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    by hardjono.harjadi-at-Eng.Sun.COM (Hardjono Harjadi) (19 Apr 1995)
  2. Riccia on the rock
    by Hardjono.Harjadi-at-Eng.Sun.COM (Hardjono Harjadi) (Mon, 18 Sep 1995)
  3. Riccia
    by (Mon, 18 Sep 95)
  4. Riccia substitution
    by Hardjono.Harjadi-at-Eng.Sun.COM (Hardjono Harjadi) (Mon, 25 Mar 1996)
  5. Riccia /Moonlight Gouramis
    by (Neil Frank) (Fri, 14 Jun 1996)
  6. Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #852
    by (Sun, 27 Jul 1997)
  7. Riccia landscaping
    by "cet9167" <cet9167/> (Sun, 1 Feb 1998)
  8. Riccia rhenana
    by Neil Frank <nfrank/> (Sun, 24 May 1998)
  9. Riccia and Java Moss
    by krandall/ (Mon, 06 Apr 1998)
  10. Riccia changing colour
    by Neil Frank <nfrank/> (Wed, 08 Apr 1998)
  11. Re:Keeping Riccia fluitans down
    by Ric Cooney <rcooney/> (Wed, 14 Oct 1998)
  12. riccia fluitans
    by krandall/ (Wed, 14 Oct 1998)
  13. Riccia Carpet
    by Romano <romano/> (Sat, 12 Dec 1998)
  14. The holy grail of Riccia
    by "bassambj" <bassambj/> (Wed, 28 Apr 1999)
  15. Carpet plants
    by "Schenck, Lyndle" <lschenck/> (Wed, 5 May 1999)
  16. tying down riccia
    by sae/ (Olga Betts) (Mon, 1 Nov 1999)
  17. hair nets for java moss
    by Leonardo <cathouse/> (Wed, 13 Jan 1999)
  18. Riccia
    by Karen Randall <krandall/> (Tue, 18 Jan 2000)
  19. Riccia
    by Karen Randall <krandall/> (Wed, 19 Jan 2000)
  20. TFH Riccia&CO2
    by krombhol/ (Paul Krombholz) (Sun, 30 Apr 2000)
  21. RE:Riccia
    by "Thomas Barr" <tcbiii/> (Thu, 04 May 2000)
  22. growth and care of riccia fluitans
    by "Arturo Giacosa" <agiacosa/> (Sun, 30 Apr 2000)
  23. <no subject>
    by "Thomas Barr" <tcbiii/> (Sun, 16 Jan 2000)
  24. RE:Riccia rocks
    by "Thomas Barr" <tcbiii/> (Sat, 15 Jan 2000)
  25. Riccia rocks
    by "Ole Larsen" <olet/> (Sun, 16 Jan 2000)
  26. RE:Riccia and willow moss
    by "Thomas Barr" <tcbiii/> (Wed, 03 May 2000)
  27. Riccia!!!!!
    by C88gthdr/ (Fri, 14 Jul 2000)
  28. Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #606
    by Andy Magee <magee/> (Fri, 20 Oct 2000)
  29. Re:*Stinking Riccia
    by Thomas Barr <tcbiii/> (Thu, 01 Feb 2001)
  30. re: sinking riccia
    by Lazarus Miskowski <lazmiskowski/> (Mon, 5 Feb 2001)

Riccia fluitans
tied to a rock and submerged, a la Amano

A different view
of the same

photos by Hardjono Harjadi


by hardjono.harjadi-at-Eng.Sun.COM (Hardjono Harjadi)
Date: 19 Apr 1995
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria

In article, PRESCOTT-at-IU.NET (JOHN PRESCOTT) writes:
>My Amonia levels are doing quite well but my nitrates are high...  I 
>do not have any live plants in my tank at the moment.  Would placing 
>something like riccia (sp??)  in my tank help me out, or is there some
>plant that actually grows well in gravel only....

Riccia fluitans ? That's a floating plant so the gravel should not matter.
You can grow riccia fluitans under water if you tie them up to a piece
of rock just like in Amano's Nature World Aquarium. I managed to grow
them this way successfully in my tank. It looks like you have a lawn
in the tank.

What do you mean by gravel only bottom ? No additives ? Because you can
add laterite balls to existing gravel bottom so that you can have plants
that require rich substrate. If you don't want to do this, then you want
plants that have roots above the substrate. Some of the stem plants such
as anachris, hornwort, are easy plants to start with.


>John Prescott

Riccia on the rock

by Hardjono.Harjadi-at-Eng.Sun.COM (Hardjono Harjadi)
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 1995

>From: "Dan Resler" <>
>Date: Sun, 17 Sep 1995 22:29:14 -0400 (EDT)
>Subject: Amano & Mike T.
>Just had a long conversation with Mike T. at Delaware Aquatics (easy
>to do - the man is not lacking in opinions <g>). Anyway, Amano's book
>came up. He was chuckling because everyone under the sun has been
>calling him asking for Riccia. And he talks them all out of using it,
>saying it just won't work. Mike claims that the stuff will look like
>the pictures for about 3 weeks, then everything next to the rocks
>starts rotting and it all goes to h*ll. Has anybody out there actually
>tried tying this stuff to rocks to see how it will do?

