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Hepatic mosses as representatives of lower plants in an aquarium

Previously, hepatic mosses (hepatic) were considered as a class of moss (Bryophyta) or mosses, but were subsequently allocated to a separate class belonging to the plant kingdom. Distributed liverworms around the world.

The greatest number of their species lives in the tropical zone. The total number of species – more than 6 thousand, and all of them may have characteristic features.

Hepatic mosses – small and delicate bryophytes

Hepatic mosses – lower plants, whose species diversity is so great that the appearance of some representatives may differ significantly from other species. Some of them have a stem and leaves, while others look like a flat thallus creeping along the ground or the surface of the water.

These plants do not have roots, and their functions are performed by rhizoids – unicellular filamentous formations used to attach to the substrate and absorb water and nutrients. Leaves of leafy hemp leaves are always composed of one layer of homogeneous cells.

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The livermen are divided into 2 subclasses:

  • thallus or marschantium;
  • leafy or Jungermannia (Jungermanniales).

The leafberry hepatus subclass contains a greater number of species.

The stalk of the majority of young Germanis liverworms consists of cells of one species. There are species whose stem cells are divided into a “bark” at the periphery and a “core” inside.

From the surface of the lower part of the stem rhizoids depart. They are transparent or colored and can branch at the ends.

Mushrooms can settle in the branches. Attaching to the substrate also occurs due to rhizoids, at the ends of which in this case disc-like extensions are formed.

Jungermanniales have a stem made up of identical cells.

The reproduction of these plants can occur as a vegetative or sexual, and often these two methods are used by the plant at the same time. There are also species breeding exclusively by spores.

Jungermannian liverworms are prevalent mainly in tropical and subtropical forests.

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The subclass of hepatic moss hepatic mosses unites representatives of various sizes and shapes. More common are creeping species with flat thalli.

But there are also similar to round rosettes of the shape of thallus.

Until recently, the use of mossy liverworms in aquaria was limited to only one species – Riccia fluitans, but in the 90s of the twentieth century a species was introduced to Europe that easily turns into a water form – Monosolenium tenerum Griffith.

Monosolenium tenerum Griffith liver moss

Experienced aquarists actively use mosses for decorating tanks for fish, but the main advantage of these plants in an aquarium is not only their decorative effect. The presence of liver mosses contributes to:

  • water oxygenation;
  • fast processing of organic matter;
  • reducing nitrate levels;
  • high-quality mineral metabolism;
  • creating favorable conditions for spawning (mainly labyrinth fish);
  • creating shading and shelter (for example, for fry);
  • providing favorable conditions for the reproduction of protozoa (ciliates), suitable as food for fry.

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Monosolenium grows predominantly in southern China and Thailand. Separate cushion colonies of this ancient and very rare plant prefer wet swampy soil.

In the underwater form, this moss has not yet been detected.

When creating compositions using monosoleum, certain difficulties may arise. The plant is fragile., does not like currents and the presence of suspended matter in the water.

Due to the almost complete absence of rhizoids, the attachment of the colony to the substrate is rather difficult. And under favorable conditions, a colony can be covered with a multitude of oxygen bubbles and float up with insufficient adhesion to the bottom.

But with a careful and reasonable approach, monosolenium colonies will help to create a unique design and improve water quality.

Moss monosolenium fragile plant, it does not like for

When settling fish in an aquarium, it is necessary to exclude herbivorous species and large individuals that can damage the moss.

For comfortable growth, monosolenium needs bright light. The temperature range of this moss is quite wide, and it can live both at 30–32 ° C and when the water temperature drops to 10 ° C or even 5 ° C.

It is possible to contain this representative of liver mosses and in the conditions of a terrarium or a wet greenhouse. On land, colonies become less fragile and acquire a slightly different shade.

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The genus riccia contains about 200 species. Of these, the most popular as an aquarium plant, Riccia floating.

In nature, Riccia fluitans are widely distributed: Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa and New Zealand. In Russia, liver mosses are found in the Far East and in the Pre-Caucasus.

Riccia moss loves slow flowing waters

The colonies of Riccia prefer stagnant or slow-flowing waters, where they stay near the surface, forming comfortable conditions for fry of various species of fish. In aquarism Riccia is used both for shading and for the sake of creating conditions for spawning.

Water temperatures of 22–29 ° C and bright lighting will provide riccia with favorable conditions for growth. When the temperature drops below 20 ° C, the plant dies, and with a significant increase in water hardness, growth is significantly slowed down.

Reproduction of liver moss is possible by simply separating part of the colony. Also, under favorable conditions, moss spores present in the water can give rise to the reproduction of the species.

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