macro algae index......


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this thread was compiled by a friend of mine and i added some to it as well...

I've got a huge collection of pics and article on the subject, i hope it can help some people understand their use and will promote it as well. So here is an index not complete, of course their's always an unknown algae somewhere and we'll never get there , so this is only a sample of algae lol.
Before we start the index, here are some example of great use of macroalgae in tanks

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Most on that list are and have been used in aquariums, some are pest found in are tanks, and some are difficult to obtain due to restrictions like some caulerpas, or other are forbiden to export, depending where you are and the local laws. You'll find here i hope some species you can use for your tanks

Acanthophora spicifera

Common Name:
Spiny seaweed
Erect plants, to 40 cm tall, with solid cylindrical branches, 2 - 3 mm wide, branched either sparingly to repeatedly. Main branches have short, determinate branches, irregularly shaped and spinose, with spines numerous and radially arranged. There are no spines on main axes. The plant grows from a large, irregularly shaped holdfast.

In intertidal high-motion water areas, Acanthophora spicifera has short (4 - 10 cm), compact and very dense thalli. In moderate or low water motion areas, the thalli are tall (10 - 25 cm), more openly branched and occur in scattered clumps. Color is highly variable: can be shades of red, purple, yellow, orange, or brown. Are often very dark in color in intertidal, high motion areas. Usually lighter color in shallow areas with low water motion and reflective sandy or silty bottoms.

A. spicifera cannot withstand prolonged exposure to air
Predation upon A. spicifera:
Along with reef fishes, the green turtle
Grows attached to rocks and oyster rubble

Acetabularia crennulata

Hi John, making another algae list This picture property of | Clean Up Crews and Macro Algae - Home

One of are sponsor on this site. I personnaly got 5 shipments from him and its was perfect, super cool and quality merchandise. Reef Cleaner got also good CUC

Common names: Mermaid's wine glass
Many species of this interesting genus such as Acetabularia crenulata (upper left) are called "mermaid's wineglass" because of their distinctive shape. These plants are typically about 5 cm high with a "cup" about 1 cm in diameter. Plants may be partially calcified. Each "stem" and "cup" is actually a single large cell.
Generally found in shallow, sheltered waters attached to rocks and other shallow substrates in the vicinity of tropical coral reefs.
Said to have minor use as food and as a treatment for gallstones. Also used as an aquarium plant.

Amphiroa cryptarthrodia Zanardini

Amphiroa cryptarthrodia Zanardini
Sinonimi: Amphiroa verrucosa Kützing (1843) p. 387; Amphiroa verruculosa Kützing (1849) p. 700; Amphiroa rubra (Philippi) Woelkerling (1983) p.173.


Thallus habit: erect, bushy; endophytic base on other calcareous algae (particularly on Lithophyllum species). Size: 2-4cm high. Branching: dichotomous, regular (A) and "geometric" (angle of about 90°); branch junctions usually not coinciding with intergenicula. Branches lying on different planes, slightly swollen apices. Intergenicula: cylindrical with rare annular swellings, tapered on upper part of fronds (1-4 (4.5)mm long, 0.25-0.6mm in lower diameter, upper diameter 0.15-0.18mm). Genicula: 1 row of medullary cells (120-160µm long) with ends reed-like. Colour of living specimen: dark red to pink violet (rare), apart from lighter apices due to annular ridges. Colour of dried specimen: as previous (rarely lighter colours).

Medulla: 1 row of long cells: 75-160(190)µm long with an alternation of 1 row of short cells: (20)30-70µm long; cells near genicula 10-35µm long. Cortex: 10-40µm thick; cells 7-10µm long, in distinct rows. Cell connections: secondary pit-connections.

Amphiroa foliacea

Must be set in your aquarium upon receipt. Reproduction in saltwater aquarium.

Surgeonfish and Doctorfish need seaweed and algae.
This will strengthen their immune system, reduce aggression and improve their overall health.
These algae will help your aquarium or your refugium to function properly (nitrate removal, oxygenation, culture of pods and other small marine life).

Very rich in: Minerals and Vitamins

Amphiroa fragilissima

A. fragilissima is a heavily calcified seaweed that is very brittle and breaks easily into small pieces. It is pink, has branches less than 1 mm in diameter, and often forms extensive mats 2 to 6 cm thick in shallow tide pools.

The thallus is multiaxial and has long and short cells in the intergenicular region; grows in the lower mid-littoral zone and favours sheltered areas; thallus is articulate, attaining a height of 4-6 cm; fresh specimens have a light purple colour; branching is dichotomous; intergenicula are short and the upper one comparatively longer; basal genicula are prominent and brownish; dichotomous branching generally have common genicula; genicula in this alga resembles a swollen pad; structurally the thallus is multiaxial, meristematic cells at the apical region are covered by a single layer of cover cells having a diameter of 6-8 µ; intergenicular medulla consists of long and short cells; height of the long cells varies from 33 - 77 µ; short cells have a diameter of 9 - 13 microns, cells of the medullary filaments spread out in the fun-like fashion, gradually becoming smaller towards the periphery; cortex varies from slightly to well developed cortical cells are circular to squarish; single layer of cover cells, 4-8 µ in dm; secondary pit connectios are found in the long and short cells in the medullary ragion of the intergenicula; geniculum is multizonal and consists of long and short cells; cells are thick walled and uncalcified, conceptacles are prominnt and not immersed in the frond, slightly elliptical ir round and 0.5 mm in diameter; tetrasporangial mother cells differentiate in the cortical region;
nuclei of the tetrasporangial mother cells divide twice and four spores are produced; tetrasporangia, 33-55 x 15-22 µm in size are intermingled with elongate thin paraphyces; mature conceptacles have an outer diameter of 210-275 µm and height of 135-188 µm; tetraspores liberate to the exterior through the ostiole..

Distribution : Gujarat, Malvan, Ratnagiri, (Maharashtra), Goa, Karwar.Honawar, Bhatkal, (Karnataka), Lakshadweep.

Ecological status : Intertidal zone.
Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species
Rhodophyta Florideophyceae Corallinales Corallinaceae Amphiroa fragilissima
Forms mats of tangled fronds on most substrata, especially on rocks or on live or dead corals, to 60 m depth.
The species can be found worldwide. In the region of Bocas del Toro, Panama, the species was found on STRI dock, Tervi Bight, Isla Carenero and Bastimento Solarte Channel.
Amphiroa fragilissima is extremely fragile, as the name implies. The calcified
branches will often crack and break upon collection and handling. This species
could be confused with the similarly sized Jania spp. from which it can be
distinguished by the presence of: 1) multi-tiered genicula, and 2) dichotomies
arising from genicula, not intergenicula. A. fragilissima is mainly distinguished
from other local Amphiroa species by its fragility and minute size. Longitudinal
sections reveal rows of elongated cells alternating with a single row of short cells
(for A. fragilissima, 4-8 rows of long cells per row of short cells).

Amphiroa verruculosa

Asparagopsis taxiformis

Asparagopsis taxiformis is typically introduced into aquariums attached to the substrate of coral specimens. Cured or uncured live rock does not seem to harbor these algae, suggesting that it is not usually associated with fish only tanks but rather reef aquaria. It initially appears as small tuffs or balls growing to about one inch in diameter. They are soft to the touch and are comprised of thin, segmented threads that break apart easily. Once present, this insidious alga usually spreads quite rapidly. It is often epiphytic and will attach to almost any available surface including the fronds of macro-algae, sand, coralline covered rocks, and even corals where any skeletal portion is exposed. Fortunately this alga does not cause direct harm to corals resulting from any chemical secretions or allelopathy. It will however shade corals and also create a barrier that prevents coral tissue from exposure to passive water flow. Both of these events ultimately produce ill effects on corals.
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Avicenia germinans

black mangrove
The seeds germinate in mid-summer but may be seen all year on the trees. The seeds can remain viable for over a year once released.

