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Riccia (riccia): how to grow in an aquarium and secure at the bottom

Almost every aquarist is familiar with the so-called aquatic or floating moss – riccia. In the aquarium, it can be recognized by its lush green color and characteristic structure.

Riccia became known already in the XVIII century. In 1753, this plant was described by the famous naturalist Karl Linney, and later the aquatic moss began to be used for his works by the famous aquascape master Takashi Amano.

The peculiarity of moss is that it has no trunk and root system.

Riccia is a type of liver moss. Its structure is different from many other plants – there is neither a trunk nor roots.

It consists entirely of small branched stems and plates that cling and intertwine. Inside they have tiny cavities filled with air.

The function of the roots is performed by the filamentous processes (rhizoids), through which nutrients are supplied to the plant. With the help of rhizoids, moss can also attach to the ground if necessary.

Stems and plates of Riccia form a thallus several centimeters thick, it looks like floating or “carpet” fixed on the surface. Under favorable conditions, the color of such a “carpet” is saturated with light green, under unsuitable conditions and during the period of fading, the color becomes dark green, brown or brown-red.

In the world there are about 60 species of riccia.

Riches in nature occurs almost throughout the planet, there are more than 60 varieties.

However, even two specimens belonging to the same species may differ in appearance from each other. This happens because the appearance of this moss depends not only on the belonging to a particular variety, but also on the conditions in which it grows.

All species in nature and grown in an aquarium belong to two groups:

  • Riccia ordinary (riccia fluitans) – “floating”;
  • Riccia Amano – “drowning.”

The usual is located on the surface of the water, it does not sink due to the oxygen in its cells. It has a lighter color and short stems. “Drowning” is located under water.

Riccia amano is darker, has longer stems and plates.

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Not all aquarists consider floating moss as a desired plant. Some are afraid of its rapid growth and clogging of the reservoir. However, riccia has several useful properties:

  • water oxygenation;
  • participation in metabolic processes of organic and mineral substances;
  • is a nutritious food for some aquarium dwellers;
  • promotes the rapid development of simple organisms that are food for fry;
  • the creation of shaded places necessary for fry and some species of fish;
  • is a good defense for eggs and fry.

Riccia oxygenates the water in the aquarium

In addition, using water moss, you can diversify and decorate the aquarium. “Floating” species are used to create “islands”, the area of ​​which is limited to transparent plastic or silicone rings and twines. “Sinking” is fixed manually, creating rounded shapes. The composition is complemented with beautiful stones, snags, coconut shells, and ceramic cups.

Floating moss will be a wonderful decoration of the aquarium. It can be grown together with many aquarium species, the conditions of which are close to the content of riccia.

Other types of moss, hybrid types of ehindorus, lyleopsis, hemianthus mikrantemoides, dwarf Eleocharis are well suited for sharing with it.

It is undesirable to keep together riccia and duckweed. They strongly shade and muffle each other.

Also, you should not try to breed moss in the aquarium, where Goldfish live, because nimble fish very quickly eat this plant, not allowing it to grow.

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The optimum conditions for riches are water temperatures of 22–27 ° C, soft water (hardness of 5–7 ° C) with neutral or slightly alkaline acidity. The plant loves the light.

A 2 W / dm² fluorescent lamp is suitable for lighting. It should be placed on top at a distance of at least 10 cm from the moss.

To ensure cleanliness in the aquarium, it is necessary to replace one-fifth of the total water volume every 2 weeks. It is very important to know that water moss does not tolerate table salt, so it should not fall into the water, even in small quantities.

Riccia grows at a temperature of 22-27C and in soft water

For the “floating” rychii feeding is not needed, it will receive all the necessary nutrients from the water and feed for fish. “Sinking” needs additional supply of carbon dioxide.

With improper care, the following problems may occur:

  • a sharp slowdown in growth can signal a low temperature or an increased indicator of water hardness;
  • the rotting of the lower layer and the stratification of the plant into separate stalks may occur in low light.

As the moss grows quickly, it should be cut and thinned regularly, leaving a layer about 3 cm thick.

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To grow moss on the surface of the water, it is enough to lower only one small stalk taken from the mother thallus. After a couple of weeks, the stalk will grow into a small “island”.

To fix Riccia on the bottom, you can use different surfaces – stones, snags and so on. You can use a nylon net, fishing line, stainless steel wire, cotton thread or a nylon stocking directly for fastening. This is done as follows:

  1. choose a suitable surface;
  2. take the netting (stocking), trim it to the desired size and shape;
  3. in bright light put a thin layer on the surface of Riccia;
  4. fix the moss with a net (thread, fishing line, stocking).

Soon riccia will grow, completely hiding fasteners. Magnificent “rug” will take the desired shape and become the original decorative element of the aquarium.

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