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Red Mangrove Tree

(Rhizophora mangle)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Lighting: Moderate to High   • Placement: Any
• Maximum Size: 220"   • Water Conditions: 72-82° F, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025, KH 8-12
• Propagation: Seeds, Viviparous   • Coloration: Green, Red, Brown   • Supplements: Trace Elements, Iron-Rich Fertilizer
• Origin: Tropics   • Family: Rhizophoraceae   • Species: Red Mangrove

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Species Information

Red Mangrove Tree native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Red Mangrove Trees (Rhizophora mangle) are found growing throughout tropical and subtropical estuarine ecosystems throughout the world. Red Magroves thrive in brackish coastal waters and salty marshes where most other plants cannot survive. In fact they are so successful that they actually create their own habitat where other plants and animals live and thrive.

The roots of the Red Mangrove are generally rooted in soil or sand, but can be submerged in water either for portions of the day or on a constant basis. It is this well established root system that creates habitat both above and below the waterline for species as varying as mammals and birds to fish and crustaceans.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Red Mangrove Tree in the home aquarium.

Marine aquarium hobbyists covet the Red Mangrove Tree for its ability to absorb large quantities of nutrients from aquarium water. They are often found in aquarium sumps and refugiums where they are rooted in sand, mud or other similar substrates. They absorb nutrients from the aquarium water which reduces nitrates, phosphates and other nutrients from the water, which works to starve out nuisance algae growth.

Their root structure also provides habitat in the refugium or sump where copepods, amphipods or other small crustaceans can live and thrive. These various pods function as a secondary food source for the display tank and as a secondary form of filtration as the pods consume detritus and other fish waste that makes its way to the sump.


How to successfully propagate Red Mangrove Tree in the home aquarium environment.

Red Mangrove Trees are viviparous, meaning that they reproduce from plant-lets that form while still attached to the parent before dropping off and growing into their own new tree. These fully-grown propagule are fully capable of rooting and producing a new tree or floating in the water for a time before rooting. They are hermaphrodites that are fully capable of self pollination or wind pollination.

Growth and Feeding

How to properly feed & supplement Red Mangrove Tree and provide a healthy environment.

In order to thrive in the aquarium environment, the Red Mangrove Tree will need a supply of nutrient rich water, sandy substrate and a lighting source (5500K to 6700K for ideal conditions). Being that they originate from tropical origins, the Red Mangrove is accustomed to long periods of sunlight from 12 to 14 hours per day.

Mangrove Trees in the home aquarium will need to be pruned and harvested from time to time in order to keep their growth in check. Red Mangrove Trees in the wild can commonly grow upwards of 20 feet or more without pruning. However, rapid growth in the home aquarium is a good thing as it means that large quantities of nutrients are being removed from the aquarium water.

After pruning parent trees and removing the clippings, the nutrients are effectively exported or removed from the aquarium.

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