interest with keeping tropical fish began at an early age growing
up near the Florida Everglades in
South Florida. With a bucket and net in hand, I would often spend entire
afternoons with my brother, wading through alligator and snake
infested waters in search of freshwater tropical fish for our
small aquarium at home. As I grew older, my attention gravitated
to the marine aquarium hobby. The fish were more colorful than
freshwater varieties and the amount of invertebrates available
were interesting and fascinating to me.
began exploring the shallow coastal tidal pools and protected
shorelines of the
, collecting marine tropicals for our home aquarium. About the
time when reef aquariums and live rock began to gain in
popularity, I was now living on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The
fish weren’t as colorful; the water not as clear, but something
else was abundant. Marine macro algae were growing everywhere! The
warm tropical waters of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida
are full of a wide array of fascinating and colorful marine algae.
Like many other hobbyists in the early 80’s, most of my interest
was with growing various species of hardy Caulerpa. I soon
however, began experimenting with growing other more colorful and
challenging varieties including both brown and red algae.
first attempts at culturing marine macro algae were marked with
some frustration and failure, but I continued learning and
experimenting until I was able to successfully maintain several
species in the home aquarium. I was once told by a reputable pet
store owner that macro algae couldn’t be grown. He had tried it
and was unable to keep it alive for any great period of time.