Yes, I have tried Riccia on the rock (Amano's new drink). The secret
to prevent rotting is to trim it. Yes, just like your outdoor garden lawn !
If not, when it started to get too thick, the bottom part would turn yellow 
because Riccia is a high-light plant. I only have fluorescent lighting in this 
tank. If you have metal halide, you might be able to get away with thicker 
lawn.It grew beautifully for 6 weeks in my tank (Wright Huntley is my witness 
:) )
but then it started wriggling itself free from the fishing line that I used to 
tie it down on the rock. I also had a nasty case of blue green algae that for 
some reason pick the riccia as it's favorite nest. I got rid of the blue green 
algae so I'm ready to start again. I'm still experimenting with different
medium (mexican pebble, granite rock, broken clay pot) to tie the Riccia that
would induce the plant to "root" so that I won't have to tie it down every now
and then. Wood is my next choice. If you don't mind tying it down every now
and then, I would suggest that you use overlapping small flat rocks instead
of one big piece. This way you only have to tie down one small piece at a



Date: Mon, 18 Sep 95

I sent some of my "lawn-like" plant to Karen & she confirmed it was riccia.
It grows well for me floating & tangled up in other plants on the bottom :-).
I tied some to some driftwood & it grew well there.  I think the key to it
staying nice is to make sure it stays growing, in my tanks I can't seem to
stop it growing (yet have problems with other plants!).  The tank it grows
best in is a 10 gal tank with one flourescent bulb (a radionic which is
several years old & the glass top was very dirty till I cleaned it just now)
:-), so I don't think lighting is critical.  It's also growing quite well on
the surface of my 55 gal tank with all new bulbs (a mix of radionics and

The 10 gal tank just has a UGF and no external filter.  In the other tanks
there are external filters which the riccia tends to get trapped in.  All
my tanks have DIY CO2.  The pH is around 7.2, CO2 about 15-20 ppm, GH 5-10
and nitrates range from 0-20 ppm.  I've found it easy to grow.

If you would like some riccia, I can send you some.


Riccia substitution

by Hardjono.Harjadi-at-Eng.Sun.COM (Hardjono Harjadi)
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996

>From: (Williams, Rochelle - DCSPIM)
>Date: Sat, 23 Mar 1996 10:32:52 -0500
>Subject: Riccia substitution
>To imitate the green plains Takashi Amano creates using Riccia (Crystalwort) 
>is possible to substitute Vesicularia dubyana (Java Moss)?  I haven't found 
>Crystalwort anywhere.

Yes, you can. Here are the pros and cons:

   1. Java moss "roots" readily on wood and rock so you would only need
      to tie it once. Riccia on the other hand does not root at all so you
      need to keep tying it to rock/wood because it will become lose and
      float when it grows.
   2. Java moss needs much less light than Riccia. To keep Riccia nice and
      green you need to keep trimming it so that the bottom part does not
      turn yellow due to lack of light. 

   1. Riccia has a more attractive "mesh". Riccia forms a mesh that looks like
      afro hair cut while Java moss has the look more like marine crew cut.
      You also need to trim the Java moss regularly to keep it neat if not 
      it will become a bunch of tangled threads.
   2. I prefer the lighter shade of green that Riccia has. It provides a 
      strong contrast.


Riccia /Moonlight Gouramis

by (Neil Frank)
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 1996

>From: "Heath, Derek" <>
>Date: Fri, 14 Jun 1996 09:34 +1200 (NZST)
>Subject: FWD:  re: Riccia
>>From: Michael Eckardt <>
>>There are (at least) two Riccia species: R. fluitans and R. rhenana (see
>>Baensch Atlas #3.
>>The most common is R. fluitans, which is a floating plant and doesn't do
>>well submers for an extended period of time without a lot of  maintenance.
>>Theother species looks exactly the same, except it sinks and has adapted to
>>submers living conditions. I, as well as others on this list, suspect that
>>Amano uses this species in his tanks.
>Although the  Aqua Journal (published  by  Amano) is printed in Japanese it 
>does list the Latin names of the plants shown in the photographs. Based on 
>this source Amano uses R. fluitans for growing submersed.

I think you are both correct!

>Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1996 20:10:12 -0400
>Subject: What's this plant & Riccia fluitans

> Windelov's book says;
>"..... The forms growing in bright light or the partly emersed forms have a
>wider thallus and are brighter green in color; sometimes they are mistaken
>for other species. ..... Some parts of the thallus often sink to the bottom
>of the tank and form very decorative ball-shaped tufts. ......." 

>Did I
>misunderstand something here, or is there both a floating and submersed form
>of Riccia fluitans? I have anchored several tufts to my substrate in a 10
>gallon, I'm setting up as a NWA style aquarium. I have noticed that the color
>has changed slightly getting brighter and the new thalli have widened in the
>older tufts.

I brought back a small clump of submerged Riccia from Amano. I wanted to see
if it would behave differently than the Riccia I had at home. In the clump
were the two different plants mentioned above. It stayed submerged longer
than mine, but eventually started to rise up (especially when it became full
of O2 bubbles.) Amano suggests that to keep the Riccia down, you should grow
it together with hair grass (Eleocharis) or Bladderwort (Utricularia) to
form a frame or web within which I can more easily stay down.  Baensch V3
mentions that Riccia rhenana is occassionally found with R. fluitans. I
suspect that Amano's Riccia contains both species, may be predominantly

Due to neglect, my tank with this Riccia and other fine leaved plants became
infested with some stringy green hair algae. I have lost most of it and
can't comment definitively about the structure or color at this time. I made
the mistake of trying an adult pair of Moonlight Gouramis to see if they
would eliminate the green algae. These fishes were mentioned a while back as
a way to eliminate green hair algae. (I have been looking for Moonlights for
months, finally found some and I actually let the algae get a little out of
control for the test <g>) At first, I watched the fish pull the algae off
different plants, but then I noticed them also tearing at the plants as well
and eventually destroyed almost all the plants from this tank. They were
building a floating nest!! Except for the crypts, almost every stem plant
and all the Riccia went into this literal island. For the next 2 months, the
fishes took priority over the plants because I was expecting them to breed.
When fishes and I both lost interest in the tightly bound mass, the fishes
went to the aquarium shop. I removed most of the remaining mess, but
fortunately a few sprigs of Riccia were still on the bottom. After reading
this thread, I am going to try to nurse them back to health.

An interesting historicalfoot note about Riccia:
In the second edition of the Innes book Exotic Aquarium Fishes, published in
1935), he says "beautiful effects can be obtained by deeply anchoring small
bunches, where they will not be disturbed and where good light penetrates.
Under these conditions, it develops into gorgeous green masses, even up to 6
inches across."  Somehow, this novell idea did not catch on until it was
re-presented in the exciting book by Mr. Amano. 


