Java moss (Vesicularia dubyana)

Java moss provides an excellent shelter for fingerlings. In addition, this foam adapts very well to any type of fish tank and does not require major maintenance; it is preserved in fresh water and does not need special lighting, to such an extent that the natural light in the room is sufficient.

Origin of Java moss

Java moss is an aquatic plant belonging to the Hypnaceae family and has its origin in Southeast Asia, regions such as the island of Java from which it derives its name, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and islands of the well-known eastern archipelago. It abounds in tropical climates and humid places. It can be seen equally on rocks, rivers, and trees.


The Vesicularia dubyana is a delicate plant that has very small stems, irregularly shaped and branched, has small oval leaves superimposed others, these reach a smaller size when grown under water. It adheres to the surface through its rhizoids, uses stems and leaves to acquire nutrients.

Regarding its scientific name we can say that although it is known as Vesicularia dubyana, it was recently reclassified as Taxiphyllum barbieri, however, debate persists among specialists about its definitive name.

It uses rhizoids only to adhere to surfaces, since it acquires the nutrients using its stems and leaves. Another characteristic of Java moss is that it can develop in different light conditions, however, low light is conducive to giving the moss a darker appearance, while high light gives way to a denser plant and compact, but its excess makes it prone to developing algae that can be harmful to moss.

Maintenance and cleaning

The maintenance method can be done in several ways, however, you can let the moss develop wildly, cutting it only when you think it is necessary or establishing its cut on a regular basis; for this, it is enough to use scissors to control its growth.

You can choose to let it grow quickly, just by placing it in the chosen place, without doing anything special, just cutting it when required. A curiosity of this plant is that when cut it does not float as it happens with other types of plants, but on the contrary it sinks in the pond.

As you can see, the maintenance and cleaning of Java moss does not take much of your time. It is an invasive moss that means that you only need to remove the excess from your aquarium. In the same way and to clean it, simply place it under any type of cold water spout and then squeeze it as if it were a common sponge. Although it is true that this moss does not require much maintenance, it is recommended that you clean it regularly because due to its characteristics it has a great capacity to attract and retain all residues.

Excess moss can clog the filter of your aquarium and even expand throughout the space if you do not prune it regularly, if you allow the moss to grow too much, it can prevent the free passage of water to the other sections of the aquarium, which will It turns brown and the plant detaches from the object to which it is attached.

An additional problem is the presence of algae in the pond because these are prone to develop in precarious conditions and intense light, when this happens, the algae become difficult to eliminate, which could lead you, in extreme cases, to have to remove the moss and start the growing process again, which can be a waste of time and money.

To avoid the appearance of algae it is necessary to maintain the balance of three very important factors : light, carbon and nutrients for the plants, otherwise, this coupled with poor water conditions would stimulate the development and growth of algae. However, the presence of a small portion of algae in the aquarium can be beneficial to the aquatic ecosystem in general.

Its cultivation

For the cultivation of Java moss it is recommended to use fresh and acidic water at a temperature below 30 ° C. At colder temperatures such as 24 ° you can achieve a cleaner development and a moss with a healthier and more vigorous face. That is why care must be taken in the summer season, especially during intense heat. When the moss appears yellowish, it is a sign that the heat is negatively affecting it.

When it is placed inside the aquarium, it can take time for the moss to adapt to the conditions of the container, if that happens, do not worry if the plant does not show signs of recovery and growth. It is common for this to happen, it is only a natural process during which the moss adapts to the climatic conditions of the aquarium, and it may take a month or a little more for this to happen. There are those who recommend the use of CO2 to accelerate their growth, but this is not necessary because they grow naturally without the need for it.

The Vesicularia dubyana easily thrives in various types of surface comfortably adheres to wood, the stones of your pond and even decorations that sell specialized commercial houses. Similarly, you can grow them in the back of the aquarium and thus recreate a stunning full ocean appearance of plants. This moss helps to decontaminate the water, which reduces the need to change the water and prevents odors in the aquarium.


This moss is highly appreciated by aquarium hobbyists for a number of reasons. Some use java moss to improve the interior of aquariums, which sometimes do not look good. This is achieved by covering the sides of the pond (walls or floor), even up to the filter installations to make it look more natural and pleasant. This moss can be found in most natural surfaces, streams or rivers, or simply in specialized stores.

Java moss is also very popular among lovers of aquascaping, which is a hobby where a kind of underwater garden is created in the aquarium or other type of pond, with aquatic species and other useful implements for this purpose, it can contain or no fish. With the arrangement of the moss next to stones and aquatic implements a beautiful marine environment is recreated. Likewise, java moss is used in ponds dedicated to the breeding of other species, since it protects the eggs and offers nutrients to the small fish.

The moss can attach its rhizoids to any arranged object for the best aquarium decoration and thus present a bonsai-like effect or adhere to the pond floor to create the feel of grass.

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