Very few true plants can survive in saltwater. The Red Mangrove is one of them. Red Mangroves can remove a large amount of Nitrate in your refugium, as well as chemical contaminants that come from your water or hands.
Because they do not "go sexual or respire" like macro algae, they present less risk to your systems ph balance, and have become popular recently with many aquarists. With proper trimming the plant can spend years in your refugium, larger plants will need an open top to grow out of. Many people are beginning to add the Red Mangrove to their display tank, as they want to mimic nature as closely as possible, while providing a habitat for their fish who will spend a large portion of time swimming in and out of the tree's roots. The Dwarf Planaxis Snail and the Cerith Snail love Mangroves, and will quickly burrow around the tree's root system. The three make an excellent combination in a refugium.

Avrainvillea nigricens


Comprising a single felty fan, held on a stalk, this seaweed is commonly seen on Singapore's shores.
Substrate and environment
The species is generally found in a sandy/silty area
Species generally living in a group
The species can be found between 1 and 40 Meters
Common species.

General characteristics of the species
Height of the alga : 45 cm
Diameter of the leaf : 20 mm
The alga is calcareous

Relationship with humans
The species can be eaten but is of no particular culinary interest
The species is exploited in the following sector(s) :
- Aquarium enthusiasts.

The species can be confused with other species of similar appearance!

Boodlea composita (Harvey) F. Brand

Boodlea composita is a macroalgae which forms spongy masses which are common on rocks and tidepools exposed to surge.

Botryocladia pseudodichotoma

Red Grape (Botryocladia Sp.)

One of the most beautiful aquarium specimens available. Sometimes called "red grape caulerpa" although it's not caulerpa at all. It features long, slender branches that extend to rows of bright red bladders. This is somewhat rare in Florida, but is abundant when found. Available as a cluster or strand about 4-6 inches tall.

Another epiphytic alga which attaches itself on the holdfasts of Giant Bladder Kelp, (Macrocystis).. The vesicles at the end of each branch are hollow and filled with a thin, clear gel. I punctured each one of these vesicles carefully and expressed it's contents before putting this algae in the plant press. This is a beautiful red seaweed, growing perhaps 7-10" tall---underwater it resembles a bunch of bright red grapes that sway gently with the surge of the water. Sometimes this algae washes up on the beach after a storm. Very pretty.
Botryocladia pseudodichotoma (Farlow) Kylin
Phylum Rhodophyta, Class Florideophyceae, Order Rhodymeniales, Family Rhodymeniaceae
Thallus 10-15 cm tall; several cylindrical axes with fingerlike bladders 1-3 cm long filled with mucoid polysaccharides; dark red.

Common, on rocks throughout kelp forest, but especially in intermediate & shallower depths.

Geogr. Range: British Columbia to Baja
Similar species: one of the most distinctive of local red algae.

Botryocladia skottsbergii

Botryocladia skottsbergii

Botryocladia skottsbergii has been dubbed by some as 'Red Valonia', though the implied comparison is apt only when a specimen is very young, and the grapelike bladders appear to be directly attached to the substrate as in the photo. As this red alga grows, the rust-colored, branching stipe becomes obvious, though the entire thallus rarely grows to protrude more than an inch off the substrate. The bladders themselves are small, rarely growing little larger than 1/3 inch in diameter, and appear a smooth, transparent red-brown to reddish purple. Tiny dark spots (called cystocarps) visible on the inside of the vesicle wall herald sexual reproduction. The species is found around the Indian Ocean, into the Western Pacific, south to Australia and eastwards to Hawaii. Botryocladia uvarioides forms smaller, more numerous vesicles, on a highly branching stipe that can give specimens heights of nearly a foot from the substrate, looking very much like a bunch of grapes. The species has a curious distribution, with records thus far only in the Philippines and in Baja California. Botryocladia botryoides also forms tall thalli, but there is less incidence of branching, and so the 'stems' are longer, and adorned with bladders. It is found throughout Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, as well as locations along the Eastern Atlantic. Only record in the Western Pacific is in the Philippines. Other species include: Botryocladia leptopoda from Arabia to the eastern shores of continental Asia and down to Australia; Botryocladia microphysa, a primarily Mediterranean alga with records in the Canary Islands and Indonesia; and Botryocladia pyriformis from the Canary Islands, the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, and the waters from China to the Philippines. Botryocladia vesicles usually float when severed, because the mucilaginate fluid inside is less dense than water.

Certainly there are many other algae that might qualify for inclusion based on possession of some sort of vesicular structure, but I feel the preceding list fairly covers some of those most commonly encountered in reef aquaria and perceived as 'bubble algae', and the ones that most commonly give us trouble.

BotryocladiA uvaria

Bryopsis plumosa

The name of this seaweed translates to "feathery moss".

Description: delicate soft featherlike appearance, dark green color make this easily recognized. 2-12 cm long.

Habitat: Not uncommon. In low littoral rock pools and in the sublittoral.shallow rocky flats, tidepools, and lower intertidal habitats with low wave action.

Distribution: Widespread in the British Isles. Europe: Mediterranean and the Black Sea, Azores, Portugal, Spain, France, Norway, Faroes and Iceland. Atlantic coast of North America: Canada, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Long Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Further afield: west coast of Greenland, Jamaica, Canary Islands, Senegal, Ghana, Mauritania, South Africa, British Columbia to California, Australia and Japan.


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Similar Species: Bryopsis hypnoides has irregular branching.

Bryopsis has also recently started to grow in the aquarium. This algae is easily identified by the feather shaped thalli although from a distance it would appear to be common hair algae. In our tank, the Bryopsis is a deeper green than the Derbesia and has grown a lot taller. Since the hair algae isn't too tall it would indicate that tank inhabitants either graze on it or it's just starting to grow. As hair algae becomes more established, it grows rather long and attaches to the substrate stronger making it harder for manual removal.


Plants in filamentous tufts, to 10 cm tall, branching in irregular, scattered pattern. Primary axes highly branched. Fronds decrease in diameter with each successive division; branchlets form irregularly, undifferentiated from axes, constricted at base. Apices rounded. Rhizoidal system fibrous, tightly woven. Color is dull or dark green.

Structural Features

Main axes 65-140 µm diameter, branchlets 40-80 µm diameter. Apices rounded. Vegetative pennae function as the gametangia. Plants are dioecious, with male plants becoming yellowish-green and female plants turning dark green.


Common near freshwater and nutrient rich outputs. Attaches to hard substrates such as basalt, rocks, or rubble. Forms delicate fronds which move with currents.
Bryopsis species are highly opportunistic in eutrophic condtions. Communities found near fresh water output that is nutrient rich, or where water temperatures fluctuate will have a higher biomass of the fast growing green alga.

Bryopsis species are potentially invasive. Like the troublesome Caulerpa taxifolia, the genus produces chemical defenses that are toxic to most herbivorous organisms. Therefore, if environmental conditions occur that support fast growth of this species, it may become more competitive and dominant.

