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How the moss got its name
"The moss that I have sent out to the hobbyists on this list is, to all
similar to the moss that appears in Amano's Nature Aquarium Book 2 pages
20 and 21. In those pictures, the moss is listed as unknown. Obviously,
didn't know the name either but that didn't stop him from growing the plant
But something stopped him from making up a name for it.......
Regardless of Amano's possible lack of knowledge of the specifics of the
plant at the time Book #2 of the NAW series went into production, he
obviously did his homework because in Aquarium Plant Paradise the mosses he
uses are identified either as Vesicularia dubyana, Java Moss or Fontinalis
antipyretica, "Water Moss" (APP, pg 62-63). I'm sure a close search of his
various books and magazines would show a similar growth in his knowledge
over time - its a common happening with people who have an inquiring mind.
Regardless of the common name used for the moss, it does appear to be
visually different from V. dubyana and it is very attractive in the photos.
I hope that I will be able to get it growing in my tanks. I appreciate your
comments regarding cultivation - everything I have been able to find online
regarding F. antipyretica comes from botanical literature, and they
generally seem to note that it is basically a northern species, although it
appears to grow naturally on several different continents in the Northern
Hemisphere. Perhaps there are a number of local vaiants of the plant, each
with different temperature tolerances and growth patterns. I know that the
F. antipyretica I could find growing in cold mountain streams in northen
Nova Scotia certainly didn't like being placed in an aquarium with a
"tropical" temperature, but it grew nicely in an unheated goldfish tank.
B.T.W., I had that moss identified by my Botany professor when I was at
University in Halifax (over 20 years ago). He never mentioned the fact that
the plant had such a wide natural distribution (not that it was important at
I also note that unless my memory is failing me (and that is entirely
possible), the F. antipyretica I collected in northern Nova Scotia did not
have the same growth pattern as the moss Amano identifies as the same
species. Perhaps that could be due to his skill either as an aquatic
gardener or as a photographer - he is certainly a master of both crafts. It
could also be that the moss is capable of developing a number of different
growth patterns, depending upon growing conditions.