Shaving Brush Plant

Shaving Brush Plant

Succulentopedia

Haemanthus albiflos (Paint Brush)

Haemanthus albiflos (Paint Brush) is an evergreen to semi-evergreen, bulbous plant up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall when in flower. The…


Shaving Brush Plant (Penicillus sp.)


Our Clean Macroalgae is aquacultured in large vats not connected to any fish system to avoid possible parasite or bacteria contamination. You can place our macroalgae directly in your tank without worry.

Description: The Shaving Brush Plant (Penicillus sp.) is a popular plant species amongst marine aquarium hobbyists both for its hardy nature and where it will work towards removing excess nutrients from the aquarium water. Named for its unique shape that looks similar to a shaving brush used for applying shaving cream, the Shaving Brush Plant can be used in either refugiums and sumps, or within the display aquarium. Shaving Brush Plants should be planted in the sand bed of the aquarium or refugium and provided with both moderate lighting and water flow. The tubular stalk and long thin leaves give the plant the appearance of a plant as opposed to many other forms of macro algae that grow in clumps or long strands. Unlike many species of marine plants that quickly become fish food if placed within the display aquarium, the Shaving Brush Plant is not often consumed by fish or other tank inhabitants. Make sure the plants are rooted in the sand bed, and are located where they receive both moderate water flow and lighting. While the plants are adept at removing nitrates and phosphates from the water column for food, they should also be provided supplemental iron and trace elements in order to maintain good growth.

Marine hobbyists have found the Shaving Brush Plant to be both an excellent chemical filtration tool and an attractive aquarium decoration. Whether used in the display aquarium or refugium, Shaving Brush Plants are excellent at removing excess nutrients from the aquarium. Unlike many other forms of macro algae, this species both looks attractive when rooted in the aquarium substrate and will not be eaten by the vast majority of aquarium inhabitants.

Moderate to high lighting should be provided, along with plenty of indirect water flow. The addition of trace elements via water changes and iron supplementation should be provided for good long term health. Overall this is an excellent plant species for all levels of marine aquarium hobbyists and for both FOWLR and reef aquarium environments.

Lighting Requirements: Provide 100 to 150 watts of 5100K to 6700K floodlight lighting or equivalent fluorescent lighting to thrive. It is important to promote a good growth rate, as the harvested plants are what removes the nutrients from the aquarium ecosystem. Faster plant growth will allow for more frequent harvesting, which will in turn increase the filtration benefit of the Saltwater Plants.

Waterflow: While the Shaving Brush Plant is easy to grow in most conditions, it will be much more efficient at nutrient export if provided ideal conditions. Ideally it should be grown in moderate water currents provided with strong light.

Water Parameters: 72-82В° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.026

Supplements: Magnesium, Trace Elements, Iron

Approximate Purchase Size: 3" – 5"

Care Info.. Float the unopened saltwater plant bag in the aquarium for 30 minutes to 1 hour to allow the temperatures to equalize. Then place in your tank, sump, or refugium. Trim back your plants periodically to directly remove the absorbed toxins from your water.


Shaving Brush, (Penicillus dumetosus), is the largest member of the penicillus family. Their stalk can grow out to a size of about 4 inches, and 1 inch in diameter. The "needle" portion of the plant can reach 3 inches long. It is highly calcified and will not be eaten by fish or snails, making it ideal as a display piece. Because of its larger size, it looks good whether it is bunched together, or as a stand alone piece. It does best when planted in a fine sandy substrate, but can survive in more coarse substrates as well. Despite its slower growth rate it will get some filtering done if placed in your display tank, or in your display sump.

This algae is capable of living under low-moderate light, it will grow strongest in moderate to high lighting. We send Shaving Brush algae that is at least 3 inches tall. They can grow out to over just under 4 inches tall. All macros present some risk of going sexual and releasing carbon dioxide into you aquarium. However, the risk of adverse ph changes from the release of carbon from this species is extremely low. Because this plant uses calcium to grow, you should keep your tank within 350-450 ppm of calcium for best results.

Shaving brushes will lose their bristles when they are transplanted, the bristles usually go pale first then fall off after transplanting and new bristles will emerge. To reduce the mess it will have in your tank you can request that we clip them prior to shipping, or you can clip them on arrival. Often when they are sent this way they will not lose their bristles, and they will grow back from where they were trimmed. You can test the health of your specimen by seeing if the stalk can hold itself up in water. When dead or dying the macroalgae goes limp.


Recovering Resources

Wood chips and sawdust are each byproducts of other activities, so finding good-quality, local resources is your first step. If you live near a sawmill, you can probably get sawdust cheap, though you’ll need assurance from the sawmill operator that it doesn’t include black walnut sawdust, which releases a toxin that can be murder on tomatoes and other sensitive vegetables. Also avoid sawdust from plywood and painted or treated wood in your garden because of the glues and other chemicals. With sawdust, the lower you go on the production chain (a sawmill that handles whole logs), the more likely you are to get garden-worthy sawdust. For soil-building purposes, coarse sawdust is better than fine because it’s less likely to pack into a mat, and it lasts longer as organic matter in the soil.

If kept moist, sawdust can decompose surprisingly quickly. In a study at Ohio State University, sawdust rotted faster than newspaper or straw, both of which were still recognizable after 16 weeks. To speed up rotting in a pile of sawdust, simply add moisture and nitrogen. This can be done by mixing up a big batch of fish emulsion, pouring it into an already damp, doughnut-shaped sawdust pile, and then covering it with a tarp or an old blanket to retain moisture. After sawdust turns black, you can use it to lighten up any soil — including potting soil — for seedlings and container gardening.

Most of the more recent studies with wood chips used what are called ramial wood chips, which are what you get when you put live, leafless hardwood branches, 2 to 3 inches in diameter, through a chipper to create pieces that are a half to 1 inch wide and 1 to 4 inches long. Ramial chips have relatively little bark and heartwood because of the size of the branches used, which is part of what makes them so attractive as a soil amendment. Superior batches also contain few leaves, cones, or other prickly parts.

You can get ramial wood chips for free by connecting with tree-trimming crews working in your area. In some towns, such as Oshkosh, Wis., you can take small limbs to a chipping center on certain Saturdays and go home with your own homegrown wood chips. Wherever you live, a few phone calls to local utility companies or tree service companies should be all it takes to find a free supply. Wood chips often end up in landfills let’s put them to use enriching our garden soils instead.


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