Caulerpa brachypus

Caulerpa floridana

Caulerpa mexicana

Caulerpa nummularia

Caulerpa paspaloides



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Caulerpa peltata

Caulerpa prolifera

Caulerpa racemosa

Caulerpa reyesi

Caulerpa scalpelliformis

Caulerpa serrulata

Caulerpa sertularioides

Caulerpa taxifolia

Caulerpa is common in the aquarium hobby as a nitrate absorber because of its rapid growth under relatively adverse conditions. It may also be used in refugiums for a long term nitrite absorber. Many introductions of invasive Caulerpa to the wild are thought to have occurred via aquarium dumping although there is no proof of it.
Another species, Caulerpa taxifolia, has become an invasive species in the Mediterranean Sea, Australia and southern California (where it has been eradicated). It is thought that Caulerpa species capable of surviving in temperate waters are freed from predators, in part contributing to invasive growth. Most Caulerpa species evolved in tropical waters, where herbivores have an immunity to toxic compounds within the alga. Temperate water herbivores have no natural immunity to these toxins, allowing Caulerpa to grow unchecked if introduced to temperate waters. C. racemosa has recently been found in waters around Crete, where it is thought to have contributed to a significant reduction in fisheries. The alga has invaded the area from the warmer waters of the Red Sea.

In U.S. waters, the Mediterranean strain of Caulerpa taxifolia is listed as a federal noxious weed, under the Plant Protection Act. The Aquatic Nuisance Species Taskforce has also created a National Management Plan for the Genus Caulerpa. The state of California also prohibits possession of nine different species of Caulerpa.

The species currently recognised are:
C. agardhii
C. alternans
C. annulata
C. antoensis
C. articulata
C. ashmeadii
C. bartoniae
C. bikinensis
C. biserrulata
C. brachypus
C. brownii
C. buginensis
C. cactoides
C. carruthersii
C. cliftonii
C. constricta
C. crassifolia
C. cupressoides
C. dichotoma
C. diligulata
C. distichophylla
C. ellistoniae
C. elongata
C. falcifolia
C. faridii
C. fastigiata
C. fergusonii
C. filicoides
C. filiformis
C. flexilis
C. floridana
C. harveyi
C. hedleyi
C. heterophylla
C. holmesiana
C. imbricata
C. juniperoides
C. kempfii
C. lagara
C. lanuginosa
C. lentillifera
C. lessonii
C. longifolia
C. macrophysa
C. manorensis
C. matsueana
C. mexicana
C. microphysa
C. murrayi
C. nummularia
C. obscura
C. okamurae
C. oligophylla
C. ollivieri
C. opposita
C. papillosa
C. parvula
C. paspaloides
C. peltata
C. pickeringii
C. pinnata
C. plumulifera
C. prolifera
C. pusilla
C. qureshii
C. racemosa
C. remotifolia
C. reniformis
C. reyesii
C. scalpelliformis
C. sedoides
C. selago
C. serrulata
C. sertularioides
C. seuratii
C. simpliciuscula
C. spathulata
C. subserrata
C. taxifolia
C. trifaria
C. urvilleana
C. vanbossea
C. veravalensis
C. verticillata
C. vesiculifera
C. webbiana
C. zeyheri


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Centroceras clavulatum

Description: Alga filamentosa com as extremidades em furca (Y). Usually dark red in appearance. Size is 1mm diameter with two branches often curving upward, creating a clawlike appearance up to 0.5-5cm long.

Habitat: grows in tufts and mats in lower tidal habitats tidepools reef flats.

Distribution : Gujarat,Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, kerala, Lakshadweep
Uses: Food, animal feed and agricultural

Chaetomorpha aerea


Plants gregarious, bright free, to 10-15, occasionally to 30 cm., tall; attached by a slender, subclavate basal cell which has a disklike base lobed or fimbriate at the margins; basal cell o 130 - 150µ diam. at the top, 7.5 - 10.5 diameters long, and about 2.5 - 4.2 times as long as the suprabasal cell; filaments slender towards the base, above to 150-350µ diam., stiff and straight, the cells to 1-2 diameters long, little constricted at the septa; zoospores formed in the upper cells of the filament, which become cask-shaped to subglobose. 600 - 700 µ diam.

Distribution : Gujarat, Maharashtra, Lakshadweep

Ecological status : Interidal (supralittoral)

IUCN status:

Uses: Food, animal feed and agricultural

Chaetomorpha crassa

Chaeto is a great green macroalgae for refugiums, and is widely regarded for its filtering capabilities. It is extremely hardy, and can be kept by the novice aquarist. Simply put it anywhere in your system, give it light, (2 watts per gallon of full spectrum or more is best), and it grows. While most people use it for filtering only, it can be spread along the bottom of your tank like a carpet, and looks pretty good this way. Chaeto grows very quickly under the right conditions. For best growing results give it nitrates and good lighting.

If you add a large amount of Chaeto into your system, you may be adding nutrients rather than reducing them, and this is to be avoided. Chaeto and mangroves make an excellent filtering team. The chaeto as it grows out will actually make the mangroves more effective, as they prefer being planted in a material that will hold them in place, and prefer the lower circulation that will occur as the chaeto diffuses the water current. Adding Ulva to chaeto will increase pod growth.



Chlorodesmis is a green filamentous algae whose appearance is similar to thin blades of grass or tufts of hair. Its common names include Maiden's Hair Plant and Turtle Grass. It contains a toxic substance which deters herbivorous fish from eating it.
Family: Codiaceae
Range: Global
Color Form: Green
Ideal Supplements: Iron, Trace elements
Tank Set-up: Marine
Reef Compatible: Yes
Tank Conditions: 72-78ºF; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4
Water Flow: Medium
Light: Medium
Dominance: Peaceful
Care Level: Moderate

Cladophora laetevirens

Cladophora laetevirens algae is uncommon in shady areas exposed to surge on the reef.
Description: Plants filamentous, branched, uniseriate, forming stiff, compact hemispherical pads to 5 cm high, or as sparse thalli to 20 cm high in protected areas. Pale green to grass green. Branching pseudodichotomous or pseudotrichotomous below, somewhat unilateral above, forming angles 25°-45°. Filaments straight to slightly curved; cells cylindrical, slightly swollen at distal ends, 50-100(-200) um diam., 3-11 diameters long; apices straight or curved, to 37 um diam, 3.5-11 diam. long. Rhizoids fine, form from basal or adjacent cells.

Introduction and Origin: Native to Hawaii.

Hawaiian Distribution: Kauai, Oahu

Habitat: Near the line of low tide to 2 m deep, on hard substrates.

Environmental Effects: Not studied. May affect recruitment of other species by successfully competing for substrate.

World Distribution: Hawaiian islands, the Caribbean

Commercial Interests: None.

Rate of Spread / Method: Very high growth rates. Dispersal by fragmentation and vegetative growth (filaments have diffuse growth), motile gametes, and zoospores.

Factors likely to influence Spread and Distribution: Irradiance, temperature, high nutrients availability.

Reasons for Success: Rapid growth rate, high nutrients availability. Low surface to volume ratio ensures fast nutrient uptake. Diffuse growth of filaments facilitates vegetative propagation through fragmentation.

Control Methods: None used.


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Cladophora prolifera

Cladophora prolifera (Roth) Kutzing


Plants tufted, to 20 cm. tall, dark green, becoming blackish when dried, coarse and stiff; main filaments to 300 - 475 µ diam., the cells to 20 diameters long, copiously ditrichotomously branched, the branches rather erect, clustered towards the tips; branchlets 130 - 200 µ diam., cells 4-6 diameters long, the tip cells blunt.

Distribution : Karnataka

Ecological status : Interidal (supralittoral)

Uses: Food, animal feed and agricultural


Cladophora catenata algae is common, forming coarse mats in shallow water exposed to surge. Formerly known as Cladophoropsis luxurians.

