Toadstool Leather Corals (Sarcophyton sp.) are hardy, undemanding corals. With the exception of the Yellow Toadstool Leather (Sarcophyton elegans), most can adapt well to a wide range of conditions. These corals have a short "trunk" supporting a mushroom-shaped cap that can grow very large in diameter. Polyps extend periodically from this cap. Color is usually tan but can range from beige or darker brown to green or yellow.
These corals may benefit from occasional feedings in the aquarium but survive mostly on photosynthesis from the zooxanthellae algae living in their tissues. They should be kept in a tank with moderate to high lighting. Toadstool Leathers can survive in lower lighting but will often change color and rely more on planktonic feedings if not given enough light. Conversely, they may become stressed in extremely high light and should be acclimated to any new lighting conditions carefully.
Water movement should also be moderately strong to assist in waste removal and in the coral's periodic shedding of a mucus layer. These corals have low to moderate aggression and can easily fall victim to other aggressive corals although the mucus layer produced by their shedding can irritate some corals and they can grow large and outcompete other coral colonies. They also benefit from trace element supplements, particularly iodine which can assist in growth and in shedding.
Most Toadstool Leathers can be successfully and easily propagated by either cutting the "cap" of the coral with a sharp blade and mounting the new piece onto a base or by cinching off a new piece by gradually tightening a length of fishing line, rubber band or zip tie around the area to be cut.