Red Mangrove Propagule
The red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) is a plant that can be used in marine aquaria as both a refugium plant and as an ornamental. However, it is a slow grower and does not sequester nutrients at a fast pace. The red mangrove is distributed widely across tropical and subtropical regions and can grow on or in nearly any sort of substrate. It enriches the refugium habitat as its root system develops. The plant can tolerate poor water quality and weak water movement, but requires powerful artificial lighting when kept indoors. Aquacultured red mangrove plants are highly preferable to wild-harvested specimens, as they are better adapted to aquarium life and less likely to carry pests. The purchase size of the red mangrove is usually around 6-8 inches in propagule length, and its maximum size can reach approximately 30 feet in tree height. It is reef-safe and prefers fairly well-protected, brackish environments such as estuaries and salt marshes. While there are usually enough nutrients and minerals in the aquarium water to support this species, regular replenishment of trace elements might boost growth. The regular pruning of red mangrove branches can also provide a valuable food source for herbivorous fish in the aquarium.