Cladophora rupestris

A green seaweed (Cladophora rupestris) growing in dense
Maximum length: 5-25 cm.
Appearance: Builds stiff and powerful dark green brush like branches. Do you want to see a pressed Cladophora rupestris? Here you can see one.
Depth: Can grow as deep as 15m, but is commonly found close to the beach.
Environment: Cladophora rupestris is quite rare in the outer archipelagoes, but is abundant in central regions and is absent in the inner most areas of the archipelagoes. Often found in the shadow of large boulders and walls. Common in deeper rock pools . Found also in shallower rock pools, but usually paler in colour.
Misc.: Cladophora rupestris is perennial, which is noticable in the Gulf of Bothnia. Here, it is possible to see loose layers of old small plants on sand bottoms at a depth of 2-3 m.
Classification: Cladophora rupestris is a member of the green algae group.

Cladophoropsis scoparius

Codium adhaerens

Codium arabicum

The macroalgae Codium arabicum is common on shaded surfaces on shallow reefs and tidepools.
Codium arabicum

Description: a dark green spongy mass, characterized by rolling bumps or convolutions on surface.
Size: 0.5-3 cm thick and up to 15 cm wide.
Habitat: intertidal and reef flats.
Codium arabicum - a dark green spongy mass, characterized by rolling bumps or convolutions on the surface. It is about 0.5 to 3 cm thick and up to 15 cm wide. It is found on reef flats.

This Weep species of Codium somewhat resembles Codium Arabicum or Codium setchellii, in that it lacks “fingers”. Taxonomy by photo, however, is unreliable.

Since this coenocytic siphonous green algae is a common seaweed in many parts of the world, the loss of this species from the Weep is not an ecological disaster. The Weep site, however, is the only place I have seen any species of Codium in the San Francisco Bay Area. For all I know, this species may be unique and have unique properties.

Such speculation is not far fetched. Different species of Codium produce a wide range of food and pharmaceutical products. When you know little about a species, its loss cannot be evaluated.

Loss of a species and wholesale change in a microbial community is one problem well illustrated in the Weep. A cause was probably the dramatic rise in the salinity of the Weep water, accompanied by and driven by water loss through evaporation. That only moves the question one step further along:

Codium decorticatum

Codium isthmocladum is a tall species in the popular codium family of seaweeds. Capable of branching out to 6 inches wide and 8 inches tall, it is one of the larger warm water species of codium. Its branches have a spongy texture, and are covered with small translucent hairs which give the macroalgae the appearance that it is glowing. Capable of living under low-moderate light, it will grow strongest in moderate to high lighting. The shade of green it takes will depend on the lighting it receives, turning darker with the more light that it is exposed to.

Unlike Codium fragile which has made its way into the hobby, Codium isthmocladum is a warm water species, and does well within the reef tank.The stalks are thin, and about 4-5 inches tall. They grow out to full size relatively quickly.

Codium edule

Codium edule

Description: forms spongy matlike mass of many intertwined dark green cylindrical branches. Branches attach whatever they contact. Looks like green rat's feet.
Size: 3-8 cm in diameter.
Habitat: reef flats, in lower intertidal habitats and in tide pools.

Codium edule limu wawae'iole (Chlorophyta)

Soft, spongy to touch

Forked branches

Dark green

Lies prostrate, frequently attached to substrate and rubble

Description: Fleshy, felt-like, dark green plants, 1-2 cm diameter. Soft, spongy to touch. Branches repeatedly forked. Branches lie prostrate and attach to anything on the substrate, forming mats incorporating bits of coral rubble, rocks and shells.

Habitat: Codium edule is common throughout the islands and is found intertidally to subtidally, 2-4 m deep, but most commonly subtidally.

C. edule is a popular edible seaweed sold in markets in Hawai`i. Its Hawaiian name means rat's foot, after the appearance of the thin, cylindrical branches.

Plants are dark green with felt-like surface; form large mats. Found throughout the islands from low intertidal to subtidal, 6-10 feet depth. Requires careful cleaning as are attached in several places to rubble and coral. Usually chopped or pounded and mixed with salt. Under refrigeration may be kept indefinitely, but best if eaten within 10 days. Served alone with fish, seafood, or stew, or may be mixed with other seaweeds.


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Codium fragile

Codium is easily recognizable in shallow coastal waters (the subtidal zone), and washed up on beaches in Nova Scotia, because there are no other seaweeds in the area with the same characteristics. An adult plant is pale to dark green in colour and has a very bush-like appearance, with many branches arising from a disk shaped pad,known as a holdfast. The holdfast is responsible for keeping the plant securely fastened to rocks on the seabed. The branches themselves are cylindrical in shape, resembling fingers. When submerged, Codium branches feel soft and "fuzzy" to the touch due to the presence of numerous long hairs on the surface of each frond. However when washed up on beaches and during the winter (when the hairs are lost) the branches become coarse. Juvenile, undeveloped (or undifferentiated) stages of Codium will appear as fuzzy, moss-like mats on hard surfaces.

Adult plants can grow up to 90 cm in height and when fully established in the subtidal, can form as bushy meadows. When detached from its subtidal substrate by waves, Codium can wash up on beaches as a whole plant (complete with holdfast) or in small pieces (a result of fragmentation or budding, see Reproduction). The plants will often be mixed with other types of marine plants torn from the seabed such as kelp (Laminaria sp.) and rockweeds (Ascophyllum , Fucus sp.)

Codium intertextum

Codium vermilara

Colpomenia sinuosa

Colpomenia sinuosa algae is common on reefs to at least 80 feet. The leaves of this algae are hollow.

Plants primarily hollow and subspherical structures, 2-5 cm in diameter, with age they become irregularly expanded and lobed and occur solitarly or clustered; the diameter may be upto 10cm; thallus wall is 0.3-0.4 mm thick and consist of 2-3 layers of cells; the inner cells are colourless and large, the cortical layer consists of pigmented cells, 4-8 µ in diameter; gametangia cylindrical 3.7-7.5 µ diameter, 18.8 - 30 µ long, paraphyses obovate, to 11 µ diameter, 47 µ tall.

Distribution : Dwarka, Porbandar, Veraval, (Gujrat), Ratnagiri, Bombay, (Maharashtra), Goa, Lakshadweep

Ecological status : Mangrove swamps, Estuarine/ intertidal zones


Corallina elonata

Other names: Also known as C. mediterranea
Description: Whitish-pink to reddish-lilac, calcified, articulated fronds, fish-bone-like arrangement, to 50 mm high, axis compressed, repeatedly pinnate from discoid base, more abundantly and regularly branched than C. officinalis. Articulations small.
Habitat: On rock, exposed coasts, lower intertidal, southern and western coasts, occasional.
Similar species: Corallina officinalis is commoner, larger, and has coarser articulations

Corallina officinalis

Corallina officinalis is a calcareous red seaweed which grows in the lower and mid-littoral zones on rocky shores.

It is primarily found growing around the rims of tide pools, but can be found in shallow crevices anywhere on the rocky shore that are regularly refreshed with sea water. It predominantly grows on the lower shore, especially where fucoid algae is absent, but is also found further up shore on exposed coasts.

It forms calcium carbonate deposits within its cells which serve to strengthen the thallus. These white deposits cause the seaweed to appear pink in colour with white patches where the calcium carbonate is particularly concentrated, such as at the growing tips. The calcium carbonates makes it unpalatable to most rocky shore grazers.

Corallina provides a habitat for many small animals who feed on the microorganisms which dwell in its dense tufts.

Derbesia marina

Diatoms 1

Diatoms are a major group of eukaryotic algae, and are one of the most common types of phytoplankton. Most diatoms are unicellular, although they can exist as colonies in the shape of filaments or ribbons (e.g. Fragillaria), fans (Meridion), zigzags (Tabellaria), or stellate colonies (Asterionella). Diatoms are producers within the food chain. A characteristic feature of diatom cells is that they are encased within a unique cell wall made of silica (hydrated silicon dioxide) called a frustule. These frustules show a wide diversity in form, some quite beautiful and ornate, but usually consist of two asymmetrical sides with a split between them, hence the group name. Fossil evidence suggests that they originated during, or before, the early Jurassic Period. Diatom communities are a popular tool for monitoring environmental conditions, past and present, and are commonly used in studies of water quality. Scientists specializing in their study are sometimes called diatomists.