As per Dr. Randall's teachings, this material is not to be used without
proper citation and my permission :-)

Neil Frank, TAG editor    Aquatic Gardeners Association    Raleigh, NC USA

Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #852

Date: Sun, 27 Jul 1997

There is more to this Riccia business than meets the eye.  I have seen
Riccia stock directly from Amano, and in person, compared side-by-side with
our typical aquarium stock, it looks quite different.  It is a darker
green, and the individual segments are rounder instead of flattened, and
somehow "sturdier" looking.  Most importantly, if you plop a wad of it in a
tank, it sinks to the bottom.  In a well lit tank, if not tied down, it
will tend to float back toward the surface while photosynthesizing (the O2
bubbles buoy it up) but it appears to have close to neutral buoyancy on its

Like most of the other people on the list who have commented, I have had
little luck keeping our common Riccia pinned down for extended periods of
time.  I suspect that part of the reason is that I don't have the oriental
attention to detail, and tend to let it get away from me!<g>  On the other
hand, I _have_ seen it growing in lovely clumps on the bottom of both
natural and ornamental ponds.  I have even brought some of these clumps
home, and have them growing in very shallow water on my windowsills.  I
can't seem to get the same effect in the deeper water of the tanks, though.

One other tip.  When Claus Christensen was visiting, he saw me trying to
manually rid some of my Riccia of bits of Utricularia.  He told me that
Amano uses this more structured, but similarly colored plant to act as
anchoring material for his Riccia.  When I went back and looked through
close ups of some of Amano's tanks, I realized that not _all_ those bubbles
in the Riccia were O2... if you look closely, you will see that some of
them are Utricularia bladders!

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association

Riccia landscaping

by "cet9167" <cet9167/>
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 1998
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants

Hello people!

I've recently found a new way to make use of the beautiful Riccia for
aquascaping purposes.When the floating mat reaches the size of your hand,
FOLD it into half and replace it into the tank.A week later, fold it again
and double the thickness of the mat.Repeat this every week until you've got
a splendid green Riccia 'skyscraper' in your tank.This works especially if
you do not have strong currents in the tank.

Riccia rhenana

by Neil Frank <nfrank/>
Date: Sun, 24 May 1998

>From: Khew Sin Sun <>
>>I posted this several days ago,but it failed to make to the digest.
>Anyway,i was inquiring about this Riccia Rhenana,which is supposedly,a
>"sinking" riccia species. There was one question some 2 years ago on this
>but no response to it when i did a search.
>Does anyone here have any experience on this version of Riccia? And is it
>true that it sinks as opposed to the floating riccia fluitans?
>How different is it,visually?

I have 2 types of Riccia and one might be Riccia rhenana. It is a darker
green than Riccia fluitans. It also has finer "leaves" and interestingly,
is much, much easier to keep on the bottom. 

I actually got the dark green Riccia from Mr. Amano, but it is not the type
he uses in his aquascapes. The latter is Riccia fluitans which requires the
various tricks of using Utricularia, hair grass, Vesicularia or coarse sand
to help it stay down, long term. While the R. fluitans will start to float
up after the plant mass gets large enough (especially with a good coating
of O2 bubbles), the dark green variety (possible R. rhenana) does not
require the various tricks to keep it down.

Neil Frank, AGA

Riccia and Java Moss

by krandall/
Date: Mon, 06 Apr 1998

Dan Q wrote:

>  I'm not sure. I didn't use the light to see what effects it would have
on Riccia. I put the Riccia in there to experiment on a way to
>keep it attached longer to the bottom than the typical 30- 50 days I
believe were generally reported here in the APD . My idea was to
>sandwich Java Moss between thin layers of Riccia.  My thinking was that
Riccia can't hold on to anything, but maybe enough Java Moss can

Very interesting idea, Dan.  Amano uses Utricularia to do the same thing.
I think that an advantage to your method is that Java Moss is so tolerant
of low light levels that it is likely to stay healthy and hang on better
even in the middle of a mass of Riccia.  

I'm going to try to get a clump started to play with today!
Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association

Riccia changing colour

by Neil Frank <nfrank/>
Date: Wed, 08 Apr 1998

>Date: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 22:31:12 +0800
>From: Loh Kwek Leong <>
>Subject: Riccia changing colour
>The strange thing that I noticed in the past few weeks is that
>the Riccia is changing colour.  Instead of a bright green, it's
>becoming a dark green. 

I have one Riccia which is a dark green and another which is bright green.
The one which is dark green has finer "leaves" and interestingly, is much,
much easier to keep on the bottom. It may change color in response to
nutrients - I have noticed it getting very dark after adding nitrogen (just
like greening up a lawn).

I actually got the dark green Riccia from Mr. Amano, but it is not the type
he uses in his aquascapes. The latter is Riccia fluitans which requires the
various tricks of using Utricularia, hair grass, Vesicularia to help it
stay down, long term. While the R. fluitans will start to float up after
the plant mass gets large enough (especially with a good coating of O2
bubbles), the dark green variety (possible R. rhenana) does not require the
various tricks to keep it down.

Neil Frank

Re:Keeping Riccia fluitans down

by Ric Cooney <rcooney/>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998

> From:
> Subject: Keeping Riccia fluitans down

> I've tried searching the archives for the article that explains how to keep
> Riccia fluitans down by sandwiching it in between two layers of Java moss and
> can't seem to find it. I've looked uner "riccia," "riccia fluitans," and
> "riccia fluitans and java moss." It would help me out a great deal if someone
> out there could explain to me the specifics of the technique and give me some
> basic directions. Thanks a lot in advance for the sea of replies I know I'll
> get:)

The method suggested to us, is to use black hairnet and wrap 2 or 3
layers over the riccia. Preferably on a rock, it will grow through but
will not attach itself to the rock like Java Moss.
It is a floating plant. I also likes current.
- --
Ric Cooney, N3BRB
Aquatic Gardeners Association
Baltimore, MD  USA

riccia fluitans

by krandall/
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998

>From: "Joe Anderson" <>
>Subject: >
>This is directed to the gentleman who was seeking information on the 
>riccia sp. but did not get any responses.  
>I don't know anything about the riccia sp. that you mentioned at first.  

