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.