Christmas moss (lat. Vesicularia Montagnei) is also known by the name Xmas Moss. This is an aquarium plant that will enchant your tank. It is famous for its fir-tree shape and bright green coloration. This plant is also very simple to take care of. Here, you will find the complete planting and care guide for it.
This amazing plant is friendly and can share the tank with Hygrophila Pinnatifida in order to create a contrast. Since it can be grown for carpeting and wall, in our experience, we have had plenty of room to create great designs with this combo. In this article, you will find everything you need to know about planting and maintaining Christmas moss.
Christmas moss is a plant that most aquarium enthusiasts love. It has a bold green hue and is found in most aquascapes, fir-tree shapes, and bright green colors. This plant can be used to create various styles and for multiple purposes, starting with wrapping rocks or aquarium driftwood, carpeting, or even walls. This amazing plant has a medium growth rate with a size of 3’’ (4cm) tall. It can also create coverage for fry, being so, a great food source for the tankmates.
This amazing plant is recommended for beginners because it is very easy to maintain. With a small piece of Christmas moss, you can plant and grow an amazing plant in your tank. This plant can be attached to a hardscape or left free-floating.
|Size||3 inch (4 cm) tall|
|Propagation||Creeping and clippings|
|Speed of growth||Moderate|
|Temperature||72 – 82 F (22 – 28 C)|
|pH||5.0 – 7.5|
|Hardness||5 – 15 dKH|
Mini Christmas Moss
Mini Christmas moss is the minimalist version of Christmas moss. It is known to have smaller internodal distances, is compact, and has a slower growth rate compared to the normal version. The regular Christmas moss has a bigger frond distance compared to the mini version. Mini Christmas moss, in our experience, is perfect for nano aquariums and cannot get out of hand. Compared with other types of moss that we grow in our tanks, it has slow and compact growth.
Christmas Moss vs Java Moss
Christmas moss is commonly mistaken for a widespread Java Moss. It is said that they are so alike, but when you get closer, you can clearly see their difference in the structure of the branches.Java moss is characterized by almost straight shoots (branches) without any sprouts. Therefore, the Christmas moss shoots have tiny sprouts with symmetric growth from the branch stem.
Christmas moss is known to have a faster growth rate, denser, and more horizontally compared to Java moss. This favors making thicker walls, trees, and lawns in little time with less effort.
Origin & Habitat
Christmas moss, according to the scientific classifications, is from the Bryida subclass, Hypnaceae family, and Vesicularia kind. In Latin is known as Vesicularia Montagne, meaning “crying moss.” It is hard to tell where this moss’s natural habitat is. Apparently, they don’t have a certain place, but often their kind is encountered in the waters of India. However, it inhabits some areas of South-East Asia, China, and Japan.
The plant is likely to stick to a substrate as well as different objects such as drowned tree boles, snags, branches, and stones. Christmas Moss tends to grow in warm streaming water as a colony only when meeting a clean environment. This plant won’t survive in muddy water, and it will die if the habitat suddenly gets polluted.
Benefits of Christmas Moss
Christmas moss is a great plant for beginners, and this is a benefit that this plant provides because it requires a low level of CO2. Having these low requirements makes this plant easy to plant and take care of for new aquarium enthusiasts. Here are some other benefits of this plant:
- Doesn’t require CO2 injection for growth.
- Its structure is similar to a Christmas tree, being so a very attractive plant.
- It is a good algae magnet.
- You can easily boost its growth by keeping the aquarium’s temperature less than 77F.
- The perfect home for infusoria creates a great coverage to feed shrimps, snails, and fish.
Plant and Care: Growth Tips
When talking about planting and maintenance of Christmas moss, there is nothing to worry about. Here we have the growth tips that you should consider, and the care process won’t be a problem for you even if you are a beginner. This Moss is very easy to keep, especially with our tips.
Starting with planting, when choosing to plant Christmas Moss, you should consider preparing the environment, specifically the room temperature. The water parameters and lightning will be explained below. Therefore, it is important to keep the tank clean. The plant can’t grow in muddy ditch water.