Riccia rhenana is mentioned in Baensch.  I've never seen it mentioned
anywhere else.  There is a Riccia natans, but it looks more like duckweed
than the "usual" Riccia.  There is a form of Riccia that sinks on its own,
but it's unclear to me whether it is a different species or not.  Neil
Frank brought some of this type home from Japan with him, but I've also
found local non-floating populations in ponds in New England.  In fact, I
believe Innes mentioned the same.

>There is also a source of information on how to tie it down.  I don't 
>have the exact address, but maybe someone else can help.  

It's easy to tie down.  Just let a thick mat grow on the surface, then tie
it to a rock, either with fishing line, or by placing a fine mesh hair net
over it. (Tropica's trick)  The problem is that it must be trimmed
religiously, or the inner area, which is deprived of light, dies away, and
the mat floats free.  People use a number of other plants in efforts to
"stabilize" the plant.  You can clearly see in places that Amano has mixed
either hair grass (Eleocharis sp.) or Utricularia sp. in with the Riccia.
Other people use Java moss mixed in.

Riccia on a rock has become almost as much of a "Holy Grail" as
Glossostigma has.  Glossostigma can be difficult to grow, but doesn't seem
to have bad manners, either.  Riccia _not_ on a rock is almos as annoying
as algae in a tank... certainly as bad as duck weed.  Once you've got it,
you'll never be free of it.  It clogs filters, gets ensnared in fine leafed
plants, and QUICKLY covers the water surface blocking light.  

If you've got the patience and time to maintain tanks Amano style, it can
be beautiful.  For the rest of us who fit in aquarium maintenance into
their "free" 25th hour of the day, it can be more trouble than it's worth.
OTOH, it makes an excellent low maintenance ground cover in a high humidity
terrarium.  I use it around the bases of my carnivorous plants.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association

Riccia Carpet

by Romano <romano/>
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998

I have been considering trying this and am wondering if someone else has
already done it. If Riccia fluitans were poked through a sheet of plastic
needlepoint canvas and then secured with twining fishing line around and
through it would it make a totally green carpet and possibly eliminate the
need for gravel. Rocks and driftwood could then be added with attached
plants on it (Java Fern, Bolbitis heudelotii, Anubias etc.) Possibly a low
maintenance and attractive setup providing that it could be siphoned
properly once it gets established. I have been unable to find  Riccia
fluitans in Toronto except for very high priced pebbles covered with it
from Tropica. It would take a very long time indeed to cover a tank bottom.

Susan Romano

The holy grail of Riccia

by "bassambj" <bassambj/>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999
To: "erik/" <erik/>

Hi Eric,

Not sure if I should be contacting you directly, but I have been reading some of 
the plant submissions in the krib and I'd like to add my comment about Riccia.

Riccia is one of those frustrating plants that we see so much of in the Amano 
books but is ridiculously difficult to grow submerged.  That's because it 
floats!  I am an Amano devotee from Australia and I have long had a Nature 
Aquarium of my own.

Riccia was once my Holy Grail of plants; the elusive sinking variety that is!

I have been keeping Riccia for several years and have tried many foolish methods 
of tying it to the substrate.  None work.  Not even Amano's.

About a year ago I noticed that a sport had developed on a piece of my Riccia.  
It derives from the normal form but it has lost its buoancy chambers and looks a 
pure, somewhat darker, green.  It also has a neutral to negative buoancy-- it 

I have since grown this up into a lovely field of green.  It grows fast and is a 
dream to work with.  It's almost too good, as the bits you break or trim off 
gather in amoungst the other plants and grow into dense mats of their own.  I 
have passed this form to friends here as cultivar "Brant".  Very interesting to 
read that Neil Frank obtained a similar cultivar directly from Amano himself.

Contrary to popular opinion, this is not Riccia rhenana, but a natural sport of  
Riccia fluitans.  There are also occasional sports you will find with slightly 
different growth habits.  Mine grows down and spreads laterally but I have 
another sport that forks finely and points straight up (also the dark green 
sinking type).  The sinking form will occasionally revert to wild-type and go 
light green and want to float again.  Keeping a little of this mixed in with the  
dark stuff adds a nice contrast--reminds me of a coral reef.

The good news is, most gardeners can get the sinking type with perseverence.  
Just keep a close eye on your material.  Keep some growing till you see what you 
want and nurture the small dark form when it appears.  It is a magic plant.  I 
think the best I have ever grown for a Nature Aquarium.

In Singapore recently, I visited a shop that showed me another species of 
Riccia.  A fantastic form from Thailand that has a huge wide thallus nearly one 
centimeter across!  Also darker green.  Just amazing.  Sadly I could not bring 
any home to Australia (customs regulations).  Any info on this species most 

I am a big fan of the miniature plant.  They suit our tanks.  Most plants 
currently cultivated grow just too big in a modern tank with fertiliser and CO2.  
I wish there was more information on the tiny plants, and more species 


Brant Bassam, PhD
PE Biosystems, Australia

Carpet plants

by "Schenck, Lyndle" <lschenck/>
Date: Wed, 5 May 1999

	Subject: RE: Carpet plants

One of the best carpet plants I have used is Micranthemum micranthemoides.
I know that it is usually grown as a hedge-type but if you trim it to an
inch or so it will grow in amazingly thick.  The appearance is excellent but
there are some down-sides.  I was never completely sure what the best
growing conditions were.  It would grow great in one tank and barely hang on
in a nearly identical tank right next to it.  It did require weekly pruning.
I called it "Mowing the lawn".  If it grows tall to the point where the
shaded parts lose their leaves, it can take a week or so to recover after

In general it requires less attention than Riccia (I never got the hang of
that one as a carpet-type) and is less difficult than Glossostigma.

