Java Moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri) – Species Profile

Java Moss by Buchling

Java Moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri or Vesicularia dubyana) is a popular and adaptable aquarium plant. It has miniscule leaves lined up along spindly stems that grow in all directions. Like all mosses, it does not have true roots. It uses rhizoids to attach itself to hard surfaces like wood or rock. It grows primarily above the water line where humidity is high; however, it is able to adapt to being completely submerged in water, and it can also grow free floating.

Care Level: Easy
Preferred Water: pH 5.5 to 8.0, Soft to Hard
Minimum Lighting: Low
Temperature: 64°F to 86°F (17.78°C to 30°C)
Leaf Size: Length, 1 mm or less Continue reading “Java Moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri) – Species Profile”

Lemna minor (Duckweed) – Species Profile

Lemna minor (aka Common Duckweed, Lesser Duckweed, or simply Duckweed) is a notorious plant among the fishkeeping community. This plant is such an efficient grower, it is often considered a nuisance! It is a very common floating plant that is also very small. In fact it is one of the world’s smallest flowering plants. It has a distinctive appearance, small with two or three leaves. Each leaf produces one short, spindly root.

Care Level: Easy
Preferred Water: pH 6.5 to 8, No hardness preference
Minimum Lighting: Moderate to Bright
Temperature Range:  42.8°F to 91.4°F (6°C to 33°C)
Leaf Size: Length, up to 0.04″ to 0.3″ (1 mm to 8 mm) Continue reading “Lemna minor (Duckweed) – Species Profile”

Culturing Freshwater Amphipods for Live Food

Many fishkeepers swear by feeding their pets live foods. Some popular ones you’ve probably heard of are baby brine shrimp, microworms, black worms, vinegar eels, etc… One you may not have heard of (other than complaints of infestation) is the lowly amphipod or “scud” as they are sometimes called. Saltwater enthusiasts have been using amphipods as fish food for some time now, but there are freshwater species that we can take advantage of for our pets. If you aren’t familiar with freshwater amphipods, check out my Amphipod Species Profile.

It is fairly easy to start and maintain a colony of amphipods for use as live food. I keep them in my aquariums as a sort of naturally occurring snack, but you can keep them in their own container to harvest as needed.

Continue reading “Culturing Freshwater Amphipods for Live Food”