by Hoang Nguyen September 03, 2018

Types of Moss for Aquascaping

Mossy scape -image from  Aquascaping-Symphony
Aquariums are exclusive pieces of ecosystems we place in our living spaces for their aesthetic beauty and ambience. An integral part of any ecosystem is the plant growth in them. Plants add oxygen, provide safe havens for fish and enhances the ambience in an aquarium. Aquarium moss are underwater plants that help in the landscaping of aquariums, improve the quality of the water by absorbing particles and help young fish hide from preys. Before building a planted aquarium, one should have some knowledge about the type of moss available in the market and which would suit them best. Here I have listed ten types of aquarium moss in no particular order for your reference.
 

Java Moss  ( Taxiphyllum Barbieri)

One of the most easiest, beautiful aquarium moss available, Java moss is extremely popular among freshwater aquarium owners and farmers. Java MossJava moss requires no special care as it absorbs nutrients from the water through its stems, which are covered in overlapping 2mm long oval shaped leaves. They have a low to bright growth rate and thrives between temperatures 15 to 30 degree Celsius. Although it requires very low lighting, the growth pace can be increased by providing sufficient light in the beginning. These mosses do not require any exquisite bases and can attach itself to rocks, driftwoods and other decorations, making it perfect for aquarium landscapes both for beginners and experts. It is native to Southeast Asian countries.
 

Willow Moss ( Fontinalis Antipyretica)

Willow moss is quite similar to Java Moss but has larger, broader leaves and branches.Willow moss Like the Java moss, it is a very undemanding moss, ideal for beginners and experts as well. They thrive in low lights, require very little nutrition and can grow in cold water tanks as well. It is a great tool for landscaping and forms bushy patches. They attach themselves easily to driftwood or rocks and can be used to create a deep green hue in the aquascape. They have their origins in Southeast Asia and forms a natural cover to shrimps and young fish.  

 

Weeping Moss ( Vesicularia ferriei)

Weeping moss, a slow growing, overhanging dense moss, weeping mosses require a personal touch every now and then to maintain the beautiful aesthetics it provides to a fish tank or aquarium. Aquarium owners would find it especially satisfying when attached to driftwoods due to its colour and contrast. It derives its common name from its drooping appearance that resembles teardrops. It grows to heights of one to three centimeters and has very low demands. It has its origins in China and can also be found in Japan.It is one of the most common types of moss used for flooring and aquascaping fish tanks.

Heaven scape using weeping moss by JeffryBucex Christian

 

Flame Moss ( Taxiphyllum sp.“Flame” ) 

Flame moss, this type of aquarium moss is a frequent addition in planted aquariums and is very popular for its uncharacteristic growth. The stems and leaves grow upwards and spiral, inducing a green flame appearance. Though not fully identified, they originate in East and South-East Asia and belong to the Hypnaceae family of the Taxiphyllum genus. They are generally easy to grow at temperatures of 12 to 30 degree Celsius with low light and has a slow growth rate. They provide a modern sophisticated feel to the fish tank and could be attached to driftwood or rocks and trimmed to look like trees.

 

Mini Taiwan Moss

Mini Taiwan Moss looks almost the same as a Taiwan moss, but grows smaller and looks much more compact. It is most commonly used for growing on hardscape aquariums and fish tanks. It has beautiful foliage with fronds thicker than Christmas moss. Attached to driftwood or rocks, they grow well in medium lighting and is easy to care for. They look exceptionally well placed in foregrounds or mid-ground of aquariums. Their origin, as their common name suggests, is in Taiwan. So far this is the best looking and rarest moss that Exotic Aquaristic has in stock. 

Christmas Moss ( Vesicularia Montagnei)

Christmas moss is a slow growing moss with leaves that closely resemble that of Christmas trees. They take on a triangular form when attached to a driftwood or rock but grows haphazardly and resembles a Java moss when unattached.

It is most commonly used to create moss walls in planted aquariums. They have more dense and fluffier leaves than Java moss. Though they can be used to make floors, it might attract algae. It is most commonly found in India, Japan, Philippines and Thailand.

 

Peacock Moss  ( Taxiphyllum sp )  

This moss, an unidentified species of the Taxiphyllum genus, has fronds that spread out from a focal point, much like the feathers of a peacock. It is much more soft and velvety in nature than Christmas moss and thrives in temperatures below 30 degree Celsius. At higher temperatures, they lose their peacock appearance. Planted aquarium owners use them to provide gentle look to their fish tanks, which is complimented by their blue-green hue. It grows upto six inches in diameter and has its origins in Asia.  

                      Amazing Peacock Moss scape by Trung Vo 

 

Taiwan Moss  ( Taxiphyllum sp “Taiwan”)

Taiwan Moss has leaves resembling that of fir trees, i.e.,  triangular with a fine soft texture. It is a common alternative in planted aquariums for Java moss and is similar in terms of care nutrition requirements. Under good lighting conditions, they grow much thicker with regular shoots like the Christmas moss but looks more delicate. They attach themselves to driftwoods and rocks. It brings a good contrast in the landscape of a planted aquarium. Though its origins have not been traced clearly, they are believed to have originated in South East USA and Eastern Asia.  

 

Cameroon Moss  ( Plagiochilaceae sp. “Cameroon”)

Cameroon Moss

Cameroon moss is an extremely rare moss with a smooth plastic-rubber looking leaves. It has large fronds with deep green colour and attaches itself on driftwood and rocks. The moss branches out well and requires very little care. It is an eye-catching addition to an aquascape and gives the planted aquascape a touch of neatness. It’s origin has not been traced yet and the plant is very rare and hard to obtain.   

 

Star Moss  ( Tortula Ruralis)

Star MossStar moss, also known as twisted moss, is a   special addition to a planted aquarium. It is said to have a have a cosmopolitan distribution, i.e., it is found all over the world in many types of climates. It has a slow growth rate but the patience would always be      rewarded as these plants can survive most conditions even without water. It is best for a dry set up and when grown in water for long periods of time, they lose their shape.  
 

Hoang Nguyen
Hoang Nguyen


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