Cultivating Macroalgae in Your Saltwater Aquarium

  • by

Several saltwater aquarists grow particular species of macroalgae either in their main storage tanks or in refugiums and also sumps. Macroalgae is a major food source for a number of both fish and also invertebrates in the oceans as well as lots of marine aquarists have actually found that growing their own macroalgae is a great means to feed their container critters with this inexpensive health food.

Macroalgae is often called the “excellent type of algae” rather than microalgae, (e.g., hair algae). Saltwater aquarists have discovered that a variety of macroalgae species are very useful in their systems, giving food for the herbivores in addition to lowering phosphate (PO4) and also nitrate (NO3) levels in the aquariums. Some sorts of macroalgae also make superb reproducing grounds for copepods and amphipods, which are a staple food for certain fish and invertebrates kept in aquatic aquariums.

Purposes of Macroalgae

Macroalgae cultivated in aquatic fish tanks offer three various functions: ornamental, nutrient (NO3, PO4) reduction and food for fish and also invertebrates.

Macroalgae Cultivated for Food

Kelp on Rock, Smooth Leaf (Haliptilon sp.).
Color can vary from a dark pink to crimson.
Does not endure high NO3 or PO4 degrees.
Does ideal in moderate to strong lighting.
Finest when grown in a refugium, instead of the major storage tank.
Lettuce Algae (Ulva fasciata, U. expansa).
Conveniently approved by vegetarian fish.
Gets rid of both phosphate and nitrate from the water.
Use moderate to high illumination and also keep it in an area of high water circulation.
Limu Manauea (Gracilaria coronopifolia).
Native to the island to Hawaii.
Outstanding surgeonfish food.
Removes ammonia, nitrate, and also phosphate from water.
Does best in tool light.
Under the right problems, biomass can raise 150 percent each month.
Irritable Sargassum.
Has brief thick blades with irritable margins and also spherical gas bladders.
Endemic to Hawaii.
Great surgeonfish food.
Feathery Caulerpa (Caulerpa sertularoides).
Does finest in medium light.
Likes a strong to tool current.
Excellent surgeonfish food.

Nitrate as well as Phosphate Decreasing Macroalgae.

Shaving Brush Algae (Penicillus sp.).
Will certainly benefit from the normal addition of an iron supplement, in addition to micronutrient.
Helps in reducing nitrate (NO3) and phosphate (PO4) from the water column.
Spaghetti Algae (Chaetomorpha sp.).
This algae is rapid expanding and also is not tasty to numerous vegetarian varieties.
Need to be trimmed on a regular basis to prevent fast die-off during sexual reproduction, which will certainly pollute the tank.
Can be found in numerous shapes, including flat blades, feather blades, scratch fallen leave, and also a grape-shaped selection.

Decorative Macroalgae.

Cutting Brush Plant (Penicillus sp.).
Will gain from the regular enhancement of an iron supplement, along with trace elements.
Can go a long way towards helping reduce nitrate as well as phosphate from the water column.
Halimeda Algae (Halimeda sp.).
Does not tolerate high NO3 or PO4.
Requires calcium.
Does not endure substantial pruning.
Kelp on Rock, Smooth Leaf (Haliptilon sp.).
Color can differ from a dark pink to crimson.
Low nutrient plant.
Does ideal in modest to strong illumination.
Finest when expanded in a refugium, rather than the major container.