Diatoms 2

Diatoms 3

Dictyospaeria cavernosa


Thallus to 12 cm in diameter, saclike, hollow, spherical when young, becoming convoluted, ruptured, and irregularly lobed when old. Firm, tough texture, consisting of large bubble-shaped cells that are easily seen by eye. Rhizoids are short, branched or unbranched.

Daughter segments are formed as occasional segments become inflated, forming large monostromatic bladders attached to the parent plant. They may remained attached to the thallus or break away and become independent plants. Grass green, but sometimes blueish in color.

Can be easily confused with D. versluyii. D. versluyii is smaller, completely solid, and remains rounded.

Structural Features

Primary cells 0.1-3.0 mm diam., in monostromatic layer, angular or polyhedral in surface view, appearing honey-comb like, adhering to one another by hapteroid cells at juncture of walls isodiametric, 35 - 45 µm diameter.


Dictyosphaeria cavernosa is found attached to rocks or coral rubble on shallow, calm reef flats and in tidepools. Young plants may form small clusters of "bubbles" scattered among turfs on hard substrate. Older plants can form large convoluted mats from 1 to 10 cm thick that may cover large areas subtidally to 59 meters.


Hawai‘i: Northwest Hawaiian Islands, O‘ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i and Lana‘i.

Mechanism of Introduction: Indigenous to Hawai‘i.

Worldwide: Eastern Atlantic, Caribbean, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Indian and Pacific Oceans.


Dictyosphaeria cavernosa is a native alga that has shown invasive tendencies in reef communities experiencing nutrient enrichment and overfishing. The thallus’ sheet-like morphology enables it to cover large areas of reef and create large hollow chambers where organisms and gases are trapped. Like other invasives, D. cavernosa efficiently captures available nutrients, resulting in high growth rates. The morphology of this particular green alga, however, is especially efficient: nutrients trapped in sediments are released to the water column and trapped in the chambers of D. cavernosa where they are held for uptake. This special "bubble" morphology has proven successful in areas of long term nutrient loading where the sediments have become a reservoir for additional nutrients.


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The solid sheets of D. cavernosa can be devastating to coral reefs. Since the 1960’s, and possibly earlier, D. cavernosa has overgrown and displaced corals on reef slopes and outer reef flats in Kane‘ohe Bay, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i. The alga uses coral and limestone outcrops as an anchorage and proceeds to overgrow them, killing the corals by smothering. In a study of the standing crop of frondose algae at Waikiki as much as 300gm/m2 wet weight of the biomass was attributed to this species.

Dictyosphaeria species grow by segregative cell division, producing daughter segments that are initiated inside parent segments but grow outwards in the form of a bubble. The species also reproduces sexually by freeing flagellate reproductive cells through pores in the walls of the vegetative cells of the thallus. In conditions of high nutrient loading and overfishing, Dictyosphaeria species are fecund and successful competitors.

Dictyota bartayresii

Class: Phaeophyceae
Order: Fucales
Family: Sargassaceae
Animal: Dictyota bartayresii (Fluorescent Blue Alga)
Discovered by/year: Lamouroux, 1809

Hardiness: Hard to keep
Lighting intensity: Moderate lighting
Current: Moderate variable current
Food: Light
Colour(s): Brown, Blue
Habitat: Canary Islands , Caribean
Requires a special tank: Yes: an aquarium with a low fluence, a lot of caulerpa and seagras
Maximum length: 0 cm
Required tank size (in Liters): 50 Liter
Depth: 1 - 40 Meter
Temperature: 18 - 28 Celcius
Salinity in specific gravity: 1.022 - 1.024 (at 25 degrees Celsius)
Added by: Peter (2007-05-11 18:45:39)
Last changed by: Peter (2007-08-09 11:34:05)

Dictyota dichotoma

Dictyota dichotoma (Hudson) Lamouroux


Plants to about 1 dm tall, occasionally 3.5 dm bushy, usually regularly dichotomous, forking at angles of 15-45 degree, usually with narrow sinuses, with little general decrease in width from the base to the upper branches, the lower segments a little broader below each fork than just about it , the terminal division somewhat tapered, but hardly acute; segments 2-5 mm broad, the internodes 1.0-2.5 cm long, rarely proliferous except at the base, which in colour and texture is much like the rest of the plant.

Distribution : Gujrat, Ratnagiri,Malvan, (Maharashtra), Goa, Karwar,Honawar, Bhatkal (Karnataka), Lakshadweep

Dictyota linearis

Dictyota linearis (Agardh) Greville. (14cm)

Thread-like thallus with straight, narrow ramuli (1mm) showing opened and regular dichotomy. 5 to 10cm.
The gametophyte and the sporophyte are similar.
Found from summer to fall in photophyle biotopes, from -5 down to -15m, epiphyte on other seaweeds or on Posidonia oceanica.
Diffised in Mediterranean, Black Sea, North-Eastern Atlantic (Southern Spain, Canaries) North-Western Atlantic.

Problem Algae;
Good housekeeping tips

When you talk about algae in the marine aquarium, you are most likely talking about 'problem algae' (micro-algae) rather than the 'plants' (macro-algae) that look good in the aquarium. This article is a look at controlling problem algae in your marine aquarium. It is purposefully brief, and is aimed primarily at 'fighting the fire'. A longer in-depth article does exist called 'Marine Algae Overview' that has a lot more information on algae and its use in a marine aquarium.

There are three types of algae, in order, that I consider problem algae. These algae are going to find their way into your tank. Their spores will reach your tank from the air or from the water your livestock or foods come in. You cant stop them getting into your tank.

Hair algae
This grows in mats, and looks like fine hair (thus the name), it can grow over rocks, other substrate, glass, pumps, pipes - basically anything in the tank.

Slime algae
This is a greasy alga in red, green or black varieties. It covers rocks and substrate.

Diatomic algae
Is very fast growing brown film that grows on the glass especially in aquariums with strong lighting.

There is never a single causal component to algae affecting an aquarium. Rather, it is a combination of factors. These include water quality (phosphates, nitrates & ammonias), accumulation of detritus, lighting, and supplements.

Phosphates: Any measurable level of phosphate can cause algae problems, as it is a primary food source for the algae. Levels of phosphate should be kept as low as possible.

Nitrate: Is another food source for algae.

Ammonia: Algae can take up ammonia directly from the water.

Detritus build up: Pockets of sediment are often the first place algae get footholds. Hair algae specifically seem to 'trap' detritus and then utilize this for further growth.

Lighting: Bright lights with a long photoperiod will help algae grow. Additionally old lights shift to the red end of the light spectrum as they age, encouraging algal growth.

Supplements: Only use supplements if you are sure that they will benefit your aquarium inhabitants.

A combination of the above is the likely cause of your algae problems.

How to get rid of problem algae
Once you realize you have an algae problem, things need sorting out as fast as possible. The problem will not go away as quickly as it arrived, but you can keep it under control.

What are you putting into your tank? Check to see if you can reduce the food you are adding to the tank. Eaten and uneaten food becomes algae food! Check the quality of your food. Are you dumping a frozen cube into the tank? A lot of the cube is 'dirty' water and bits of shrimp that the seahorses will not eat, but immediately becomes a food source for the algae. Rinsing the food will reduce the effluent from fouling the water.

