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RE: Riccia

Susan Romano was wondering about Riccia and getting it to grow tied down to
the substrate. I really like her idea of "sewing" it onto plastic
needlepoint canvas. It should be a widely  available material (any craft
store) and as far as I know is made in at least two different mesh sizes.
I've found numerous applications for it in this hobby, but I do tend to get
some strange looks when I go into a needlepoint store to buy it (maybe it's
my beard).

Alysoun McLaughlin commented about how the presence of certain fish can make
growing Riccia difficult in some tanks. I can certainly second that. I have
Riccia in several tanks, where it does extremely well. In one, after initial
introduction the "clump" broke apart and the bits and pieces of the thalus
got caught in among the lower stems and leaves of a stand of Hygro.
polysperma. This seemed to stabilize the riccia pieces and they started to
grow. It looks pretty neat, sort of like a low laying green cloud or mist.
Next thing you know, I'll be eating sushi <grin>.

In another tank, I took a small floating ball of Riccia and held it down to
the substrate and just "sprinkled" it with a handful of aquarium gravel. The
gravel particles got caught withing the thalus strands and holds it down.
Within a few weeks, this clump looked great, growing very well. It may be
due to the difference in light level at substrate level as opposed to
surface level, but the Riccia is displaying a marked difference in color
(much darker green, with only the very tips of the growing ball being light

A third tank just doesn't seem conducive to Riccia. This tank uses a soil
substrate and in
conversations with Steve Pushak I had commented that perhaps the soil
substrate was releasing something into the water which was inhibiting it's
growth. But in watching this tank closely following numerous introduction of
clumps of Riccia, I think that the real culprit is the pair of Dwarf
Gouramis which are in the tank. The male just seems to love incorporating
pieces of Riccia into his bubble nests. The floating clumps of Riccia don't
stand a chance in this instance - he tears them apart faster than they can

James Purchase
Toronto, Ontario