Java Moss (Vesicularia dubyana)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Java moss (plant names: Vesicularia dubyana) is an excellent aquarium plant for bottom feeders to take refuge in.This is a fairly undemanding plant as long as it is given bright lighting; patience is required to grow this plant as it is very slow growing. It is used extensively in planted tanks to create Aquascape as it can be attached to any surface, even filter intake pipes.

Java moss has small roots and is usually used to create moss wall or carpets in the aquarium. Attach this plant to some rock and add some fertilizer for acclimatization. Good lighting is necessary. Depending on aquarium lighting, temperature and pH, it can be green (good conditions) or brown (bad water conditions). However, brown color doesn't mean that the plant is dead.

Vesicularia dubyana
- Maximum size: 0 - 5 cm ( 0 - 1.97 in )
- pH of water: 6.5 - 7.2
- DH of water: dGH 4 - 30 °N
- Recommended water temperature: 21 - 27 °C ( 69.8 - 80.6 °F)
- Recommended substrate: Rocky
- Light conditions: Bright
- Place in aquarium: Foreground
- Way of propagation: Divisions
- Plant origin: South Asia
- Growth: Slow

Despite being one of the aquarium plants for beginners - It's nearly impossible to grow Java moss nicely in harder and alkaline waters. Such waters cause brownish colour, but the plant will grow anyway. There are plenty of ways to grow Java Moss or Vesicularia dubyana, and plenty of ways to control it. But be ruthless. Every piece you discard represents nitrate you're finally eliminating from your system.

One thing I like to do is float Java Moss from a little chunk of natural corkbark, so that it hangs down like Spanish Moss. Try this at the front corners of your aquarium, or use this to hide a sponge filter at a back corner. Fishes that spawn in a spawning mop will use it happily. I tie monofilament round the corkbark and just insert some Java Moss under it. Maintaining it is easy: from time to time I take the bark with its attached moss, and trounce it in a bowl of water to clean out detritus. I roll it gently to keep it moderately dense. If it's getting too long I clip the end.

Java Moss can grow on a coconut shell like a green lawn. Steep the coconut shell first in boiling water to leach out some of the tannins. Cover the wet coconut shell with half-inch clippings of Java Moss. Let them fall where they may, all over the coconut, and spritz them to make them lie flat. Put it in a saucer of water with a glass bowl over the top for three weeks in a sunless window, till the Java Moss is covered with fresh pale growing points. Later, whenever the moss needs clipping, take the coconut shell out and shear it close with the flat of the blade of scissors. Try this same trick with that ceramic hollow log that should look more real than it does.

Nothing saves more Platy fry than a tank almost full of loose tangles of Vesicularia dubyana. Nothing makes a Betta fish or a Dwarf Gourami more comfortable than a thicket of Java Moss.