Saltwater Aquarium/Algae/Plant


Hi, I have this algae/plant growing in my tank and I don't know how to get rid of it.  I tried pulling it out, putting in snails/crab/shrimps.  I can't find any solution and it grows like weed.  Please help.  I attached a picture so you could see what it looks like.  Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you for your time.

Hi Kim:

Nice to meet you. From the image provided it looks like a species of Caulerpa macro algae. This macro algae can be beneficial in helping with water quality, by removing nutrients from the water; generally kept self-contained in a refugium. Otherwise in the aquarium it will continue to quickly grow and may become a nuisance.

To help get rid of it, you could try the following:

A Yellow Tang Fish will continuously make meals of it, until its gone, including the roots. It might take a while to do, but they eat it up fast once they discover the taste for it.

If it's growing only on 1 or 2 pieces of live rock, you could try to remove the rock and put it in a bucket where you can pull off as much as possible and scrape at the roots with a knife to try to pry them off. This will keep it under control for a few weeks at least. Or alternately if you can, completely remove the rocks that the Caulerpa is growing on, or relocate them to a refugium.

I wish you the best of luck with all your future saltwater aquarium endeavors.

Thanks and take care.


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David Ocreef


Technical saltwater coral reef related aquarium questions are welcome. Coral, invertebrate, and peaceful species of saltwater fish questions are welcome. Questions asked on Saturday and Sunday will be answered the following Monday. REMINDER: Please check the answers pool to see if your question has already been asked and answered. Questions typically are answered within a 48 hour period, however sometimes it may take longer.


I possess over twenty-five years of hands-on experience and knowledge in the ecology of aquariums. Beyond the traditional, I have successfully tested and sustained environments that have been uncharted territories for hobbyists, for decades. I am the first to admit I don't know it all because there will always be something new, amazing, and exciting to learn about, as discoveries are made. It's a hobby one can never outgrow, or grow tired of.

MASNA - Marine Aquarium Society of North America. Director of Orange County Reef Aquatics -

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After High School, my experience and love of marine animals influenced me to take up studies in Marine Biology. Throughout college, I studied Microbiology with an emphasis on Marine Life, as well as numerous other sciences. I continued to advance in this hobby, by building a dozen or more saltwater ecosystems all utilizing Microbes as the major source of my filtration method.

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