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Willow Moss – is a fabulous aquarium plant… that can be collected in the wild.
Aquarium mosses are an important part of many aquascapes. I for one, seldom make a setup or aquarium design – where moss doesn’t play an important role.
A thriving moss is a micro biotope in itself. It house all kinds of microorganisms, that provides food for small fish fry, shrimp babies and other small creatures. The moss also acts as a shelter or refuge for small or scared creatures.
Willow Moss – super easy to grow
Most mosses aren’t demanding when it comes to light, fertilizers and C02.
Add to that the lush green beauty and the water cleaning effect – and you have a winner.
But mosses are expensive… and the grow relatively slow.
Typically, aquarium mosses are sold in very small containers. Often with a heavy price tag attached. But what most of us tend to forget is, that all the mosses in the shops… initially were found in the wild. They may have been produced in a greenhouse. But they still grow out there.
Depending on where you live, you will find different mosses in your local rivers, ponds or lakes.
In my opinion one of the most beautiful mosses is the willow moss. Therefore, I use it in most of my tanks with shrimps, tetras, barbs, killies, catfish and cichlids. And it is a plentiful resource around here.
Mosses in you local waters
I live in Denmark. Most clearwater lakes and ponds in my area has tons of this stuff.
The latin name is Fontinalis antipyretica. It is also called the antifever fontinalis moss, greater water-moss, or common water moss. Willow moss is a species of submerged aquatic moss belonging to the subclass Bryidae. You can find it in still as well flowing freshwater in Europe, Asia, North America and parts of Africa. As a result, this moss adapts well to a variety of tanks.
Chances are there are some mosses in your local environment as well. You just have to look for them.
If you collect aquarium plants in the wild, make sure you don’t bring home anything that is harmful to your fish. There are lots of YouTube videos showing how to clean plants, before introducing them to your aquarium.
Why you want willow moss:
- Provides refuge and food for small fish and shrimp
- Can be attached to rocks, wood, filters or be left free growing
- Low light requirements
- Temperature: 59° – 82° F (15° – 28° C)
- pH: 5.5 – 7.5
- Lighting requirements: Low to moderate
- CO2 fertilizing isn’t a must
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