CHRISTMAS MOSS AKA XMAS MOSS (VESICULARIA MONTAGNEI)
Christmas Moss (Vesicularia montagnei), also known as "Xmas Moss," is a rare, but very popular and attractive species of creeping moss for the freshwater aquarium. This is a great plant to keep in any freshwater aquarium due to its low lighting requirements and ease of care. It grows into bushy patches that are always a favorite hiding place for shrimp and fish fry. It also provides cultivation areas for tiny live food sources such as infusoria and biofilm. Once established in the aquarium, Christmas Moss fronds appear very bushy and have the appearance of pointy, miniature pine trees.
This is a very easy plant to keep without much extra care, but like all plants, it can benefit from CO2 supplementation, although this is not required. Like many mosses, it does not typically respond positively to most chemical plant supplements. Many aquarists report success with this moss purely through keeping a well-maintained aquarium with no supplementation.
Quite often Xmas moss is mistaken for a widespread Java moss. Sure, at first glance they are very much alike.
But this is just the first impression you get. If you take a closer look, you will see the difference in the structure of its branches:
- Java moss has almost straight thallome (a vegetative shoot or moss branch) without any sprouts,
- Each shoot of Xmas moss has tiny sprouts that grow symmetrically from the branch stem.
Size of these shoots gets smaller towards the thallome top and this shape resembles a triangle or a fir-tree shape. This is where the moss name came from. When its branches grow to reach some certain length, they bend under their own weight like those of a weeping willow.
What We Like About This Plant:
- Excellent (and potentially more attractive) alternative to Java Moss
- Can be attached to almost any aquarium décor or left floating in loose form
- Low light requirements
- Little to no supplements needed
- Temperature: 65° - 77° F (18.3° - 25° C)
- pH: 5.0 - 7.5
- Lighting: Low to moderate
- Origin: Farmed in Asia, but indigenous to Southeast Asia
- Aquarium placement: Any
- Care: Easy
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