Macroalgae for the display tank with herbivore fishes

- Categories : Macroalgae Know How

We often get the question asked what macroalgae we would recommend for herbivore fish species, like the various Tang species, the Foxface, Algae Blennies etc.

The answer to that question is unfortunately not as easy as it seems, as not every species has the same taste like not every Yellow Tang likes the same algae species.

But from what we get as feedback from our customers and from our own experiences there are some macroalgae species, which will have a better chance to survive in an aquarium with algae eating fishes than other algae species.

Half-Safe Macroalgae Options

It appears that the following macroalgae species have a fifty/fifty chance to survive in the display tank with the above-mentioned algae-eating marine fishes:

Caulerpa Prolifera

Caulerpa Taxifolia

Caulerpa Racemosa

All three marine algae will give a natural look to the Display Tank, but they are so-called invasive macroalgae species, therefore we recommend to keep them away from the main rock work, as they can easily overgrow it, when not kept restrained.

Otherwise, if a natural planted marine aquarium is your goal, these are basic algae species to go with to enjoy a beautiful natural look.

Most-Safe Macroalgae Options

Most algae-eating marine fishes don't like to eat calcareous algae species, like:

Halimeda Incrassata

Very good results we have as well with this algae, as most of them like to eat the new growth of the branches, but leave the main structure often intact:


Safest Option

A sump/refugium will be without any doubt the best choice, as the algae can grow nicely, by removing Nitrate and Phosphate out of the marine water, and the excessive growth can be fed to the fish from time to time. A by the way very enjoyable moment.

BUT - Very Important ... Herbivore Marine Fishes will need Algae for their Health

Especially some Tang species need up to 80% of their daily diet algae.

The best way is to provide a healthy mix of algae is by feeding fish food (flakes or pellets) with higher parts of algae in it and/or Nori Algae plus some delicious live algae as a treat.

We have for example one Chaetomorpha species which is very fine growing, and a lot of herbivore fishes love to eat this alga.
It is one of the fastest growing algae species we have and perfect to let it grow on the sump to feed it regularly to the fish.

When you like to see you fish go wild :) Try our Red Grape Algae

If you have any ideas, thoughts or other experiences please let us know.

We are happy to hear from you.

Please log in to rate this article

Share this content

Add a comment

Product added to wishlist