Java Moss is an aquatic moss frequently used in aquariums. It is from Indonesia and Malaysia, and is called Vesicularia dubyana by the more scientifically inclined.

Java Moss is one of those things, kind of like “friendship bread starter”, that one often gets from a friend then passes on to many more. My first bit (along with some wonderful fish and Java Fern) was from an Internet friend who came to visit. I’ve since grown and given away tanks and tanks of the stuff. To divide and propagate one merely pulls strands apart and places it in a new location.

It requires very little light to live but will grow even better with good light, it uses up the end product of the nitrogen cycle and competes nicely with algae. It is also not fussy about water conditions such as PH, temperature, mild salinity or hardness of the water.

It is a bright green thin, filamentous and branching strand-like plant. It can be used floating freely, it can be artificially anchored to decorations and will eventually grow its own attachments called rhizoids to the object. It can be used on the bottom of the tank, around tank support items to disguise them or suspended from floating cork to form a little curtain from the top of the tank.. Monofilament fishing line, rubber bands, unwaxed and unflavored dental floss or other threads may be used to attach the moss artificially. The rhizoids are not roots and no part of the moss should be “planted” by burying it in the substrate.

It provides hiding space for many fish, especially fry as well as providing food for others. Some fish actually eat the plant and others, especially small fry, eat the microorganisms that the moss harbors.


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