Lyndle Schenck

	Kevin Weaver wrote:
	> Anybody have a strong recomendation for a good carpet/foreground
	> plant.  I badly want to achieve that lush "lawn" type look, but
don't know
	> which plants to use.  The tank gets plenty of light and has an
iffy DIY
	> setup along w/ flourite so growth shouldn't be a problem.  Also,
just as a
	> side note, has anyone ever run into problems keeping corys at
	>around 78?

	Derek Wingert wrote:
	Unless you prune constantly, there aren't too many commonly
available plant
	species which make a good, attractive carpet. Most of these are also
	rather hard to grow, and require very high light levels (some
	My favorites are Riccia fluitans (Riccia), and Willow Moss. Both
must be
	anchored until they take root on the surface you desire. Here is a


tying down riccia

by sae/ (Olga Betts)
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999

>Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 22:50:22 -0500
>From: "Tom Brennan" <>
>Subject: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #1362

>I have had great success getting the Amono riccia look by doing as he does.
>That is, get some  light-weight monofiliment fishing line and tie a
>slip-knot in one end of the line, slip it over the stone and pull it tight.

Hoan and Tom,

A much easier method is to use a hair net. You can buy them at the drug
store very cheaply. They are very fine, almost invisible and perfect for
holding down mat plants. Much easier than all that wrapping and tying. And
they come in various colours, black, brown, grey etc. :)

in Vancouver

hair nets for java moss

by Leonardo <cathouse/>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999

I've seen it mentioned that a hair net works wonders for getting java
moss started on rocks.  I've been using the method for a month or two,
and really like it.  

But this afternoon I came home to find my acanthias adoni plecostomus 
(I think I have that right) hopelessly entangled in a hair net that I
thought I had securely tied/sewn to the underside of a rock.  

I performed a heart stopping 20 minutes of fine surgery, hunched over a
bucket under a bright light.  He was too exhausted to even flop, much
less fight, which aided the extraction. After an hour to regroup, he
seems fine, trolling around the tank like always.  I'm not sure if any
infection around the mouth or gills will show up later, but I gotts me
fingers crossed!

I am guessing he got a pectoral lightly snagged at first, maybe just
grazing over the top of the rock. But he's just big enough and strong
enough to have ripped the knots and threads I had used to tighten the
net underneath. 

I had also forgotten the blasted hair net was ON that rock, because the
moss has gotten so thick, or I wouldn't have put him in that tank when I
bought him without taking it out.

Just thought maybe someone else out there using the hair net method, or
other string methods, might want to be encouraged to be extra sure its
done carefully.



by Karen Randall <krandall/>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000

>In a message dated 1/17/00 4:00:10 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
> writes:
> >The worst thing happens when your Riccia starts to mutate (see the
> >similarities?) Some of the Riccia will turn a horrible dark green. This kind
> >of Riccia will not float. Neither will it bubble. It will just look ugly. >>

Bob O. writes:

>Is it possible that the Riccia is systemically infected with a type of 
>blue/green algae?

No.  And it doesn't mutate either.  It's a different species, Riccia
rhenana.  When people see the dark non-floating one "take over", what has
happened is that they have unknowingly introduced just a bit (even a few
cells will do it) of the less desireable type with the "regular" one.  For
one reason or another, conditions in that particular tank favor one species
over the other.  One thrives, and the other dies out.  For more info on
Riccia and other Bryophytes, see my column in Aquarium Frontiers, in I
believe October of '98.



by Karen Randall <krandall/>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000

Tom Barr wrote:

>I have seen this in Baensch's book 3 but I have the same batch of Riccia for
>over 7 years.
>It was like the brighter green type for about 5 years. No other batch from
>the outside were ever added in any way. It appeared after adding it to high
>lighting tanks. Both thrive in my tanks as many who have seen it can attest.
>There is little, if any, favoritism in my tanks of one type over the other.
>At lower lighting levels it can be dealt with (the rhenana as it's called)
>and removed while the the other type does well floating. It is possible for
>some contamination from other plants being added over time but it would have
>to you say ......."a few cells" only.

But as I said, only a few cells are needed, particularly if, as you say,
conditions are ideal for both types.

>Do you or anyone have that reference for Riccia and it's group or more info
>in regards to it's species of this Genera and classifications structures

There is useful reading in the following books:

The Complete Guide to Water Plants by Helmut Muhlberg
Biology of Plants by Raven and Curtis
The Complete Book of Aquarium Plants by Robert Allgayer and Jacques Teton
A Manual of Aquatic Plants by Norman C. Fassett

These were all I could dig out on short notice.

>How certain is the Baensch Book 3 on this species? 

Who knows?<g>  They are more reliable than most atlases, but we know there
are mistakes in the books.  

The other thing to keep in mind is that there are close to 200 known
species of Riccia, though it is sold generically in the hobby.  Who knows
if we are all even discussing the same plant?  I _know_ that there is
Riccia that can be found in clear water streams here in N.E. that _looks_
like our "regular" R. fluitans, but does not float.  Instead, it is found
"clinging" (I use that term loosely, because like you, I think it is
actually caught up in something, not clinging on its own) to the bottom in
clumps in shallow water, looking _just_ like Amano's "Riccia stones".  Is
it R. fluitans?  I don't know.  Either it is a very different looking
variety, or it is a different species.

The trouble with plants like this is that there are a lot of them, and if
they are not either of economic value, or a pest species, there is little
incentive for someone to fund a major study of them.  It's just us
hobbyists with inquiring minds who want to know ;-)


TFH Riccia&CO2

by krombhol/ (Paul Krombholz)
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2000

       From: "Robert H" <>

> * The article on riccia (p. 21) states that "when attached to objects of
> even the substrate, it develops roots and looks for all the world like
> grass." In my experience, riccia doesn't grow roots or attach to
> anything, at least underwater.

I personally, have never been fond of TFH magazine, (a lot of fluff,
advertising, and techno jargin), or their books, (severly outdated), but I
have heard this before..I have talked to several people via the forums that
insist Riccia can attach itself and grow roots of sorts. I have never
experienced this. Has anybody else here?

