Collecting Macros

Paul B

Premium Member
I found some really nice macro algae growing out on Montauk this year. I have a few pieces in my reef since the beginning of the summer and it is growing well. I can get all I want (in the summer) and it's free. It grows on limpet shells and when the limpet dies it floats to shore. Or I can collect them with SCUBA. It seems to grow about 12". I have pictures but I have dial up service and I can't post them. I can E mail them if you would like to see them or if you can post them for me. In the spring I hope to collect a bunch of it. So far my tangs, snails, crabs, lettuce nudibranch and algae bleeny do not eat it.
Is Montauk near New York? Do you know what kind of macro it is? Is it red?

kmk2307 No it is not red. Montauk is the most eastern part of New York. I will send a picture to fourhand2 maybe he can post it. It is not a close up but I think you can see it.
Fourhand2 this is an article I wrote you may be interested in.
Here's the photo :)

The algae looks like Codium sp. to me. Very nice stuff, and it's very common along the sub-tropical Atlantic coast. Btw, is that a glass bottle in the tank? Very cool idea if it is!!
Thanks for putting the picture up. I don't know what kind of algae it is but it grows well I have had them a few months. There are a lot of bottles in there I collected them SCUBA diving. Most of them are antiques, some are broken ans some have coral growing on them. If you dive, you will find bottles in all oceans.
That clownfish towards the bottom is peeking out of a large broken Grand Marnier bottle.
I think Will pegged it. Looks like Codium, and that is certainly an abundant algae in our waters :D
I am not a Long Island algae expert but is there any downside to using Codium in our reefs? I also live on Long Island and my water and some of my rock comes from the Sound. This stuff is very common and it seems to grow well. I have not seen anything eat it. I went to Montauk last week but the surf was so rough that I couls not get within thirty feet from the water. I don't know if I can get it this time of the year. The Codium looks pretty nice and I have a bunch of it. It is the only native plant I have found in our waters that survive and I have been trying this stuff many years.
Codium is an invasive species. I don't think it grows much farther north than us and certainly dies back in the winter. My understanding is that it ranges south into Florida. I've found it does well in tanks running in the high 70's. Other good algaes found around here that range into the subtropics are gracilaria (mostly in the creeks), Agardhiella (a nice deep maroon gracilaria like algae, very abundant in the sound) and Ulva. I've also found some Tropical Saragassum up here from the Gulf Stream currents.
We've got LOTS of Codium (as well as Ulva, Sargassum, and others) on our coast. If you go on the beach after a storm (or even sometimes not after a storm), it is always just littered with Codium. Very abundant stuff down here.
It's very abundant in new York too. There are some places where I dive where you can't even get into the water real easy because of the ulva, but I have only found the Codium to live in my reef. If the fact that it is an invasive species is the only downside I wonder why it is not used in reef tanks more. Especially these people that want something for a refugium.
I had some Ulva thriving in my planted tank for awhile. I collected it locally, and just sort of threw it in the sump of that tank for holding. A good bit of it got sucked into the return pump and chopped up, and then tons of baby Ulva began springing up all over the tank. My queen conch even had some on it! Then slowly it all just faded back. I would guess it needs some seasonality to stay healthy since we have some extremes on our coast... Perhaps this is something for experimentation?
I love the natural look and if you collect enough to sell some of that, I'd love to get some from ya.

But whats with the bottles? To each his own and thats all fine but why do you want to display that? I know it's surely natural but why reproduce such human ignorance?

The bottles are there because SCUBA diving is one of my other hobbies and I combine the two hobbies. The tank is thirty years old and I would get tired of looking at the same thing all the time. I also built a lot of the rock from cement because designing and inventing is another hobby. You probably use artificial water, that is not natural. I keep the tank, not to see how long I can keep something alive beacuse all my fish die of old age I also don't keep it to see how beautiful I can make it. It is an experiment, I built the lights, the filters and collected most of the rock myself, I collect algae and animals and I write articles for Aquarium magazines. One of the nicest tanks I ever saw was in a store around the corner from the World Trade Center, it had an entire toilet bowl in it, I know it's wierd but it was a Hudson River biotype tank and I recognized what it was right away. Anyway, I make it the way I like it and it is what it is.