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Red Grape Kelp
(Botryocladia sp.)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Moderate
Lighting: Moderate to High gallons
Placement: Any
Maximum Size: 10"
Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Propagation: Pruning
Coloration: Red, Purple, Pink
Supplements: Calcium
Origin: Indo-Pacific
Family: Grateloupiaceae
Species: Grateloupiaceae
Species Information
Red Grape Kelp (Botryocladia sp.) is found in slightly varying forms throughout the worlds marine environments. Botryocladia spp. has an appearance similar to forms of Grape Caulerpa only red in color instead of green. The plant does very well in the marine aquarium environment and can be kept in the main aquarium, sump or refugium.
The Red Grape species of Kelp requires moderate to high lighting along with moderate water flow and nutrient levels. Many hobbyists utilize this plant as a form of nutrient export, the plant is grown in a sump or refugium where is removes nutrients from the water column then is fed to herbivorous fish species who consume the plant. If keeping Red Grape Kelp in the aquarium as an ornamental plant, it cannot be kept with herbivorous fish as they will eagerly consume the plant.
Aquarium Care
Red Grape Kelp generally grows less than a 12 inches tall before it begins to grow outwards using its creeping vines to attach to nearby rocks. It will grow more rapidly in aquariums or sumps with strong lighting and moderate nutrient levels on which the plant can feed. Overall Botryocladia spp. makes and excellent plant for filtration purposes as it consumes nutrients rapidly, is easy to prune and makes an excellent food source for many fish species.
Red Grape Kelp is a very attractive plant that can be used as an ornamental plant in aquariums that do not contain fish species that will consume it. However, its rapid growth and creeping vines might make it unsuitable for many reef aquariums as it can grown in and on corals and filtration equipment.
Growth and Feeding
Hobbyists looking to grow Red Grape Kelp for a supplemental food source for their fish will want to place the plant in a well lit sump or refugium with a moderate amount of water flow. The plant can be easily pruned and placed into the display tank for fish to feed on. Botryocladia spp. is a highly sought after form or macro-algae that most herbivore fish species will readily consume, which along with its high nutritional value make it an excellent supplemental food source.
Additional Photos