Riccia is a liverwort and does not grow true roots,  It does produce
hair-like structures called rhizoids.  Mosses produce these too.  Rhizoids
are basically chains of cells, all of one type.

Paul Krombholz, in central Mississippi, where we are getting very dry,


by "Thomas Barr" <tcbiii/>
Date: Thu, 04 May 2000

>Tom wrote:
>Many of the Hairgrass/Riccia fusions are of the sinking type of Riccia. A
>few photo's are of the lighter floating type we like more often but most if
>you look real close are not. These are temporay set ups in many cases and
>seldom stay that way!<<
>Floating type? Sinking type? This seems to kinda get back to my comment of
>some people saying that they have Riccia that doesnt float and kinda roots

It doesn't float and it doesn't root. It just gets into everything and is a
pesky weed from hell.
Learning how to deal with it to your advantage is about the only thing short
of radical measures to remove it. 

 I have never been able to get mine to do this. I have had bits
>and peices that are carried by the current and get entanged in plants, but
>once freed it immediately floats. Can you explain further? 

I think Baensch has it in Book 3. Riccia rheana or something close. Does
better in higher light and can be controlled by lower lighting(2 watts or
so). It well float also but you have to add a ton of light. It will pearl a
little but nowhere near as much as the floating type. It is also Bolbitis
dark green which will not contrast like you might think.

Tom, you have the
>nicest "carpet" of hair grass I have ever seen! 

You've seen only Jpeg's :). Thanks though.

I have always had it grow
>straight up and branch all over the place, how do you do it? :) 

Branch? You likely don't have dwarf har grass. Likely vivpera(?) or some
larger type. I have the same stuff Amano has. It's easy to grow actually, at
least for me. Epiphany will have some soon BTW. Some have said my KH/GH
might be it(5KH and 9GH). Some have said it's my RFUG's(it has done very
well in Flourite/Onyx without RFUG). It will beat up on other plants due to
it's fast growth rate regarding nutrients. Try a ten gallon tank with 2 x 15
watt FL's lights with some onyx sand.

Dan told me
>a couple of years ago that the willow moss/riccia thing was his
>adaptation...I have no idea.

Well bless his heart, he's no longer around to see if this is the case or
not. I miss him. It'd be hard to say I think either way.
Amano had it in his Aqua Journal vol 37 or 38? Also reference to K+
consumption and some good moss info. Some other folks can chime in on some
of these details.
Tom Barr

growth and care of riccia fluitans

by "Arturo Giacosa" <agiacosa/>
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2000

Hello everyone:

I thought I should share my experience and knowledge of Amano's insights 
into growing riccia (and making look like it does in his books).

Amano states that riccia is a high-light plant that requires plenty of CO2 
and iron.  Following Amano's fertilizing system I had very good experiences 
with riccia right from the start.  However, this only last for a short time 
before it begins to get out of hand.  Careful and disciplined prunning is 
needed to keep it looking good.

Amano ties it to flat slate stones using "riccia line" (a sort of very thin 
fishing line).  In some aquascapes, Amano uses riccia and hairgrass 
together.  He uses a method whereby he places two bunches of hairgrass along 
side a riccia patch.  He then takes individual strands of hairgrass and ties 
them over the riccia patch.  Interesting.


Art Giacosa
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

<no subject>

by "Thomas Barr" <tcbiii/>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000

>What makes it a super indicator plant for CO2?
>> Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 23:49:01 -0800
>> From: "Thomas Barr" <>
>> Subject: RE:Riccia rocks

Bubbles my friend! No CO2 or low CO2....... no bubbles at least not very
many compared to adding a good amount of CO2. A small stone or branch etc
with some tied down will give a great visual indicator. It's very easy to
see the difference when the tank is running good in this department. Other
things can hamper the growth, sure.......but if you have enough light(almost
any spectrum from 3000 to 6700K) and enough hours of it, most Plant tanks
have more than enough nutrients, the only thing left is the CO2. It also
grows fast as h*ll when CO2 is added. 
Tom Barr

RE:Riccia rocks

by "Thomas Barr" <tcbiii/>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000

Chuck wrote:

>What kind of rock works best for growing attached Riccia?  I've read that
>lava-rock works good.   Are there any problems with using lava-rock? 

Make sure the lava is not fresh or you will burn your hand<g>.
Lava rock is good for some things but flat rough stones will work better for
a flat foreground which is what your after? Lava is good for adding hills
and bumpy effects etc.
Lava is light so it doesn't hold down really bubbly Riccia as well as
granite say.........
But it has lots of surface area for bacteria and is available for dirt $. So
are most rocks for that matter. You can use hairnets or fishing line.
Hairnets can add larger amounts very quickly.
For smaller clumps fishing line is better and for branches O' Riccia.

>Any other hints or suggestions about how to train it to grow low?

Slowly whipping it into submission <G>. Just plain trimming with a good pair
of scissors just like hair. Retying it can also do it but is labor intensive
but so is trimming. Good strong lighting, good CO2, K+ and the rest should
be fine. Great plant for some folks. Super indicator plant for CO2 for the
expert or beginner. Sorry about the jokes,just can't help it!
Tom Barr

Riccia rocks

by "Ole Larsen" <olet/>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000

After a visit at TROPICA where Ole Petersen showed how to make Riccia rocks
and - woods, I had to try too.
It is easy with a hair net. And if the net is too big, make 2 knots beside
each other in the mittle and cut between.
But I wish I never had tried it:
Something will break loose, get attached to the gravel (by small almost
invisible algae) and spread all over
the gravel almost "suffocating" the smaller plants like Glossostigma and E.
And it is a pest to remove as the small plants get uprooted. Now, more than
a year after I tried, it is still a problem I regularly have to deal with.
So, donĀ“t do it unless you just have to.

RE:Riccia and willow moss

by "Thomas Barr" <tcbiii/>
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000

>>>Amano ties it to flat slate stones using "riccia line" (a sort of very
>fishing line). 

