crazy red "lettuce"... can anyone ID? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-16-2008, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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crazy red "lettuce"... can anyone ID?

hi all, I've got a 90gal FOWLR thats going on three months now, and it looks like I have a really cool hitch-hiker on one of the live rocks I added in the beginning. This thing started from basically nothing, started budding around a month after the tank was running, and by now its really flowered up and is growing rapidly. The best way I can describe it is "hot pink/red lettuce," but now I've got a pic... can anyone help me out and let me know what it is? I'd like to read about it so I can care for it and keep it healthy, as it looks really cool (especially in actinics-only, its fluorescent and adds a really cool splash of color to the tank :D

"To an optimist, the glass is half-full;
to a pessimist, the glass is half-empty;
to an engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-17-2008, 12:14 PM
fish_4_all's Avatar
Well I have searched and searched and can't find anything that matches the exact look of your red friend. Someone will know but my search turned out to be futile.

Can you give any more specifc details about it? Size, shape, maybe an overhead picture or a clear zoom shot of the one you have?
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-17-2008, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the response and time you've spent helping me look for an answer :) Unfortunately,
I don't own a camera, I've got to borrow a friend's if I want to take photos (so I can do it,
but it may be a few days before I can take and post new pics)... also, I don't know if an overhead
shot will be possible, as even if I turn my powerheads off, I'd be taking a picture through the surface
of the water which probably wouldn't come out very good. I also want to avoid turning the rock
sideways simply for a picture, as it would require me to move several rocks around, and I don't
want to upset or scare my fish (my blenny and tang use the rocks right next to this guy as their
hiding spot). I guess I could try though, if you really think it would help.

As far as size, I guess the overall cluster is maybe 3" long at most, but it consists of three or four
"heads" of the "lettuce"... each head grows from a single spot out of the rock, with no stems or
sticks, just leafs (similar to the flower-part of a rose, or loose lettuce) and jagged edges. The best
I can do right now, is post a more zoomed-in version of the picture above (though it may be a little
more fuzzy, we'll see), and one more picture of it from the other side. In fact, right here:

(notice my blenny, I didn't catch that he was in this pic until just now! I love these fish :))

I'll try to borrow the camera again and take more stable/clear pics, with better angles. The
following thread is something I found in which someone seems to have the same thing as me, though
no pics... the person helping her is also unable to identify it though:

these things definitely don't break if touched, they are flexible and soft, and the fish
(pair of oscellaris, midas blenny, regal tang) leave it alone. In fact, the blenny used to perch
right where it is growing, but since it has really taken off, he doesn't lay there anymore and has
picked a couple of other spots to relax :D

Thanks again for all the help

"To an optimist, the glass is half-full;
to a pessimist, the glass is half-empty;
to an engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-17-2008, 01:35 PM
fish_4_all's Avatar

Does it look anything like any of them?
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-17-2008, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
conger's Avatar
hmm, the closest would be the "Red Feather Kelp" or the "Red Anger Bush"...

its definitely not the Red Feather Kelp though (based on the picture you linked), as mine
doesn't have long thin leaves with long sideways-facing teeth.

the linked picture of the Red Anger Bush could be it, but its not a conclusive match. I'll google
around for other pics of Red Anger Bush and see if I can see more similarities.

Good find! It looks like I can at least bet on it being some form of macro algae. The good news is,
I haven't done anything special to care for it to this point, and it is now growing like wildfire so it
must like my tank :). Thanks again for taking the time to help, I'll post another reply if I find a good
picture of Red Anger Bush that looks a lot like mine.

"To an optimist, the glass is half-full;
to a pessimist, the glass is half-empty;
to an engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-17-2008, 03:30 PM
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Its a macro-algae without doubt. It appears to be a Gracilaria specimen. Harmless, and many, many herbivores eat it. Tangs find it irresistible.

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post #7 of 7 Old 04-17-2008, 03:50 PM
fish_4_all's Avatar
Not bad for a no salt aquarist. lol. YW, it is actually fun to look up things and try to find new stuff. Sometimes it is a nice break from what I know to try and find something I don't.

But you have to let us know what it is, might be able to trade for some other if it grows well for you.
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