some serious aquascaping

With the seaweeds collected, it was time to plant my aquarium. This time I took a more serious approach, I planted lots. Many of the seaweeds had bits of rock attached to their holdfasts which made it easy to anchor them in the gravel. Two of the weeds I tied to rocks with a piece of elastic band, easy peasy:IMG_1981

View from the left side. False eyelash weed Calliblepharis jubata in the front, tall Wireweed Sargassum muticum and in the middle some coarse brown sea weed which almost looks like a dead conifer. This is probably Bushy berry wrack Cystoseira baccata: IMG_1990

An expanded view, on the right some Red grape weed Gastroclonium ovatum, in the middle the red pluck of Dudresnays whorled weed Dudresnaya vertillicata that I already had:


A goby amidst the False eyelash weed lying on top of what may be Purple claw weed, I am not sure:


The magnificently coloured Bushy rainbow wrack Cystoseira tamariscifolia covered in green Snakelocks anemones Anemonia viridis. In the foreground the pink Slender-beaded coral weed Jania rubens and Harpoon weed Asparagopsis armata.


A close-up of the Bushy rainbow wrack. Other plants were bright green or purple. I never knew that seaweeds existed with these iridescent colours. In fact, when I glimpsed one for the first time in a rock pool I disregarded it because I thought it was some seaweed covered in oil slick! These weeds are also have a very cartilaginous texture which give them more of an animal-like appearance.


I discovered several small whitish Sea lemon nudibranchs Archidoris pseudoargus, very cool.


5 thoughts on “some serious aquascaping

  1. hi there, I love the photos – its amazing the variety of sea weed species you can find in Cornwall. I would love to hear more about how your tank developed – did some speicies thrive and did some die off? From my experience working as curator at blue reef aquarium I know that sargassum weed is very hard to keep alive in a tank but I have to admit Ive not tried speices like false eyelash weed and rainbow wrack and I am intrugued to find out how you got on- also what filtration / chilling were you runniing on the tank and what lighting did you use? I have always loved codium – green finger weed – does really well in a native tank..
    Matt Slater email

  2. Hi Matt, thanks for getting in touch. Do you still work at the blue reef aquarium? I have not made it there yet, would like to check it out sometime. I should write a post summarizing my experiences with keeping seaweeds in the aquarium, only a few are easy to keep (in my tank at least!). I have a post on the blog describing my tank set-up; I do not have a chiller, still pondering whether I should get one….cheers, Michiel

  3. Hi Michiel, as requested, I’ve looked at the small seaslug. I’m sorry, but I can’t make enough out for an ID. I think it has its mantle raised so we can see mainly its underside. It might be Archidoris, but what I can see of the gills doesn’t seem quite right. Cheers Ian

    • Hi Ian,
      yes, it is very hard to see on the picture, thanks for having a look. Will hope to find more seaslugs in the future and post about them on the blog (I have an old post on Elysia viridis as well btw).
      cheers, Michiel

  4. Hi, I’m very interested in the Cystoseira tamariscifolia and am looking for images (video would be amazing) of it changing from brown to blue and back again by being submerged. I know this species dies very fast (having known of a few failed attempts to cultivate it) and have been meaning to get to Cornwall to investigate it further. Your pictures are fantastic and was wondering if you had any more close up / videos of bringing it out of the water. I would be very interested in talking to you about cultivation tips too!



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