Scientific Name: Taxiphyllum barbieri
Synonym: Vesicularia dubyana
Origin: South-east Asia
Height: to 4 inches (10 cm)
Width: to 4 inches (10 cm)
Growth Rate: Slow to Medium
Placement: Mid and Foreground
Lighting Needs: Low
Temperature: 59 to 82°F (15-28°C)
pH: 5.5 to 8.0
Hardness: to 20 dGH
Origin and Distribution:
Originally identified as Vesicularia dubyana, Java Moss has recently has been reclassified as Taxiphyllum barbieri. Many references still use the original classification, and debate still continues over the accuracy of that change. Some assert that Vesicularia dubyana is a different species, known by the common name of Singapore Moss. However, that is also highly debated and many believe that they are, in fact, the same moss.
To attach Java Moss to surfaces, place a thin layer on a rock, driftwood, or decoration. Attach it by wrapping fishing line or cotton thread around it. To create a mat of Java Moss using plastic mesh, place the moss between two pieces of mess and tie them together with thread or fishing line. Over time the moss with grow through the holes and create a dense mat of moss that can be used in a number of ways. Creative aquarists have formed cones, balls, and other shapes out of mesh, to grow Java Moss on. Your imagination is about the only limitation on what you can do with Java Moss.
Java Moss can also be used as a floating plant to provide a spawning site for mop spawning fish. Fish that build bubble nests, such as Bettas and Gouramis, also enjoy clumps of floating Java Moss. Keep some floating, as well as clumps on the substrate to provide lots of hiding places. A mat of Java Moss is also a great option for egg scattering fish. The eggs fall into the moss and are protected from the adult fish. Last but not least, Java Moss makes a great cover for tiny fry and juvenile fish. Mature Java Moss also supports the growth of Infusoria, an ideal first food for newly hatched fry.
Perhaps the only problem that may be encountered with Java Moss is algae growth. Once algae begins growing in the moss, it is almost impossible to remove, and the entire plant has to be discarded. The best way to avoid algae growth is to avoid excessive light and keep the water clean. Elevated nitrates and phosphates, which tend to creep up when water changes aren't performed regularly, encourage algae growth.
Generally Java Moss grows rather slowly, however increased lighting and the application of liquid fertilizer will promote more rapid growth. Warmer water temperatures tend to slow the growth of this moss. As it grows it will spread both horizontally and vertically in rows, often forming dense tufts of heavy growth. As it grows it should be trimmed to keep a good shape and promote further growth. Pieces that are trimmed can be used to start new plants.