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Re: Java moss id?

Dave Gomberg wrote:
> One of my dwarf cichlid tanks has in addition to some juvenile Ech. sp.
> some green stuff I originally thought was a form of hair algae.  But
> looking at its growth habit I believe it may be the revered Java Moss.  

Someone reveres that ugly stuff?? ;-) We killifolk use it because we
have to!
Nothing else will grow in the dark tanks they often need.

> It
> sticks together pretty well in clumps and clings only to itself and an
> occasional piece of gravel, not to plants.  Is that Java Moss?  Or
> something that should be purged?  It sure seems good at spreading.  BTW,
> SAEs will eat it.

SAEs won't eat Java moss, AFAIK, and Java moss is unlikely in most Dwarf
Cichlid tanks, for it hates heat. I does fine in most any water and even
low light as long as it is between about 68F and 76F. Above about 80-82F
it just dissolves. I even have it growing lushly in 50% sea water for my

If the irregular, two-sided branches are typically 1/2 to an inch or so
long, and about 1/16" wide, with frilly edges (very thin central stem
with opposed, fern-like side leaves), and the space between branches off
the central stem varies from 1/8" to 1/2", it is probably Vesicularia
dubyana. [See the excellent picture at the bottom of p104 of Rataj and
Horeman, for example.]

It sounds like you have attractive algae, and not a moss. Is there some
reason algae can't be attractive?* [I know! Heresy in this crowd! Flame
shield up!]


* I once had a 2.5'-long log, solidly covered with red/black algae. It
was actually a deep purple and looked like rich, thick velvet. Gorgeous,
if you aren't too hyper about such things. 

Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntley at ix_netcom.com
                   "Superstition brings bad luck."