Water mosses are some of the most attractive plants in our aquariums. The development of unique, diverse underwater landscapes is unthinkable without the use of such plants. One has only to look at these amazing creatures of nature once to fall in love with them forever. I recommend to look at some examples of aquariums, in the design of which aquarium mosses occupy one of the main parts, before getting it on your own.
In view of the fact that there are more and more fans of aquarium mosses, I would like to summarize information about the most suitable growing conditions for most types of mosses in an aquarium. This article is recommended for beginners to read in order to reduce the number of questions that arise about the content of mosses in aquariums.
Conditions of keeping
First of all, you need to be a little patient, since mosses often take some time to adapt to new conditions, so you should not expect rapid growth in the very first days after planting them in the aquarium, especially if the water parameters are very different from the previous ones. The adaptation period can take from several days to several weeks. The hardness of the water does not play a special role, but it is best to use water of medium hardness, since according to some reports, in very soft water, the moss can begin to turn yellow. Lighting from 0.3 W / L, but still 0.5-0.7 W / L or more is recommended; at high light levels, the appearance of the moss is significantly improved and the growth rate increases. The composition of light on the spectrum is not decisive.
It is desirable to maintain the temperature for most species no higher than 25 degrees, the optimal range is 20-25 degrees. High water temperature is often the reason for the death of moss (meaning the long period of keeping some species at a temperature of about 30 degrees, Fontinalis antipyretica does not like warm water very much), as a rule, the moss turns black and gradually dies off.
The acidity is recommended to be kept close to neutral. The supply of carbon dioxide to the aquarium stimulates the mosses to grow more actively, and their appearance also becomes better.
Mosses very quickly react to a lack of macro fertilizers by yellowing the branches, but be careful, excessive application of such fertilizers can easily provoke an outbreak of algae growth, especially mosses suffer from filamentous plants (sometimes it is possible to get rid of it only by transferring the moss to the above-water content). Therefore, it is recommended to monitor the level of phosphates and nitrates and apply them only when necessary.
Filtration in the aquarium is very important, the presence of debris and mechanical suspension floating in the water column adversely affects the development of small tender mosses.
In an aquarium, moss needs to be attached to a substrate and not disturbed, as it grows much better in a fixed state. Not all mosses tend to attach to the substrate with the help of rhizoids, so it is better to attach with synthetic thread or fishing line that will not rot over time.
Neighbors for mosses
It is best to place small fish that do not spoil plants in an aquarium with mosses. However, the recommendations on the composition of the fish population are the same as in the usual herbal fish tank. The only thing I want to note is that the cases of eating mosses by such popular fish as Siamese algae eater were repeatedly mentioned, and there were also complaints about Amano shrimp. It should be recognized that one of the best helpers in maintaining the beautiful appearance of mosses are small shrimps (different types of neocaridina and caridina, such as cherry, crystals, tigers, etc.), they constantly "graze" on the branches of moss, picking garbage settled from them.
Caring for mosses is quite simple, the main steps are pruning and cleaning of debris. In order for the plants to look good, the regrown branches should be periodically cut, thereby provoking the branching of the moss in subsequent growth. If this is not done, then the moss, growing, shades its lower branches, which will ultimately lead to their premature death. To keep the plants in proper shape, you should periodically remove the settled debris from them, this can be done using a siphon, slightly shaking it near the moss to raise the debris, or simply taking out the substrate with moss and gently rinse it in water, in extreme cases, you can direct a small pressure of water into side of the moss (using a rubber bulb or just by hand), the suspension will rise from it and the filter will remove it.
Interesting facts about mosses
A lot of interesting facts are known about these unique ancient plants of the Earth:
- Moss is one of the few forms of terrestrial fauna that grows absolutely on all continents of the planet.
- Even the Yagel, which is the food of the reindeer, is also one of the varieties of moss.
- Lacking a root system, Mosses absorb nutrients from their environment with their entire surface.
- It grows only in humid zones, therefore it does not exist in desert areas.
- Reproduces sexually and through spores.
- Older than mosses, there is only algae on Earth. But it was precisely the ancestors of the moss 400 million years ago that became the first terrestrial forms of plants.
- Mosses have no flowers.
- This plant is able to revive even after complete freezing. So, a piece of Moss found in Antarctica, frozen into the ice more than 1,500 years ago, came to life when thawed.
- The most varied and numerous forms of mosses grow in paths and wet forests.
- The formation of peat in bogs is due to mosses.
- Moss decoration originated in ancient China.
- The peat mosses of Sphagnum are continuously dying off (lower parts) and growing (by a millimeter per year) and their total life span is more than 2 thousand years. In other species, it is at least 10 years.