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/The Conscientious Marine Aquarist

Green Algae of the Family Caulerpaceae

By Bob Fenner

Caulerpa taxifolia

Feather algae will it be a nuisance?   10/25/07 Yes. Hey Everyone! <Hi Ryan, Mich here.> Been a while since I asked a question so here goes! I recently moved, and in the process of moving, the bottom of my aquarium broke out, <YIKES!>  and so bought a much larger aquarium (33 to a 90) <So not all bad! Heehee!> Anyway, while the new tank was cycling my corals were being babysat in my father-in-laws reef. I recently brought a few of my corals home and on a mushroom rock was a type of feather algae. I'll include a picture as I'm unsure of the species. <Looks like Caulerpa taxifolia.> Will it be a nuisance? <Yes.> It seems to grow fairly fast, <Yes it does.> and if I need to get rid of it, will anything eat it, <Some tangs, if hungry enough.> as opposed to picking it off? My advice: Start picking! And try to remove in as large and intact of pieces as possible to avoid further spreading.>  My father-in-laws tank is quite grown over with the stuff. <I'm not surprised. I just had a discussion about this tonight with ScottF. This stuff is way too easy to lose control over IMO. Once it gets into the display it can be a real pain to eliminate. I would be diligent with its' removal.> Any info would be much appreciated!<More info here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caulerparepro.htmhttp://www.wetwebmedia.com/caulerpacomp.htmGood luck! Mich> ~Cheers! Ryan

I am asking again. Will you PLEASE put something else in this box. I don't even want to refer people to this page. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caulerpaalg.htm Caulerpa taxifolia, one of the best species of the best genus of algae for marine aquarium use. How about something like this for an alternative: Caulerpa taxifolia, Excellent for nutrient export but not without problems. OR Caulerpa taxifolia, Excellent for nutrient export but not problem free. OR Caulerpa taxifolia, Excellent for nutrient export but can create it's own set of problems. This stuff is a PITA IMO. I have gotten it into the main display and what a headache! At least give people a warning... not that half will read it anyway but surely there will be some who do! Thanks,
Michelle
<Have no time... Will post this. B>

These multi-shaped macro-algae deserve their title as "most popular". It might sound bizarre, but these are the largest single-celled organisms in the world; and their so good-looking, they appear artificial (!). Caulerpas grow prolifically in established aquaria, often to the point that they have to be routinely thinned to prevent overcoming other tank inhabitants.

Most Caulerpas look like creeping vines with alternating leaf-like projections emanating from their two-dimensional profiles. Their 'holdfast' organs provide anchorage in the gravel and on solid decor. As all the pieces tied together are of the same organism (actually all one cell), take care not to break off their interconnecting strands. This often results in the severed section disintegrating.

Several of the seventy or so species are available through retail, mail order and culture facilities. The most popular are the changeable, grape-like Caulerpa racemosa, feathery Caulerpa sertularoides, Caulerpa taxifolia, and Caulerpa mexicana, and the solid-bladed Caulerpa prolifera.

Caulerpa brachyphus Mauritius 2016

Caulerpa cupressoides

Caulerpa ethelae. Mauritius 2016, Di pic

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Caulerpa mexicana Sonder ex Kutzing (see AlgaeBase)

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Caulerpa paspaloides; Cozumel 2016

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.


Caulerpa peltata, Queensland, Australia. 

Caulerpa prolifera, likely the most common species (of many) in use in marine aquariums. Originates out of both coasts of the Atlantic in warm waters and the Mediterranean.

Caulerpa racemosa, Green Grape Algae. At right in Hawai'i. Below: A close up and not in Cebu, P.I., and Cozumel

Bigger PIX:
 The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
Caulerpa serrulata

Aquarium image.

Bigger PIX: The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
Caulerpa sertularioides

Aquarium image and Belize images

Bigger PIX: The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Caulerpa taxifolia, one of the best species of  the best genus of algae for marine aquarium  use.

Caulerpa webbiana

N. Sulawesi image. 

Bibliography/Further Reading:

Baugh, Thomas M. 1988. Caulerpa prolifera; an attractive species which does well in the marine aquarium. FAMA 5/88.

Brawer, Marc. 1971. So you want to keep marine plants. Marine Aquarist 2(2):71.

Brelig, Allen. Plants in the reef system. FAMA 6/93.

Caribaldi, Lou. 1973. Seaweeds are not weeds. Marine Aquarist 4(4):73.

Giovanetti, Thomas A. 1989. Caulerpa enemy of the miniature reef aquarium? FAMA 10/89.

Hoff, Frank. 1988. Coral reefs of Florida, part II; the algae. FAMA 1/88.

Hoff, Frank H. 1983,84. Marine algae of the genus Caulerpa, parts 1,2. FAMA 10/83, 4/84.

Jacobs, William P. 1994. Caulerpa; this tropical alga is the world's largest single-celled organism. yet it differentiates into a complex structure of leaves, stems and roots. Scientific American 12/94.

Kraft, Herbert. 1959. A step forward for marine aquarists; Caulerpa prolifera, a plant for salt-water aquaria. TFH 5/59.

Mancini, Alessandro, translated by Paolo Macedone. 1995. Tropical algae of the genus Caulerpa Lamouroux, 1809. FAMA 6/95.

Mayland, Hans J. 1975. The leafy algae, Caulerpa prolifera. Marine Aquarist 6(4):75.

Smit, George. 1987. The ecological marine aquarium, part four; the use and benefits of live rock and Caulerpa in marine aquariums. FAMA 8/87.

Sprung, Julian. 1989. responding to questions re the sexual reproduction of Caulerpa in captive systems. FAMA 2/89.

Thiel, Albert J. 1988. Keeping and growing marine macro-algae. FAMA 8/88.

Tullock, John H. 1983. Growing marine 'plants'. FAMA 3/83.

Wilkens, Peter. 1992. Green water in the aquarium; the sexual reproduction of Caulerpa algae. TFH 2/92.


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