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Chaeto 2.JPG
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Viridiplantae
Phylum: Chlorophyta
Class: Ulvophyceae
Order: Cladophorales
Family: Cladophoraceae
Genus: Chaetomorpha

In taxonomy, Chaetomorpha, also called Chaeto for short, is a genus of green algae, specifically of the Cladophoraceae.[1]The species grow as tufts or solitary unbranched filaments attached by a basal cell or unattached in a mass of filaments.

Species recorded include: Chaetomorpha melagonium, Chaetomorpha aerea, Chaetomorpha mediterranea and Chaetomorpha linum.[2]


Algae of uniseriate macroscopic filaments, some species unbranched others growing as entangled filaments, cells cylindrical.[3]

Aquarium hobby usage[edit]

Chaetomorpha is especially common in saltwater aquariums because it can be used for removal of nutrients, especially nitrates. Aquarists will commonly house this alga, perhaps with others, in a refugium. Once it has grown to a significant mass, a chunk of the algae is removed to be thrown out or donated to another aquarist, taking the nutrients it has absorbed out of the system. Chaetomorpha is preferred over other macroalgae such as Caulerpa because it is less likely than Caulerpa to undergo sexual reproduction in the aquarium. It is also easy to remove because it will not attach to rocks or substrates. In a study run by Casey Campbell, it was shown that coal bed methane is filtered by Chaetomoropha. In addition to nutrient export, Chaetomorpha is known to host beneficial amphipods which can subsequently be used as a food source for corals and animals that may reside within the aquarium.

Chaetomorpha can, alternatively, be replaced by an algae scrubber.


  1. ^ See the NCBI webpage on Chaetomorpha. Data extracted from the "NCBI taxonomy resources". National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  2. ^ Burrows, E.M. 1991. Seaweeds of the British Isles Volume 2 Chlorophyta. Natural History Museum, London. ISBN 0-565-00981-8
  3. ^ Jones, W.E. A Key to the Genera of the British Seaweeds. 1962,. Fields Studies Vol.1 no.4 pp.1 - 32

External links[edit]

Scientific databases[edit]