First, start the mechanical removal of as much algae as you can get your hands on. This is the initial major clean up. During this time it will help to add filter floss or filter wool as the first stage in your filter - to capture the pieces of algae dislodged by your clean up, but not removed from the water. Make sure you clean or replace this filter regularly in the first few days. Check the condition of your filter at the same time and clean as needed.

Next, check your water flow. See if there are any 'dead-water' areas, in which algae can get a foothold.

Vacuum the substrate to remove as much detritus as possible. The water removed from the tank should be replaced with new seawater from a source that does not contain phosphates or nitrates, such as reverse osmosis (RO) water. A 20% water change is most beneficial.

If your photoperiod is more than 12 hours, consider lessening it. Replace any bulbs over six months old as the spectrum emitted shifts over time to light emissions that promotes algae growth.

Now attempt to improve the water quality. Adding commercial products to the filter is the first line of attack to improving the water quality quickly:

Polyfilter - Available as a pad. You can cut it to shape to fit your filter. Add the Polyfilter as the LAST stage in the filter - before the water returns to the tank. Polyfilter removes dissolved organics, minerals as well as some phosphates and nitrates.

Phosphate remover - There are several commercial products available to remove phosphate from the water. Most are in the form of a powder which is added to a filter. Place this second last in the filter, before the Polyfilter. You have to be cautious, as some types leach the phosphate back into the water after removing it. Read the instructions! I use Rowaphos which is the best product I know of for removing phosphate. This product also reduces silicate - which is a contributing cause to Diatomic algae.

Next thing to consider is the 'cleaning crew' or animals that eat/control alga. Dumping a cleanup crew into the tank is not an answer by itself. They will not be able to deal with an outbreak caused by poor maintenance, and most cannot deal with established algae problems. They are however a useful tool in the ongoing control of problem algae. I follow the general recommendation of one red leg hermit and one turbo or astrea snail per five gallons of aquarium water. Having cleaned the major patches of algae out of your tank, your cleanup crew should be able to assist in keeping any future outbreaks under control.

Lights are a problem area. If you have corals, you will need the lights, but if you have a fish only tank, you can turn off the lights for a few days. The fish will not mind, accepting the ambient light, but the algae will not be happy. Even tanks with corals can do with a break from the lights. If you have corals try reducing the photoperiod.

Finally, Macro-Algae - using algae to control algae! Macro algae is the 'plant' and encrusting algae that you see in marine tanks. Macro algae cut down on light available to the micro algae, and compete directly for the nutrients otherwise available to problem algae. Caulerpa spp and encrusting corallines (a group of Red algae resembling corals) are best. Encrusting corallines produce chemicals that stop the growth of micro-algae on rocks etc. Caulerpa is a fast growing green macro-algae, and commonly available.

Another less commonly used method is that of mangrove plants, whose roots extract the nutrients micro-algae would need for growth. These however take several months to become effective, and success stories vary.



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Read on :: Michael Guiryís seaweed website

Beyond the Refugium: Seagrass Aquaria by Sarah Lardizabal -

Beyond the Refugium: A Macroalgae Primer by Sarah Lardizabal -

Photosynthesis and the Reef Aquarium, Part I: Carbon Sources by Randy Holmes-Farley -

Lateral Lines: Macroalgae vs. Mangrove Growth and Nutrient Uptake | Advanced Aquarist's Online Magazine

Marine biology

Filtration using Mangroves to macro algae - Reef Sanctuary

The Aquarium Refugium | Aquarists Online | Aquarium Fish Resources And Information

Mud Bed Aquarium Filtration | Aquarists Online | Aquarium Fish Resources And Information

Enteromorpha compressa

Enteromorpha compressa (Linnaeus) Nees


Plants generally gregarious, attached, bright to dark green, 3dm tall, tubular, more or less compressed or collapsed, above expanded, 220 mm wide, below long, tapering and characteristically with several branches from the gradually contracted stalklike base which are similar to the principal blade. Cells in the adult plants irregularly placed, 10-15 micron diameter, rounded subquadrate, the walls not thickened, in section vertically elongate, the whole membrane 13-20 micron thick.

Distribution : Bombay, Malvan, Ratnagiri (Maharashtra), Goa

Ecological status : Intertidal zone, Mangrove swamps, Estuaries

Uses : It is used as vegetable and also in the Form of salad, jam and power, animal feed and medicine

Enteromorpha intestinalis

Maximum length: 20-40 cm.
Appearance: Shimmering pale green in colour. The shoots that grow from a common root are tubular, often gas filled, intestine like and devoid of branching.
Depth: 0-7 m.
Environment: Enteromorpha intestinalis grows on gravel and rocky bottoms. At low tide, a part of them tend to bend and float on the surface. It is quite common in rock pools, especially those that have a high position, 5 to 10 m above sea level, and get splashed during storms.
Misc.: There are about 10 specie of Enteromorpha intestinalis, and it can be very difficult for the layman to see the differences between the different specie.
Classification: Enteromorpha intestinalis is a member of the group green algae.
Species of Enteromorpha are summer annuals; they decay at the end of the season, producing masses of decaying bleached fronds (3). These seaweeds are fast-growing species that are able to reproduce quickly (3). The life cycle passes through a number of stages. The ‘gametophyte' stage produces massive amounts of mobile *** cells or gametes that fuse together to form the ‘sporophyte' stage. This stage then produces mobile spores, which develop into the gametophyte stage, and the cycle begins once more (3). The gametes and spores are produced in such massive quantities that the water becomes green. Their release is synchronised with the tidal cycles (3).


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Enteromorpha linza

Enteromorpha prolifera

Fucus vesiculosus

Fucus vesiculosus is a very variable alga. It can grow to 100 cm or more and is easily recognised by the small gas–filled vesicles which occur in pairs one on either side of a central midrib running along the centre of the strap-like frond. Ascophyllum nodosum also has air vesicles, but rather than being paired, they are arranged in series along a frond which is not flattened and without a midrib. Both are common species on many shores of the British Isles.

The large brown algae have similar life cycles. At maturity the reproductive bodies form in conceptacles sunken in receptacles produced towards the tips on the branches. In these conceptacles oogonia and antheridia are produced and after meiosis they are released. After fertilisation, the zygote develops, settles and grows to form the diploid sporophyte plant.

The large vegetative phase is diploid and gametophytic. Meiosis occurs during the formation of the gametes. The egg cells are formed on the female plants in conceptacles embedded in receptacles. The spermatozoids and egg cells are extruded from the conceptacles. Once fertilised, the zygote settles and grows to form the new diploid gametophyte. [5]

Bladderwrack is a form of kelp, rich in iodine, that stimulates the thyroid gland and boosts the metabolism as a treatment for obesity and cellulite. It also has a reputation in the relief of rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis and may be used both internally and as an external application for inflamed joints.

Galaxaura acuminata

G. acuminata can be found in shaded areas of deep tide pools or at deeper depths, where it often grows between the branches of corals. It has hollow branches, but this is not immediately apparent because they are flattened, frryn1 I to 4 mm wide. This calcified seaweed is pink to red and grows to 15 cm in length.

Galaxaura acuminata

Description: this calcified seaweed is pink to read with flattened branches.
Size: grows to 15 cm wide
Habitat: found in shaded areas of tide pools

Galaxaura fastigiata

Galaxaura fastigiata
Description: this calcified seaweed is white to pink in color with stiff, hollow cylindrical branches and deep pits in the ends.
Size: up to 15cm.
Habitat: found in tide pools and reef flats

Galaxaura marginata

Galaxaura marginata
Description: looks like G. acuminata with hollow branches. Calcified seaweed is pink to red.
Size: grows to 15cm in length
Habitat: found in deep tide pools or at deeper depths


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Gelidium latifolium

Cartilaginous, crimson to purplish red, 20-60 mm long. Main axes distinctly flattened, often narrower at base, ultimate branches short, often opposite, spine-like or spathulate.

