INTRODUCTION

Marine macro algae and sea grasses have had a long history of importance throughout the world, with their use dating back to ancient times. Today, many varieties have important economic and commercial value. Marine algae is used in thousands of products including fertilizer, bio-fuel, ice cream and even cosmetics. In several cultures it is highly prized as a food item and is a major part of some island diets. Its appearance in the aquarium industry began sometime in the late 1970’s, with several species of Caulerpa used mainly as tank decorations.  

With the many innovations over the past several decades in marine reef keeping, marine plants have increased in popularity among saltwater aquarists and large scale commercial aquariums. Today, many in the aquarium industry favor a more natural approach to marine aquarium keeping. Marine plants not only improve the health of fish and corals in captive systems, but are nature’s nutrient consumers, effectively removing nitrates and phosphates to nearly undetectable levels. Another benefit is the food value of many species of macro algae. In their natural environment, fish and invertebrates feed continuously during the day, consuming large amounts of micro and macro algae.

Photo by Chau HoA fairly new trend in the marine aquarium hobby is creating macro algae and sea grass dominated aquariums. These systems are quickly gaining popularity as a change from the normal "reef" setup. They are very popular with marine aquarists that are interested in keeping peaceful fish and invertebrates, such as seahorses, pipefish and dragonets. Just like a freshwater planted aquarium, there's something alluring and fascinating about the sheltered lagoon habitat where marine plants play host to juvenile fish and invertebrates. The world’s oceans are filled with a fascinating array of marine plants, some so striking and beautiful they often look like creatures from another world. As the marine aquarium hobby progresses, many more of these species should become available for the aquarist to observe and enjoy in the home aquarium. 
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Table of Contents

Marine Plants in the Aquarium