PLANT(s) OF THE WEEK: Taxiphyllum & Monoselinium

Every now and then we like to focus on a particular species of aquatic plant and run through their benefits and quirks.

Here we have a few options for mosses. These species will be bound to wood or stone to cover the surface whilst providing excellent cover and biofilm for small fish and invertebrates.

Taxiphyllum ‘spiky’

This highly textured species will send out ‘spikes’ along the length of the plant as it quickly grows. It is best tied to a vertical branch or rock face where the roots can easily establish. It requires a stable amount of light (7-8 hours minimum per day) to keep up with it’s growth rate.

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Taxiphyllum ‘barbieri’ (Java Moss)

In contrast Java Moss grows thicker and is more delicate than ‘spiky’ and will happily and quickly grow on any surface. This means that it is an excellent candidate to obscure a few unsightly pieces of equipment in the aquarium alongside stones, wood and gravel. Due to it’s density it also provides great cover for developing fry and can be easily trimmed back if it becomes too invasive.

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Monoselinium tenerum

Monoselinium is a low growing liverwort species native to Asia. It is a delicate plant but grows well once established, forming a cushion-like bush of growth. If planting from a pot, make sure to attach well so as not to lose any pieces if they fall off the main plant. It is not reliant on too much light, a minimum 6-8 hours will suffice. It is excellent for shrimps due to it’s massive surface area.

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All three species would be classed as EASY to grow. This means that they are not reliant on additional cO2 and fertiliser but can always benefit from such supplements.

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