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New year, new algae (but the desirable kind)

By Leonard Ho - Posted Jan 02, 2014 09:00 AM
ORA is introducing a new captive propagated product, and it's neither fish nor coral. It's a macroalgae, and a very attractive one at that. The Micronesian Blue Hypnea provides reefkeepers something fresh to decorate their aquascape.
New year, new algae (but the desirable kind)

ORA's newest product is a macroalgae

We love seeing "new" species introduced to the aquarium trade, and we find it especially cool that the Blue Hypnea (Hypanea pannosa) is not just another designer coral or fish.  H.pannosa is an abundant shallow-water macroalgae that is widely distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics.

The color of this species spans the rainbow - brown, orange, red, green, purple, blue, etc. - depending on genetics and environmental conditions (namely lighting).  ORA recommends strong lighting to maintain the gorgeous blue coloration of their newest propagated product.

Might we see a macroalgae craze?  PPE Watermelon Picasso Hypnea?

In all seriousness, macroalgae needn't be relegated to refugiums.  There are a lot of macroalgae that are very attractive and would make for good decorative pieces in the display tank.  We'd love to see more species imported and grown within the hobby.

As a side note: Hypnea pannosa is actually an edible species that is sometimes prepared in salads or Hawaiian poke, though we don't recommend eating livestock from captive aquariums.

ORA Farm describes their Blue Hypnea, coming soon to your LFS and e-tailer:

Blue Hypnea (Hypnea pannosa) is an iridescent blue ornamental algae.  Though similar in appearance to Ochtodes sp. algae from the Caribbean, this species originates from Micronesia and has slightly different morphology.  Blue Hypnea grows in very dense, matted clumps that loosely anchor to coarse substrates.  It is not a particularly fast growing algae so containing its growth is not difficult.  We recommend moderate to high, full spectrum lighting for optimum coloration and growth.


Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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