The Macro Algae Chaetomorpha

The macro algae Chaetomorpha has become a reefers best friend in the last few years, beating out Caulerpa as the macro algae of choice.  Chaetomorpha is generally placed in a refugium that is connected to a saltwater reef tank where It is usually balled up.  This macro algae has many benefits to a reefkeeper but generally its sole purpose is to absorb nutrients such as nitrates.

This macro algae is very common in saltwater reef tanks  and it is easily obtainable.  It can be purchased through online stores, forums and ebay but the best way to get some is to just ask a fellow saltwater aquarist.  Many people in reef clubs will trim down there chaetomorpha and give it away at swaps or just charge shipping if buying it online.

Chaeto as it is sometimes called has the ability to host a whole slew of saltwater organisms such as pods, mini stars, and worms.  When properly cared for it grows into a dense ball that gives the organisms a place to hide.  Chaetomorpha  is preferred by reef tanks owners over Caulerpa becouse unlike Caulerpa it does not go sexual.  When Caulerpa goes sexual it releases most of its nutrients it has absorbed and it could cause a tank crash.  Using Chaetomorpha will help fight nuisance algae by feeding on nutrients that are used by nuisance algae thereby creating a healthy competition between the algae.

Chaetomorpha is best used in a refugium with a little flow and a light. A lot of reefkeepers have had success growing this macro algae with a basic compact fluorescent 75 watt (5100K)  floodlight, although for best results its better to provide a stronger light.

8 thoughts on “The Macro Algae Chaetomorpha

  1. Hi Lee,

    If you do not have a very good fish store in your area then the best place to get this algae is from some one elses reef tank, if you have a local reef club then thats your best bet. If you dont have any success obtaining this algae locally then you may want to look online. has a very good selling and trading area, you can almost always find chaetomorpha there. Yo can also try ebay. Chaetomorpha is a very hardy algae and it makes a very good shipper

  2. hai

    i need information about site that can help me to identify algae that i found in Balekambang beach in Indonesia.
    Can you tell me if you have any information about site or anything that can help me?
    Thank you for your help.


  3. Hi Ryan,

    The best place to put this is in a refugium if you have one hooked up to your tank or in your sump if it is equiped with lights, just make sure that you seperate it from your equipment somehow. Some reefers wil put it right in there main display tank but its all a matter of personal prefrence. This algae can be loose so if you put it in your display tank then you may want to try to contain it somehow.

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