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mosses and roots

Daphne asked : "Do mosses, Christmas moss in particular, primarily take up
nutrients through the roots or through the fronds or both?  I am curious if
it would grow better attached to something like Flourite where it could
extract iron?  I find the Christmas moss (as well as the Cladophora) thrives
with iron additions."

Mosses do not have true roots, but more primitive structures called
rhizoids. I quote "Rhizoids = fine, thread like appendages that attach
mosses and liverworts to soil, rocks etc and act in a manner analogous to
the roots of higher plants". In terrestrial mosses they are important in
taking up minerals from the substrate. In the aquarium they would still be
used to take up minerals, but the leaves would also take up fertiliser
directly. Therefore theoretically when attached to fluorite the mosses would
benefit from both the trace elements in the water coloumn and the
substrate...but there is a limit to the uptake and the need, ie if trace
element requirement is satisfied by the traces in solution then they will
get no added benefit from being attached to fluorite. Still... Christmas
moss would make a nice ground cover. I'm doing the same with Java Moss which
needs less light and grows faster.

On the subject of mosses (my favorite), has anyone else noted how important
the dark period is for maximum growth? I find 14 hours non stop dark ideal
for both Christmass and Java.


(valerandi at yahoo_com)

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