It requires a high-efficient purification system and some water flow. This is important also because this plant develops microorganisms and algae. Therefore, with time it will undergo degradation (In this case, shrimps and Panda Loach can also be a choice to feed, making beneficial and natural co-operation by cleaning).
Design: Placement and Substrate
This plant can be attached to stones, tree roots, and other materials like driftwood. It does not need a particular substrate to grow and thrive. The shallow root system can absorb nutrients from the water and grow in any substrate.
The planting method also depends on the design that you want to choose for your aqua space. Here are some tips to attach it in order to thrive and create your favorite design:
- Anchoring with superglue: glue the rhizome and attach it to an object.
- Anchoring with thread: wrap the plant gently around an object (works best in thin pieces of driftwood).
- Anchoring with the fishing line: same as the thread method, but in this case, the fishing line will not deteriorate in the water.
- Moss wall: you can either superglue the plant in foam to make a wall or place it between two aperture stainless steel mesh, put suction cups cut through the mesh in order to remove and flip, bend corners in so fish can’t get trapped, and let it thrive.
- Moss carpet: the plant is more likely to grow horizontally. It can be the perfect idea for carpeting. With the low light condition and good trimming, this plant can thrive and enchant your tank with its lovely carpeting very easily.
- Moss tree: create a tree structure by gluing spider wood to create the branches, and simply glue the plant on it to create a bonsai tree with Christmas moss.
The water hardness and its pH don’t play any significant role but are important not to make drastic changes. It is important to keep the tank clean, the plant can’t grow in muddy ditch water. Therefore, it requires a high-efficient purification system and some water flow.
Christmas moss is very sensitive to water having a high amount of salts. It grows best in freshwater with fewer amounts of salts. They can live in different temperature ranges, but an optimal temperature between 65-77 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended. A pH level of 5 to 7.5 for the best growth, although not vital.
Fertilizer and CO2
CO2 injection will help the Christmas moss for better growth and coloration, but it can also survive without it. Liquid fertilizer will also give a big boost to growth. I highly recommend APT Complete as liquid fertilizer. This fertilizer is comprehensive and designed by a professional aquascape.
Illumination should be adapted best for tankmates, therefore it can become bushy at low lightning. The lack of light in the bottom layers can make the plant start to rot and fall off a stone or a snag, that’s why it is important to have good lighting or trim the plant. Therefore, under high light, it will grow more horizontally than vertically. In low light, it will grow vertically.
Propagating Christmas moss it’s not complicated. You can simply take a chunk from your established moss and transplant it somewhere else to thrive. Make sure is a decent size of chunk for better results. Therefore, you can use your trimming for the transplant in order to save you from the cutting struggle.
In this process, you should be careful to not make a mess by cutting very small pieces that might float on the water, and waste the plant. Try to glue them properly and cut decent pieces.
Even that Christmas moss is e easy to care aquarium plant you can have some issues while keeping it. We will list and explain some of them as well as give some tips to avoid them.
- Melting: The melting issue is very common in aqua plants, therefore, you should be aware and check the water parameters if this happens. Try to gently remove the melted parts and give ti, me to the new growth to thrive.
- Algae: Algae is very difficult to remove and is a major problem in aqua plants. It shows the imbalance of the ecosystem and requires less light with more CO2, also considering the excessive nutrients. It is important to evaluate your water parameters, CO2 injection, lighting, and fertilization dosage and frequency.
- Debris: Debris, the accumulation of their makeup is also a common issue. In this case shrimps or snails, would be the ideal choice to fix the mess.
- Filtration: Debris in your aquarium filters is another problem. It is recommended to have a high-quality canister filter if you want a planted tank. They will do a better job of cleaning and providing circulation than power filters, therefore, they are more silent. The OASE BioMaster canister filters are highly recommended.
Christmas moss is a good-looking and more appealing plant in the aquarium hobby. It can be planted and maintained by beginners because of its low requirements and enchant your tank with amazing designs starting with carpeting, wall, tree, etc. This plant is special in design but also very beneficial if you have a shrimp tank or snails because it creates a great coverage of microorganisms and algae to feed. This amazing plant would be a great choice for beginners but also experienced aquarium enthusiasts who are looking forward to experimenting with various moss designs.
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