How about fishing line rather than Riccia line? Seems this item is**way**
over priced and very easily found at any bait shop sporting shop in
N.America for peanuts.
Same for the Moss string.........  .  .  .  . .  . kind of like buying
Japanese tap water :)

 In some aquascapes, Amano uses riccia and hairgrass
>together.  He uses a method whereby he places two bunches of hairgrass along
>side a riccia patch.  He then takes individual strands of hairgrass and ties
>them over the riccia patch.  Interesting.<<
>Sounds simuliar to Dan Quackenbushes method of mixing Riccia and Willow
>moss. The theory is that that the mass of the additional plant helps to bind
>the Riccia and keep it from breaking apart. The Willow moss or even java
>moss will adhere to the rock or whatever surface is there, and intertwine
>with the Riccia.

Dan came up with it? I thought Amano did? Doesn't matter too much I guess:)
It works well due the surface being somewhat more gripping/adhesive etc for
the Riccia to get entangled in. Also when a clump pulls off due to the O2
bubbles from not being trimmed etc often a small piece of Riccia will remain
and grow out again filling in the hole. Also when the Riccia pulls off or
you just get tired of messing with it you have a nice moss covered
branch/rock underneath which requires far less maintenance. The Moss can
attach well and some some moss attaches to the thallus of the Riccia. These
break off some times but a small piece of Riccia still remains to start
growing all over again.

 Hairgrass being a rooted plant, I dont understand how it
>would work the same way exactly.

It just gets entangled well as they both grow. You can pull (be very gentle)
the excess Riccia off the top or trim it. A hair comb works well also. Many
of the Hairgrass/Riccia fusions are of the sinking type of Riccia. A few
photo's are of the lighter floating type we like more often but most if you
look real close are not. These are temporay set ups in many cases and seldom
stay that way! They either get over grown(the Riccia wins out) and turn into
a mat of Riccia(which some folks want anyway) or it's just a temporary look.
You can keep that way but it does require taking the Riccia stones out
trimming them./Re-tying and replanting some hairgrass which can be a a big 2
hours job weekly or every 2 weeks on a 4 foot long tank with a 6 inch
foreground. Depends on how exact you want it basically. Bladderwort(U.
gibba?) is a binder for Riccia also and Amano uses it too but doesn't
mention it.
It helps quite well also.

Now keeping things separate and "pure" can be very difficult once you have
introduced these other plants to your tank !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
Big warning here!
But some feel like it looks like a weed choked mat rather than a nice mix of
plants. Some folks want a pure Riccia or pure Hairgrass foreground for

Tom Barr


by C88gthdr/
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000

I've noticed a renewed interest in Riccia lately and I thought I'd post my 
experience with the stuff. I've been trying to grow a carpet of riccia for 
the last two years to absolutely no far. I've tried it three times 
with a couple of set ups and all attempts have failed to last for more than a 
few months after setup. I've tried flat rocks, lava rocks, hair grass, hair 
nets, leader line, different light conditions, a number of trimming 
strategies, and every kind of fertilizer, especially KNO3. I bought the Aqua 
Journal volume on riccia so I could see how the man does it. I have tried and 
failed, and failed, and failed, and i will try again. :) I'm addicted to the 

Riccia is _not_ easy. I don't know how that Amano fella grows thick 3" mats 
of it but most of us average joes seem to have trouble keeping it down for 
more than two months before it makes a break for the waterline. In my last 
attempt, I had to pull every rock and trim it every three or four days and 
still, it fell apart after six weeks. Anyway, here's what I've tried and 
learned through it all.

As for keeping it down there are a couple of ways to do it. Basically you can 
use a rock, hairgrass, or some combination of the two which I'll go into 
later. I've basically given up on tying riccia to rock because it takes so 
much time to care for a large quantity of it. But if you wanna give it a try, 
here's what I know. A flat rock provides you with a low visibility solution 
for the front and rounder rocks work well in the back and produce a rolling 
hill affect. If you're wondering how Amano gets steep slopes with his riccia 
he just piles rocks up to the desired height and places a riccia covered rock 
on top. You can use plain rocks but Tom Barr says lava rocks seem to work 
better. I've tried both and haven't noticed a difference accept for the fact 
that the lava rock is harder to work a pair of scissors around. I've noticed 
that riccia starts to stick to the pores in lava rock but not nearly enough 
to hold it down.

You can use leader line or a hair net to attach the riccia to the rock. One 
or the other may suit your needs better. With leader line, you can easily 
wrap more line around your rock should a bit of riccia start to come loose as 
it grows out, but it's also not as easy to distribute the line evenly around 
the rock as it is with the hairnet. Just spread a _thin_ layer of riccia on 
the rock and wrap leader around the rock in a criss cross fashion and tie the 
ends together. The hairnet gives better and faster coverage than does leader 
but the flipside is that you can't just tie down the riccia with more net. If 
you're the mix and match type, you could start with a hairnet and tie any 
loose ends down with leader as the riccia grows out. I like to use my glue 
gun to secure the net in the back. Fast and easy, but you can't undo the glue 
if you wanna refasten so let me know if one of you thinks of a better way. 
Hair nets get expensive if you need a lot of it, so you can use the little 
white poofs that come with liquid soaps like Dove and Oil Of Olay. Just untie 
the knot in the middle and you've got a great big sheet of netting. You can 
even get lime green poofs from Kmart to match your riccia.

You can use hairgrass to help keep your riccia down and it's a must as far as 
I'm concerned if you want a lawn. The problem is that if there a dark spots 
in your tank, the hairgrass tends to take over, something you may or may not 
like. Just plant the hairgrass intermitently, drop the riccia on top and 
sprinkle some gravel over it. Or you can plant the hairgrass, then put your 
riccia covered rocks on top. I think this works better because the hairgrass 
alone won't keep the riccia down. As soon as you start the filter you get all 
this riccia floating around. I guess Dwight manages without a rock of some 

According to Amano, riccia is not really particular about light, temperature, 
or pH (AJ Vol. 38) However, if you want thick pillowy plumes of the stuff, I 
think you need pretty descent amount of light. It manages to survive with low 
light, infact it even grows pretty fast with moderate light, but you get more 
robust growth and pearling with around 3 watts per gallon. Of course you may 
not want a lot of growth since it inevitably means more trimming more often. 
If you want a thick mat, 3 watts per gallon will penetrate the mat better so 
that the stuff on the bottom gets some light.

