Temperature, Nutrients? What’s Wrong?

mushroom coral shriveled up

Do you have beautiful purple-colored or red-colored mushroom coral in your aquarium? You must be very fond of its tentacles and the overall beauty it adds to your tank. They are definitely beautiful creatures that can add volume and the right context to your aquarium. These mushroom corals are usually made part of the aquarium because they are hardy and have a long life extending up to 10 years.

Did you know that they are also known as Palate Corals? Next time when someone refers to your mushroom corals by this name, do not be surprised as they have multiple names. 

In most cases, you won’t have any problems with these corals. However, not everyone can maintain them properly, and shriveling of these mushroom corals is one of the prominent problems you can see.

Well, if you have ended up on this article, you might be having problems with your beautiful Mushroom corals, right? Has it shriveled by hiding all its beauty in itself?

Are you wondering what could have gone wrong? To be honest, many things could have impacted your mushroom coral. The stress, no matter what causes it, leads to health problems, including the attack from parasites.

With many factors having an influential role in shriveling up your Mushroom coral, we’ll analyze the important ones to help you identify what went wrong with your coral. So, do not be sad as we can come to a solution for this problem together.

Let’s start:

  • Why does Mushroom shrivel up?
  • Factors affecting the mushroom corals
  • Salinity
  • Light
  • Water Flow
  • Temperature
  • PH levels
  • Other creatures

Why does Mushroom shrivel up?

Mushroom shrivel up

Shriveling of the mushroom corals is the most significant sign of stress. As discussed above, the stress could be caused by rapid changes in the environment. The environment for corals often changes during the water changes. But, it is not the only cause, as not changing the water for too long can lead to the presence of harmful compounds that can have a negative impact on your mushroom corals.

In other words, it is important to maintain the optimum environment for your mushroom coral to remain open and excited.

Factors affecting the mushroom corals

Let’s have a look at what parameters are important it maintain the health of your mushroom corals.

Salinity or minerals

One of the most critical factors for the health and mood of your mushroom coral is the mineral level. 1.025-1.027 is the optimal level of salinity that you have to maintain for your tanks. If your tank has higher or lower salinity levels, your corals won’t remain as active or live as long as you want them to be in your tank.

So, one of the reasons for which your mushroom corals could be shriveling up is because of the difference in the minerals or the salinity levels. Nitrates, phosphates, and silicates are the primary minerals that you must keep an eye on. In most cases, you must not let these minerals exceed 10 ppm at any cost. With the higher salinity levels, neither your coral mushrooms will flourish nor the other creatures in your tank. So, be very mindful of your water salinity levels.


The light concentration in the tank could also be a factor of the shriveling of your mushroom corals. Optimally, they need a low concentration of light for proper functioning. So, suppose you have placed your tank just under the light or have introduced a new light source to your tank. In that case, it could be a prominent reason that your coral isn’t blooming as it had been doing previously.

So, you must analyze your mushroom corals from this perspective, and you might find the light as one of the reasons for the shriveling up. It will probably be a factor if you have made recent changes in the lighting of your tank.

In case it is not the reason, you still don’t have to worry as there are a few other factors in the list that might have an essential role in the problematic mushroom corals.

Water Flow

You might not feel it a reason, but the experts highlight that the water flow in the tank could be another cause for the shriveling of your mushroom coral. Your current flow in the tank could be too high for these corals to cope with.

So, if your coral is also facing such a problem, it is better to reduce the water flow and set it to low if it is currently med/high. It should influence your coral, but only if this has been the reason for their inactivity.

In case if the water flow wasn’t a reason itself, you’ll have to look for the other factors and adjust them as well to see your Mushroom corals back to normal again.

The temperature of the tank

If you have checked the factors mentioned above, and none of them is the cause for the shriveling of your mushroom corals, then the tank’s temperature could be the factor creating the problem in your tank. You have to maintain an optimal temperature, probably between 77 to 79 degrees F.

This temperature range wouldn’t only be optimal for the coral but for the fish in your tank as well. If the consistent temperature of the water in your tank is beyond this temperature range, then your corals won’t bloom. Even if you maintain the normal temperature in this range but disrupt the equilibrium while changing the water from the tank, even then, your mushroom corals can get into a stressful state.

PH levels

While numerous other factors have been discussed in this article to highlight why your mushroom coral is shriveling so, if you think all the previous factors haven’t worked for you, then there could be a difference in the pH levels that could be making your corals feel ill.

So, now you must be considering the optimal pH level that your tank should maintain. 8.2 to 8.4 is the right PH you should maintain in the tank. It would be a bit basic, but that would serve the purpose of your aquarium.

Other creatures could be creating problems for your tank

If other creatures are living in your tank as well, then this could be another reason for your mushroom coral not moving to the best of its abilities. Bristle worms or hermit cranes are the most dangerous creatures in this regard. If they come close or, in worst cases, over the mushroom corals, your mushroom corals would likely face the consequences.

So, to maintain the health and life of your mushroom corals, it is essential that you keep all such creatures at a distance to let your mushroom corals thrive.

Besides, algae is another organism that must not be grown in your tank. The growth of the algae can be problematic for your mushroom corals. So, slight levels of algae in your aquarium would be acceptable. Still, they must not exceed the expected levels as they will influence the health of your mushroom corals. These algae levels will also indicate high phosphate or silicate levels in your tank. And we have already discussed how detrimental they can be for your tank.

Shriveling of the mushroom corals can be an indication of a problem in some cases. In contrast, it could just be normal and part of the daily cycle.

You’ll have to analyze the critical factors affecting the aquarium to rule out the possible causes of the shriveling of the mushroom corals.

In most cases, the newbies either move the important factors out of the optimal range or create a stressful environment by making sudden changes, which ultimately impact the health of the living things living in the aquatic ecosystem. Thus, it is advised that making changes in the water level or the other factors should be done with great caution, or you might lose your corals or other fish because of your negligence.

Stress, Temperature, Nutrients? What’s wrong?

To conclude all this discussion, stress, temperature, nutrients all these variables are important and can impact the shriveling of the mushroom corals. So, it is better to analyze them one by one and mitigate them accordingly to identify the reason and cure it.

In extreme cases, your corals might not even be alive anymore. So, if none of these factors have worked, unfortunately, this could be the problem.