List of marine aquarium plant species

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Aquatic plants are used to give the aquarium a natural appearance, oxygenate the water, and provide habitat for fish, especially fry (babies) and for invertebrates. Some aquarium fish and invertebrates also eat live plants. Hobby aquarists use aquatic plants for aquascaping.

Marine algae are also included in this list for convenience, despite the fact that many species are technically classified as protists, not plants.

Brown macroalgae[edit]

Common name Image Taxonomy Care Level Growth rate Description Max size
False Sargassum
Cystoseira osmundacea.jpg
Cystoseira sp. Moderate Slow 18"
Scroll algae, Potato algae
Padina pavonica (Linnaeus) Thivy, 1960 1.jpg
Padina sp. Expert Slow 6"

Green macroalgae[edit]

Common name Image Taxonomy Care Level Growth rate Description Max size
Chaeto
Chaetomorpha.jpg
Chaetomorpha sp. Easy Fast Grows as a tangled mass of green filaments. Not particularly attractive, but this species can serve a useful role as habitat for microinvertibrates and an absorber of excess nitrogen and other nutrients. Often kept in a refugium. 24" mound
Blade caulerpa
Caulerpa prolifera.JPG
Caulerpa prolifera Easy Fast 6"
Grape caulerpa
Caulerpa racemosa algae.jpg
Caulerpa racemosa Easy Fast 8"
Green calcerous algae
Halimeda copiosa at 10 meters depth in shallow cave.jpg
Halimeda sp. Easy to Moderate Moderate 10"
Sawblade caulerpa
Caulerpa serrulata Réunion.jpg
Caulerpa serrulata Easy Moderate 5"
Sea lettuce
Meersalat-Ulva-lactuca
Ulva lactuca Easy Fast 8" mound

Red macroalgae[edit]

Common name Image Taxonomy Care Level Growth rate Description Max size
Ogo algae
Gracilaria2.JPG
Gracilaria parvispora Easy Moderate 10"
Coralline Algae
Lithophyllum orbiculatum 037.jpg
Order Corallinales Moderate Slow Ubiquitous in well maintained reef aquaria, this algae forms attractive splotches of color encrusted on live rock. Calcium supplementation encourages good growth of coralline algae species.

Mangroves[edit]

Common name Image Taxonomy Care Level Growth rate Description Max size
Black mangrove
Cayos Mangrove02
Avicennia germinans Moderate Slow 70'
Red mangrove
Rhizophora mangle BotGardBln1105RootsLeaves.JPG
Rhizophora mangle Easy Slow 80'
White mangrove Laguncularia racemosa.jpg Laguncularia racemosa Expert Slow 60'

Seagrasses[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Marine Plants In The Aquarium: An online guide to the identification and care of marine plants and macroalgae in the aquarium. Gulf Coast Ecosystems http://marineplantbook.com