Knowing when and how to prune riccia is probably the hardest part of growing 
the stuff. Usually, you'll set your tank up, and you'll get the most amazing 
carpet of the stuff about an inch thick. Then when you go to trim it you end 
up pulling out half the riccia with your scissors because the bottom, or the 
attachment point, is all rotten and you get the patchiest, ugliest eyesore 
you ever saw. I used to trim about every three or four days. If you still get 
some rotting at this rate, don't trim. Put some pebbles on top of the riccia 
and the new growth will fuse with the pebbles and weight it down.

Finally, remember, I've never actually maintained a permanent setup, so take 
any advice you glean from this post with a grain of salt. I have learned from 
all of this experience that I _cannot_ run a setup that requires the amount 
of attention required to grow riccia attached to rock. So I think I've come 
up with a low maintenace solution. Here's what I've come up with. For my last 
attempt, I want to try planting some hairgrass and letting it grow out. Then 
I want to drop some riccia between the leaves of the hairgrass and drop some 
pebbles on top so that by the time it grows out I get riccia with pebbles 
fused inside and if it started to float. I could just drop more pebbles on 
top. Very low maintenance. If you're like me and you love a good challenge 
riccia can be alot of fun. If anyone has had more success than I have, and 
I'm sure many have, please email me and let me know what you've done to 
maintain the setup.

Dan P

Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #606

by Andy Magee <magee/>
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000

> > All this talk about riccia has got me itching to try it out, does anyone know
> > of a source of the sinking variety?
> Hobbyist only.
>  How can you tell the difference between
> > the two... are they different species?
> The sinking type is much darker green. It sinks. Yes it is a supposed
> different species. Check Baensch vol for a reference. ID-ing the many
> types/species would be very difficult to do unless you are a Byrophyte
> specialist and even then...
> Stay away from it is my advice.
> Unless you like duckweed:)
> It's worst.
> Regards,
> Tom Barr
> >
> > Regards
> > Al

A Question/Answer in the December Aquarium Fish Magazine (pg 12-13)
discusses a sinking form of Riccia.  The conclusion by Claus Christensen
of Tropica, after examining a clump under the microscope was that the
two forms were the same species as he could see the two forms in the
same plant.  Karen Randall, answering the question, mentions the Baensch
Atlas and says that she thinks it's not properly identified there.

Donna Magee

Re:*Stinking Riccia

by Thomas Barr <tcbiii/>
Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2001

> There has been two or three references in the list lately from people who
> say they have dark, "sinking" riccia. I seem to remember some discussion on
> this months ago that Tropica had possibly discovered a new specie of riccia
> but had not classified it yet?

No, they reversed themselves on it according to Karen Randall. Now it seem
we are back to a mutant variation of the original. Two forms of the same
plant. The arguments for both types of ID's are founded to a certain degree.

 I had said it was a mutant a number of years ago then Claus, Karen and
Baensch vol 2 said otherwise, then I guess they decided it was back to a
mutant again. Bryophytes and Mosses are hard to ID to say the least. Aquatic
plants in general for that matter!

 I would not get to hung up on whether it's this or that species. Relax and
enjoy the plant. As far as a concept of a "species" things are not at all

> Am I remembering correctly? Now some of the
> serious collectors out here, particularly members of the SF club I know can
> somehow get their hands on all sorts of weird plants from who knows
> where...but I have a hard time believing that people are commonly finding
> this specie...can someone tell me what it is you have..what specie of
> Riccia? Riccia what, and where did you get it?  There has also been some
> argument in the past as to if regular every day riccia will adhere
> itself...(I dont care what anybody says, Riccia floats!) but assuming people
> lately are talking about some other specie of Riccia, I would be real
> interested in getting more information on what exactly you have!

Riccia, first off, does not attach.
You may reference rhizoids till your blue but it is not going to happen with
Riccia in your tank or mine. It will get entangled in hairgrass, moss etc.
I've grown it in terrariums to see if the land types might do this but have
not found this to be true in any cultivation attempts to date nor ever seen
any evidence to that extent.
The sinking, I call it stinking, form is an difficult plant to get rid of to
say the least. All my Riccia came from Albany Aquarium some 8 years ago or
something like that. It got all weird when I cranked up the lighting on it
and started sinking and turning dark.
It was first. It pearls a tiny bit but nothing like the floating
type which is much nicer in work with and see.
If your trying to get out of tying it down to get a nice pearling
rock/branch etc the sinking stuff is not very appealing. It's better than
algae in some ways(at least I can get rid of algae). Careful what you wish

As far "finding it", all you need to do is add loads of light and CO2 and
all the basic high light things on regular Riccia and you will start getting
some dark green stuff all on your own. I don't know of anyone that sells it
except Neil and I for awhile there but I stopped since it's such a weed. It
typically comes fused in with the hairgrass mats I sell off every now and
Tom Barr  

re: sinking riccia

by Lazarus Miskowski <lazmiskowski/>
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2001

Today I found the smoking gun that settled the
question once and for all, as far as I am personally
concerned regarding sinking (dark) vs. non-sinking
riccia (light).

I found a piece of riccia in my tank, half dark, half
light unquestionably connected together.  Basically it
was two fronds (for the lack of a better word) whose
base (origination) was connected.  Half dark, half
light, same specimen.

I think, clearly, based on my experience and others,
that light riccia can turn dark.  But is the reverse
true?  I don't know.  What conditions cause light
riccia to turn dark?  The person who can definitively
answer this question deserves a good pat on the

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