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”

Azolla filiculoides (Water Velvet) – Species Profile

Close up of Azolla caroliniana by Kurt Stüber. Source:

Azolla filiculoides (aka Water Velvet) is a miniscule floating plant. From a distance it can resemble Duckweed (Lemna minor), due to both having tiny leaves, but the plants are unrelated. In fact Azolla are more closely related to Salvinia. Both are floating, aquatic ferns. This fast growing plant will sprout daughter plants from the parent plant, creating mat-like layer of plant material on the water surface. Like Salvinia, its leaves have a fuzzy, velvety look to them. This comes from the many tiny, water repelling hairs that grow on the leaf surface. Unlike Salvinia, Water Velvet does not grow trailing roots. In a warm body of water with bright lighting, A. filiculoides can take on a rusty red color.

Care Level: Easy
Preferred Water: pH 5.0 to 7.0, Soft
Minimum Lighting: Moderate to Bright
Temperature: 59°F to 79°F (15°C to 26°C)
Leaf Size: Length, 0.75″ to 1.25″ (1.9 cm to 3.2 cm) Continue reading “Azolla filiculoides (Water Velvet) – Species Profile”