Pools in lower intertidal and subtidal, generally in shaded situations, southern and western shores, frequent.

Similar species:
Gelidium pulchellum which does not have distinctly flattened main axes and occurs higher on the shore.

Key characteristics: Pinnate branching, lower-intertidal and subtidal low-light habitats, and distinctly flattened main axis.

This next section we will discuss the algae and their predator, so if you have a tang another fish or an ivert you'll find out what they likes and will be able to supplement their favorite food. Or if you want to get rid of certain algae as well. The reverse is also true; if you want to keep some algae, you'll know which fish or inverts to avoid.

Each algae has a number ( 1-2-3-4 and so on associated with its predators, so look up the algae number and see which fish or inverts has the same number simple.

Hair Algae
(1) Derbesia sp. 1
(1) Derbesia sp. 2
(1) Derbesia marina

(2) Bryopsis sp. - Tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean
(2) Bryopsis plumosa - Tropical & Temperate Atlantic Ocean

(3) Chaetomorpha aerea - Tropical/Sub-tropical Western Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean
(3) Chaetomorpha crassa

(4) Boodlea sp.

(5) Enteromorpha compressa
(5) Enteromorpha intestinalis
(5) Enteromorpha linza
(5) Enteromorpha prolifera


Bubble Algae
(6) Dictyospaeria cavernosa - Indian Ocean to East Africa

(7) Valonia utricularis 1
(7) Valonia utricularis 2
(7) Valonia macrophysa

(8) Ventricaria ventricosa - Circumtropical

Turf Algae
(9) Acetabularia crennulata

Avrainvillea sp.
Avrainvillea nigricens - Tropical Western Atlantic Ocean

(10) Chlorodesmis sp. (Turtle Weed)

(11) Cladophora laetevirens
(11) Cladophora prolifera - Circumtropical
(11) Cladophora rupestris

Cladophoropsis scoparius
(12) Cladophoropsis sp. 1
(12) Cladophoropsis sp. 2

(13) Valoniopsis pachynema

(14) Ulva lactuca - Circumtropical
(14) Ulva rigida

Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock


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Calcareous Algae
Codium adhaerens
Codium arabicum
Codium decorticatum
Codium edule
Codium fragile
Codium intertextum - Caribbean
Codium vermilara

Halimeda copiosa (1) - Tropical Western Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean
Halimeda copiosa (2) - Tropical Western Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean
Halimeda discoidea - Tropical Western Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean
Halimeda incrassata - Caribbean, Indo-Pacific Ocean, Red Sea
Halimeda macroloba - Indo-West Pacific Ocean
Halimeda micronesica - Indo-West Pacific Ocean
Halimeda opuntia - Caribbean, Red Sea, Indian & Pacific Oceans
Halimeda tuna - Tropical Western Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean

Neomeris sp. - Indo-Pacific Ocean
Neomeris annulata

Penicillus capitatus
Penicillus dumetosus

Rhipocephalus phoenix - Tropical West Atlantic Ocean

Udotea sp.
Udotea flabellum
Udotea petiolata
Udotea spinulosa


(15) Microalgae
(15) Ostreobium sp.

(16) Diatoms 1
(16) Diatoms 2
(16) Diatoms 3


"Y" Branch Algae
(17) Dictyota bartayresii - Tropical & Sub-tropical Atlantic Ocean
(17) Dictyota dichotoma - Circumtropical
(17) Dictyota linearis - Caribbean


Scroll Algae
(21) Lobophora variegata - Caribbean and Tropical and Sub-Tropical Atlantic Ocean
(21) Padina sp.
(21) Padina australis
(21) Padina pavonica


(18) Fucus spiralis
(18) Fucus vesiculosus (1) - Sub-tropical & temperate Atlantic Ocean
(18) Fucus vesiculosus (2) - Sub-tropical & temperate Atlantic Ocean

(19) Laminaria sp. - Tropical & Sub-tropical Atlantic Ocean

Macrocystis pyrifera (Giant Kelp)

(22) Sargassum fluitans
(22) Sargassum hystrix - Tropical Western Atlantic Ocean
(22) Sargassum johnstoni
(22) Sargassum natans
(22) Sargassum sinicola
(22) Sargassum vulgare

Stylopodium zonale


Saucer Leaf Algae
(20) Lobophora variegata 1
(20) Lobophora variegata 2

Turbinaria ornata
Turbinaria turbinata

Actinotrichia fragilis


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Red Grape Algae (Rarely seen)
Botryocladia uvaria
Botryocladia pseudodichotoma
Botryocladia skottsbergii


Red Filamentous Algae
(23) Centroceras clavulatum

(24) Wrangelia argus


Boneweed/Thicket Algae
Galaxaura acuminata
Galaxaura fastigiata
Galaxaura marginata - Circumtropical


Red Hair/Kelp/Wire Algae
Gelidium sp. - Indo-Pacific Ocean
Gelidium latifolium
Gelidium microdon
Gelidium pusillum
Gelidium sesquipedale

(25) Polysiphonia elongata

(29) Asparagopsis armata
(29) Asparagopsis taxiformis

Red Macroalgae/Lettuce
Gracilaria curtissae - Circumtropical and sub-tropical
Gracilaria salicornia
Gracilaria tikvahiae
Gracilaria verrucosa

Halymenia sp. - Tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean
Halymenia duchassaignii - Tropical West Atlantic

Porphyra leucosticta

Rhodymenia holmesii
Rhodymenia pseudopalmata

Scinaia sp. - Central Indo-Pacific Ocean
Scinaia complanata - Tropical Western Atlantic Ocean

Solieria robusta


(26) Hypnea pannosa
(26) Hypnea cervicornis
(26) Hypnea musciformis


Red Bulb Algae
Nemastoma sp. 1
Nemastoma sp. 2


Red Dictyota
Nitophyllum punctatum


Calcareous/Coralline spp.
Amphiroa cryptarthrodia
Amphiroa fragilissima - Tropical West Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Ocean
Amphiroa verruculosa

Corallina elonata
Corallina officinalis

Hydrolithon boergesenii - Circumtropical

Jania rubens - Indo-Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean

Lithophyllum incrustans - Circumtropical/sub-tropical
Lithophyllum lichenoides - Circumtropical/sub-tropical

Mesophyllum sp. - Indo-Pacific Ocean
Mesophyllum mesomorphum - Circumtropical

Peyssonnelia sp. - Circumtropical

Titanoderma pustulatum


Slime Alga/Cyanobacteria
(27) Oscillatoria sp.

