Florida False Coral (Ricordea florida)

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Florida False Coral
Ricordea florida
Florida False Coral (Ricordea florida)
Name Florida False Coral
Name Lat. Ricordea florida
Family Mushroom Corals
Family lat. Ricordeidae
Order Coral Anemones
Order lat. Corallimorpharia
Origin Western Atlantic
Diet Autotrophic, planktivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 6-10 °KH
Lighting High
Current Moderate - strong
Behavior Semi-aggressive
Keeping Colony
Care Level Moderate
Life Span N/A
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 6 cm
Temperature 22-28 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium 100 l
US Units
Size 2.4"
Temperature 72-82 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium 25 gal

Distribution and habitat

The distribution area of Ricordea florida is the tropical West Atlantic from South Florida through the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean to Brazil. They colonize rocks and dead corals on shallow, current-rich coastal reefs.


They should be positioned in a place with high light intensity and moderate to strong, alternating current. Only lime-rich, heavy metal-free substrates should be used as substrate

Filters, skimmers and heaters are necessary to ensure water quality, as well as pumps to simulate tides, swells and bottom currents. It is recommended that live stones be used to set up the aquarium. The bacteria living in the porous stones act as a biological filter. The lighting must correspond to the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals

Salinity: 33-36 ‰ pH value: 8.1-8.4
Carbonate hardness: 6-10 °KH Nitrate content: 2-8 mg/l
calcium content: 400-450 mg/l Nitrite content: 0.0-0.05 mg/l
Magnesium content: 1.250-1.350 mg/l phosphate content: 0.01-0.1 mg/l

Regular addition of trace elements, especially iodine, is recommended. For salinity, an average value should be aimed for, which may only vary slightly by +/- 0.5 ‰. Ammonia and ammonium must not be measurable. Special attention shall be paid to consistently good water quality and water values.


Zooxanthellae, which are unicellular symbiotic algae, live in their tissue and provide them with assimilation products of their photosynthesis (high light requirement). The zooxanthellae promote growth and provide additional food to the plankton and small particles collected from the water current. Accordingly, in addition to the food produced in the aquarium during fish feeding (mysis, krill, Artemia, etc.), commercial food for lower animals in the form of phyto- and zooplankton, frozen or liquid, should be offered regularly

Regular and varied feeding promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Behaviour and compatibility

They live in colonies and can be well socialized with fish that do not consider them food. A sufficient distance to other corals must be kept to avoid encrustation.

Reproduction and breeding

Their asexual reproduction occurs by budding or longitudinal division of the polyp. Reproduction by fragmentation is well possible. For this purpose, small stones are placed at the edge of the colony and after their overgrowth the junction is separated


Three color morphs are known, red, green and blue, although there are also mixed forms with two or three colors.

The additional illumination with actinic light (short-wave, violet-blue light) is very beneficial for their growth (zooxanthellae).

A calcium reactor and a magnesium dosing pump are recommended for the necessary even supply of calcium carbonate and magnesium. Newly introduced animals must be accustomed slowly to the water in the aquarium

If different species are kept together, care should be taken to ensure that fish and invertebrates match each other in terms of water quality and temperature requirements and their social behavior, and that the setup meets the ecological needs of all species kept together.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: KNOP (2013): Lexikon der Meeresaquaristik, Natur und Tier Verlag; ENGELMANN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Verlag Harri Deutsch