Java moss is perhaps the most popular among its relatives, due to its unpretentiousness and rapid growth, it has become widespread in both amateur and professional aquarists. With its help, you can create interesting compositions, turning them into driftwood, stones, and other decorative elements.
Java moss (Vesicularia dubyana) comes from the hypnum moss family. Sufficiently long shoots, dotted with beautifully carved leaves, resemble thick grass or tree crown from afar – and amateurs of aqua design actively use this quality. They create luxurious green carpets or unusual compositions using driftwood, stones, and even pipes.
However, the decorative function is far from the only purpose of aquarium mosses. If you are breeding spawning fish, you know how important it is to add moss to your spawning tank. He hides eggs from parents who are not used to caring for their offspring – and thereby saves them from being eaten. Thick, long-stemmed Java moss is ideal for this task.
With the naked eye, a person can distinguish only long, reaching 17 centimeters, thin and flexible stems, dotted with small leaves. The leaves are point, serrated. Their length usually does not exceed 2 mm, and their color changes from light green to darker depending on age.
In addition to these parts, Java moss also has subtle rhizoids. It is with their help that the stems are attached to any surface, regardless of their orientation in space and smoothness. In addition, thanks to the rhizoids, the plant does not need soil at all.
The homeland of this species is, as you might guess from the name, the island of Java – as well as the densest jungles of Southeast Asia. These are Malaysia and the Philippines, India, Indonesia, and Burma.
In nature, he settles not only in wet but also in dry areas, receiving the necessary moisture from the air. A moss cushion covers the soil and stones along the banks of rivers (especially overflowing ones), lakes and swamps, braids tree trunks. Like all mosses, it is able to accumulate moisture and retain it during periods of drought.
Growing conditions of Java moss
Java moss is a prize among aquarists for its resilience and suitability for growing in almost any environment. Best of all it feels when the water temperature from 22 ° C to 27 ° C, and allowed its rise – to around 30C. Therefore, in tropical aquariums this species survives without problems.
In colder water, the moss colony will also survive – but in this case, growth practically stops, and the leaves lose their brightness. The same thing happens in the absence of lighting. If you want lush greenery in your artificial pond, make sure you have a bright light source.
Backlighting is especially important for aquarium mosses during the rooting period – without it, the plant simply cannot develop a network of rhizoids and securely anchor on the surface.
Due to the lack of roots, this species is unable to obtain nutrients from the soil. If you want to adapt the plant to your aquarium as soon as possible or create a spectacular composition with Java moss as soon as possible, increase the lighting (daylight hours should be at least 8 hours) and add a small amount of fertilizer directly to the water. For this purpose, Tetra PlantaPro Macro or Tetra PlantaPro Micro liquid feed is suitable.
Another way to accelerate colony growth is to supply CO 2 , for example with Tetra CO 2 Plus.
Normal hardness (2-15 °) and neutral pH (6.0-7.5) will also contribute to the comfortable existence of this plant in an artificial reservoir. However, the purity of the water is much more important.
The absence of suspended matter and impurities in the aquarium water is perhaps the only important requirement for the existence of a colony of Java moss. All nutrients can enter the plant only through the pores located in the leaves. If these pores are clog with plaque, consisting of microscopic algae and small debris, the supply of nutrients stops and the plant can die.
You can prevent the appearance of plaque with a synthetic winterize filter. If he managed to form on some leaves and stems, it is better to remove the lesion immediately by pinching off part of the stem.
Java moss propagation is very simple. It requires a large, healthy plant. Divide the mother colony into parts and transfer the segments to a new location.
Place small pieces of moss on the surface where you want them to be and secure with regular cotton thread. Over time, the threads dissolve or simply hide under a thick layer of moss, and a beautiful, even green canvas is form.
Such simplicity of reproduction undoubtedly speaks in favor of aquarium moss, but keep in mind that a twig forgotten in a container after cutting or simply accidentally torn off from a bush can give rise to a new colony, forming it in the place where it wants to itself. This is not always convenient.
Immediately after transplanting, increase the amount of light – make sure that the daylight hours remain within 8 hours, and the level of light is sufficient for comfortable growth and development of Java moss. Then the plant will quickly take root and start giving new shoots.