(28) Phormidium corallyticum

Other Higher Plants
Avicenia germinans (Black Mangrove)

Laguncularia racemosa (White Mangrove)

Rhizophora mangle (Red Mangrove) - Circumtropical & Subtropical


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Shoal Grass
Halodule uninervis
Halodule wrightii


Paddle Weed/Midrib Seagrass
Halophila sp.
Halophila ovalis
Halophila spinulosa


Manatee Grass
Syringodium fildorme


Thalassia testudinum - Tropical West Atlantic Ocean


Eel Grass

Acanthurus achilles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 13, 14, 23, 26)
Acanthurus japonicus (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 23, 26)
Acanthurus leucosternon (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 13, 14, 23, 26)
Acanthurus lineatus (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 13, 14, 23, 26)
Acanthurus nigrofuscus (6, 7, 8)
Acanthurus olivaceus (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 23, 26)
Acanthurus pyroferus (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 13, 14, 23, 26)

Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 16, 23, 26, 27)
Ctenochaetus striatus (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 16, 23, 26, 27)

Naso brevirostris (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 17, 22, 26)
Naso lituratus (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 17, 20, 22, 26)

Zebrasoma desjardinii (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 23, 26)
Zebrasoma flavescens (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 23, 26)
Zebrasoma scopas (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 23, 26)
Zebrasoma veliferum (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 23, 26)
Zebrasoma xanthurus (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 23, 26)

Ecsenius bicolor (1, 15, 16)

Ophioblennius atlanticus (1, 15, 16)

Salarias fasciata (15, 16, 27)

Siganus corallinus (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14)
Siganus guttatus (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14)
Siganus magnifica (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14)
Siganus vulpinus (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14)

Centropyge acanthops (1, 4, 5, 14, 16, 27)
Centropyge argi (1, 4, 5, 14, 16, 27)
Centropyge aurantia (1, 4, 5, 14, 16, 27)
Centropyge bispinosus (1, 4, 5, 14, 16, 27)
Centropyge eibli (1, 4, 5, 14, 16, 27)
Centropyge fisheri (1, 4, 5, 14, 16, 27)
Centropyge flavissima (1, 4, 5, 14, 16, 27)
Centropyge heraldi (1, 4, 5, 14, 16, 27)
Centropyge loricula (1, 4, 5, 14, 16, 27)
Centropyge nox (1, 4, 5, 14, 16, 27)
Centropyge resplendens (1, 4, 5, 14, 16, 27)
Centropyge shepardi (1, 4, 5, 14, 16, 27)
Centropyge vroliki (1, 4, 5, 14, 16, 27)

Amblygobius hectori (1)
Amblygobius rainfordi (1)


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Percnon gibbesi - Sally Lightfoot Crab (6, 7, 8, 12)
Mithrax sculptus - Emerald Crab (2, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 17)

Calcinus tibicen - Red-legged Hermit Crab (3, 5, 25)
Clibanarius digueti - Blue-spotted Hermit Crab (3, 5, 25)
Clibanarius tricolor - Blue-legged Hermit Crab (1, 3, 5, 25, 27)
Paguristes cadenati - Scarlet-legged Hermit Crab (1, 3, 5, 25)
Phimochirus operculatus - Polka-dotted Hermit Crab (3, 5, 25)

Sea Hares
Aplysia californica (1, 2, 9, 12, 16, 25)

Elysia diomedea (1, 2, 3, 5, 11)
Elysia ornata (1, 2, 3, 5, 11)
Tridachia crispata - Florida Lettuce Slug (1, 2, 25)

Astraea tectum (1, 15, 16, 21)

Cerithium echinatum (16)
Cerithium muscarium (16)

Nerita albicilla (16, 27)

Norrisia norrisi (Red Foot Moon Snail) - Not a tropical water species

Margarites pupillus (Margarites Snail) - Not a tropical water species

Puperite pupa (16, 27)

Trochus niloticus (1, 2, 9, 12, 15, 16)

Turbo fluctuosus (1, 15, 16, 21, 27, 29)

Vittina luteofasciata (27)

Strombus alatus (1, 9, 10, 12, 16, 27)
Strombus gigas (1, 9, 12)

Diodora inaequalis (16)

Diadema setosum - Black Longspine (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28)

Mespilia globulus - Tuxedo Urchin (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)[/SIZE]

Gelidium microdon

Cartilaginous, purplish or blackish red, turf-forming, 2-10 mm high, arising from an extensive creeping base and incorporating shell debris and small molluscs. Erect fronds flattened and leaf-like and 0.5-2 mm broad.

Key characteristics:
Turf formation in the upper intertidal, blackish-red colour when slightly dry, and extensive rhizoids.

On rock in upper intertidal forming extensive mat-like growths below Pelvetia canaliculata, particularly on vertical or near-vertical surfaces. Sometimes associated with Catenella opuntia and Audouinella purpurea. Widely distributed, common.

Similar species
Catenella opuntia also forms turf- or mat-like extensions but is softer has has the appearance of small cocktail sausages.


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Gelidium sesquipedale

Very strong, rigid and cartilagineous thallus, fixed to the substrate by a system of claw-like rhizoids; principal axes carry secundary axes, usually long and branched on a plan; narrow branches (2mm wide) mostly of the same dimensions, non branched in their inferior half; up to 35cm.
Dark red.
Perennial species, found year round in shaded, exposed, infralittoral biotopes.

Gracilaria curtissae

Scientific:Gracilaria curtissae

Common:Red Macroalgae or Ruby Red Alga
Size:up to 0 cm

Temperature:73.4 °F - 82.4 °F (23°C - 28°C)
Food:Zooxanthellae / Light
Aquarium:11 gal (~ 50L)¹ [~ 125 Liter²]
degree of difficultyacceptable
Popular name: Ruby Red Alga
Range: Circumtropical and sub-tropical
Size: Individual thalli grow to about 45cm (18 inches) in length

Gracilaria salicornia

Gracilaria salicornia grows in tidepools and reef flats of about 3 feet deep water. And it is usually not in active water. But the water has some ocassional waves in it.

Range (include invasive, native, endemic): Gracilaria salicornia is an invasive species. It did not originally come from Hawaii. It is also an Indo-Pacific species though so it came from somewhere in the Pacific. It ranges from around 3 feet of water, to about 5 feet.

Trophic information: Gracilaria salicornia doesn't actually "eat" anything, instead it photosynthesizes. It also sucks in nutrients from the water that it finds. The things that eat Gracilaria salicornia are some people, fish, and other little animals that munch on it or live inside it.

Safety: Gracilaria salicornia is not dangerous but can be very slippery if you decide that you want to step on it. But you should not step on it because you will kill it. I don't know if you can eat it so you might not want to try just in case for safety issues.

Comments: Gracilaria salicornia is often confused with Gracilaria coronopifolia but they are not the same algae. Gracilaria coronopifolia is a skinnier algae and it is a different color than the Gracilaria salicornia. If you look at one of the other red algae pages, then you will be able to find what it looks like.

Gracilaria tikvahiae


Thallus 12-15 cm tall, comprised of finely branched clumps, irregularly branched, 1mm wide. Axes compressed or flattened,with short laterals bering more slender than axes with spinous branchlets. Branching mostly dichotomous, but can be highly irregular, with dichotomous below, alternate above and dichotomous at apices. Apices tapered and pointed, often unevenly forked with one side longer than the other. In the wild, the plant can range from dark green to shades of red and brown.

The morphology of this alga is highly variable. Plants grown commercially are often completely dichotomously branched with axes and branches of nearly the same diameter throughout. Cultured plants are often very dark green to nearly black.

Structural Features

Medullary cells irregular, 70-270 mm diam. Cortex is 2-3 cells thick; surface cells round to angular, 5-13 mm diam., densely pigmented. Tetrasporangia oval to spherical, 10-35 mm diam., 17-45 mm long, cruciately divided, scattered in surface layers. Spermatangia in sori, scattered. Cystocarps hemispherical, to 1mm diam., numerous; carposporangia spherical to oval, 15-40 mm diam.

Gracilaria tikvahiae is found intertidal, less that 1 meter, attached to limestone and basalt substrates. In the Caribbean and Florida where it is very common, G. tikvahiae is found in protected and high-energy intertidal habitats in estuaries and bays to 10 meters deep. This plant may grow unattached or attached to rocks or coral rubble.

Hawai‘i: Near Oceanic Institute, Makapu’u, O‘ahu.

Mechanism of Introduction: This species was brought to the Hawaiian Islands from Florida in 1987 for commercial mariculture.
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