Aquatic Plant Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This weekend I was out visiting a lake and surrounding countryside north of New York City. The leaves are all down in the streams and the water is very cool.

I collected some aquatic moss samples from a stream and a lake. I believe they are both the same, though the plant growing in the fast moving stream was elongated as a result of growing in flowing water. The moss growing in the lake was in the littoral zone in under 40cm of water. Both plants were attached to rocks.

My initial research suggests these plants could be ascribed to Fontinalis antipyretica. But looking a little further into the classification of these plants indicates there are a number of species with some classification problems to be worked out in the future by specialists.

I managed to take a couple of photos of the plant on the lake shore (excuse the poor quality, my camera is a little Canon Powershot and while it is wonderfully portable and small, it is hard put to produce a good close up shot).

My question for the board is: has anyone used Fontinalis antipyretica in an aquarium? If so, how would you suggest getting strands to take to rock? Any experiences?

The water temperature of the lake varies between close to freezing in the winter to the mid 80s F in the summer, by the way.

My site search seems to indicate that very few people use the Fontinalis sp. mosses. I see them in ADA aquaria photos. But cannot recall seeing them in any American aquaria photos.

For those interested, the folowing link contains a list of these moss types:
http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plants/month.200109/msg00015.html

Here are the photos:
Lake shore:

Sample (ignore the Riccia):


Andrew Cribb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
I've been keeping Fontinalis antipyretica for more than a year and it's doing very well even in elevated temperature.
Generally I don't attach it , only put it between the rocks. I guess a string could be helpful in this case.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, RedBaron.

The books all seem to say this is a low temperature plant. There must be a number of varieties, though. Here in NY we get pretty cold winters and very hot summers, so the local variety must be pretty hardy. If it can't survive my aquarium, then it doesn't say anything good about my aquatic gardening skills, does it? :)

I am going to give it a shot and see what happens.

Andrew Cribb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Andrew, I live in upstate NY and I have collected the Fontinalis you have pictured and the Fontinalis Redbarron has pictured. I didn't have much luck with the type you have, but the type Redbarron had lived but only grew vertically without attaching to anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Urkevitz,

Good to know you. Thanks for the response. Isn't it odd that we see many Amano aquariums with well-developed stands of Fontinalis antipyretica and yet I rarely if ever see it for sale (not at Tropica, for instance) and never see it discussed. It's a mystery compared to Vesicularia dubyana, 'Taiwan', and 'Erect' mosses.

I've got the two types intermingled and growing in a small 5g aquarium with some circulation. I hope it takes.

The moss I collected was full of life including some caterpillar-like aquatic larvae?

Andrew Cribb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
pineapple said:
Isn't it odd that we see many Amano aquariums with well-developed stands of Fontinalis antipyretica and yet I rarely if ever see it for sale (not at Tropica, for instance) and never see it discussed. It's a mystery compared to Vesicularia dubyana, 'Taiwan', and 'Erect' mosses.
The Fontinalis antipyretica used in Amano's tanks are, I suspect, just good ol' Java moss. The only Fontinalis species being sold every now and then is actually the giant form, possibly Fontinalis antipyretica var gigantea, which is considerably larger than any of the common moss we're familiar with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
If that's the case, I answered my own question by accident. I will go back to the photos and if there is one which seems to prove otherwise, I will scan it and show the image here. Thanks for the input.

Considering how profusely Fontinalis sp. grows in some areas, it would be surprising to find it cannot be propogated in an aquarium.

Andrew Cribb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
pineapple said:
Here in NY we get pretty cold winters and very hot summers, so the local variety must be pretty hardy. If it can't survive my aquarium, then it doesn't say anything good about my aquatic gardening skills, does it? :)
The climate in central Europe is quite the same or even colder. IMO good condition of this plant is not a matter of temperature but lighting. It has very high requirements.
I have 1W/L and it's pearling all the time.

Urkevitz: my moss grows in all directions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Now that is interesting. I suspected that might be the case because the moss I saw in the lake was certainly subject to very high light. Perhaps the moss in the stream might be under overhanging trees (Autumn here and the leaves are all dropped).

Andrew Cribb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
898 Posts
cS said:
The Fontinalis antipyretica used in Amano's tanks are, I suspect, just good ol' Java moss. ...
I managed to get my hands on some of the moss Amano brought
with him from Japan for his demo. It doesn't seem to be java moss.
Growing it out now to see what it turns out to be. It's stiffer and wider
than Java moss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, Ghazanfar. I'm curious to hear an update when the plant has grown. As cS said, some of the Amano book photos mislabel Vesicularia dubyana as being FA. But some of the moss is not Vesicularia dubyana. It's an interesting mystery.

So, although your aquaria were depleted by plant enthusiasts during the AGA event, you did manage to pick up something from Amano and friends? :) Glad to see you were rewarded for your work.

Andrew Cribb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
I have worked with both Fontinalis, "regular" Java moss and several of the different "fancy" mosses. The Fontinalis I used was local, New England collected, and came to me via the NEA while I was working on a ponds exhibit there.

I originally used it semi-emersed on the waterfall in my long deceased paludarium. Under these conditions, it did very well, coating the rocks with a dense, deep green carpet. It also eventually crept into the submersed areas. I found that it tended to get kind of ratty looking during prolonged hot weather during the summer, but it would bounce back with the cooler temperatures in the fall. The moss on the waterfall took the hardest hit at these times, probably because it was exposed to the even warmer air temperatures during the day time.

Even when Fontinalis and Java moss became inextricably tangled, I was able to separate pieces to grow out quite easily... not by sight, but by feel. Fontinalis feels much rougher, and almost "crispy" in comparison to any of the other mosses.

Karen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Karen,

Great information. Thank you. Yes, Fontinalis does look and feel rougher. It must be a fairly hardy plant to surivive typical New England summer/winter conditions, yet alone those pertaining to an aquarium.

I assume it took to rocks fairly well.

Andrew Cribb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
Fontinalis

My understanding is that Fontinalis is found world-wide. Like many other plants like that, there are different local varieties which have adapted to handle local conditions, but they are still the same species. (a similar situation is found with Riccia, where there are a number of different local morphs)

The trick, I think, is to choose plants that come from localities that most closely approximate the conditions we can provid in the aquarium. The type I had did great in the chiller-controlled trout stream exhibit at the NEA, but only did well in my tanks in the winter... it didn't die in the heat, but it was not attractive enough that I could recommend it.

We also found Fontinalis in a number of localities in south Texas. I'm sure it is all over the S.E. U.S. I think that plants from these areas would probably remain in better condition through the warmer months.

Oh, and yes, it does attach to rocks quite nicely... I had it on slate, which doesn't give much of a grip, and it had NO trouble at all hanging on.<g>

Karen
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top