Re: NANFA-L-- Toxic Caulerpa?

Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- Toxic Caulerpa?
From: njz (njz at
Date: Fri Sep 03 2004 - 21:03:48 CDT

The problem with caulerpa is that it is a very aggressive grower and will quickly overtake corals and other sessile organisms. I have two connected tanks with a lush growth of caulerpa that I need to seriously harvest every couple of months. I literally pull out a large bucketfull each time I do it. The up side is that it is a great nutrient sponge. I have had only a spec of detectable phosphorous in the system and lately none readable by a spectraphotometer. There is a reef discipline that utilizes caulerpa and "magic mud" in an off exhibit refugium that is lit 24/7. Some people swear by this method. Mike Paletta was the forerunner in support of this system. The idea behind the constant light cycle is that the caulerpa will not go into the reproductive phase, and therefore will not release into the water. This is something that happens when the caulerpa is exposed to normal daylight cycles, although it has not posed a problem for me when it happens. Personally, I do not find caulerpa a problem other than the invasivness of it. I am considering a caulerpa refugium on a 1200 gallon system that I maintain. I am having a heck of a time reducing the phosphates and I would be willing to bet that this will do the trick. I am just going to make darn sure that there are no pieces that will get in to the main exhibit.

btw, I feed the harvested caulerpa to many of my other fish only tanks and have never seen a problem with toxicity. As a matter of fact, I have eaten caulerpa that was offered to me during some of my travels. It is commonly eaten in some tropical countries.

Nick Zarlinga

"If we ignore nature.....maybe it'll go away."

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Moontanman at
  To: nanfa-l at
  Sent: Friday, September 03, 2004 10:56 AM
  Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- Toxic Caulerpa?

  In a message dated 9/2/04 6:00:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Snailcollector at writes:

    Do you have Reef Invertebrates by Anthony Calfo and Bob Fenner? They basically say that caulerpa is the work of the devil and should never be kept in lage quanties in aquaria. I'm confused. :)

  Possibly some caulerpa is bad but I've great success with it in marine aquaria using it as part of an algae filter and just as decoration. I've had it turn to spores once, the whole aquarium turned milky white for a few hours but nothing was hurt and the protein skimmer removed the white stuff. If it has proper lighting it shouldn't do that but I was keeping it in A very dense culture lit 24/7. I don't know what to say except that in 25 years of marine aquarium keeping caulerpa has never really caused me a problem and it has done a lot to promote good water quality.


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: Fri Dec 31 2004 - 11:27:12 CST