Gracilaria hayi

This is by far one of the most popular species of red macro algae for the aquarium in the United States. This beautiful species of Gracilaria features rigid, lobe shaped branches that form a tight symmetrical clump. It's lightly calcified so the addition of calcium is needed. It grows in fairly shallow water in bays and estuaries attached to sea squirts and sponge or is found as free floating specimens. The coloration varies between red, orange or yellow depending on the amount of light provided. It actually prefers cooler water temperatures but is adaptable to survive in warmer water as well. Like most species of red algae it should not be buried in the substrate as the tissue will die off.

I was the the first known licensed collector of this particular species in Florida. I marketed it as "red bush" when I first starting selling algae over 20 yrs ago. It has since become a commercially cultured algae for the aquarium trade due to it's hardiness and fast growth. It's still one of my favorite ornamental macro algae species to date.

Aquarium Care Information

Scientific Name: Gracilaria hayi

Common Name: Red Bush

Origin: Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Tropical Atlantic

Maximum Height : 10"

Growth Rate: Medium

Light: Moderate

Temperature: 70-82

Propagation: Fragmentation, sporulation

Difficulty: Easy

Food Value: Not very palatable

Nutrient Uptake: Good

Flow Rate: Moderate to High

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