Re: Riccia /Moonlight Gouramis

>From: "Heath, Derek" <HeathDA at agresearch_cri.nz>
>Date: Fri, 14 Jun 1996 09:34 +1200 (NZST)
>Subject: FWD:  re: Riccia
>>From: Michael Eckardt <mike at argosys_odg.com>
>>There are (at least) two Riccia species: R. fluitans and R. rhenana (see
>>Baensch Atlas #3.
>>The most common is R. fluitans, which is a floating plant and doesn't do
>>well submers for an extended period of time without a lot of  maintenance.
>>Theother species looks exactly the same, except it sinks and has adapted to
>>submers living conditions. I, as well as others on this list, suspect that
>>Amano uses this species in his tanks.
>Although the  Aqua Journal (published  by  Amano) is printed in Japanese it 
>does list the Latin names of the plants shown in the photographs. Based on 
>this source Amano uses R. fluitans for growing submersed.

I think you are both correct!

>From: PacNeil at aol_com
>Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1996 20:10:12 -0400
>Subject: What's this plant & Riccia fluitans

> Windelov's book says;
>"..... The forms growing in bright light or the partly emersed forms have a
>wider thallus and are brighter green in color; sometimes they are mistaken
>for other species. ..... Some parts of the thallus often sink to the bottom
>of the tank and form very decorative ball-shaped tufts. ......." 

>Did I
>misunderstand something here, or is there both a floating and submersed form
>of Riccia fluitans? I have anchored several tufts to my substrate in a 10
>gallon, I'm setting up as a NWA style aquarium. I have noticed that the color
>has changed slightly getting brighter and the new thalli have widened in the
>older tufts.

I brought back a small clump of submerged Riccia from Amano. I wanted to see
if it would behave differently than the Riccia I had at home. In the clump
were the two different plants mentioned above. It stayed submerged longer
than mine, but eventually started to rise up (especially when it became full
of O2 bubbles.) Amano suggests that to keep the Riccia down, you should grow
it together with hair grass (Eleocharis) or Bladderwort (Utricularia) to
form a frame or web within which I can more easily stay down.  Baensch V3
mentions that Riccia rhenana is occassionally found with R. fluitans. I
suspect that Amano's Riccia contains both species, may be predominantly

Due to neglect, my tank with this Riccia and other fine leaved plants became
infested with some stringy green hair algae. I have lost most of it and
can't comment definitively about the structure or color at this time. I made
the mistake of trying an adult pair of Moonlight Gouramis to see if they
would eliminate the green algae. These fishes were mentioned a while back as
a way to eliminate green hair algae. (I have been looking for Moonlights for
months, finally found some and I actually let the algae get a little out of
control for the test <g>) At first, I watched the fish pull the algae off
different plants, but then I noticed them also tearing at the plants as well
and eventually destroyed almost all the plants from this tank. They were
building a floating nest!! Except for the crypts, almost every stem plant
and all the Riccia went into this literal island. For the next 2 months, the
fishes took priority over the plants because I was expecting them to breed.
When fishes and I both lost interest in the tightly bound mass, the fishes
went to the aquarium shop. I removed most of the remaining mess, but
fortunately a few sprigs of Riccia were still on the bottom. After reading
this thread, I am going to try to nurse them back to health.

An interesting historicalfoot note about Riccia:
In the second edition of the Innes book Exotic Aquarium Fishes, published in
1935), he says "beautiful effects can be obtained by deeply anchoring small
bunches, where they will not be disturbed and where good light penetrates.
Under these conditions, it develops into gorgeous green masses, even up to 6
inches across."  Somehow, this novell idea did not catch on until it was
re-presented in the exciting book by Mr. Amano. 


As per Dr. Randall's teachings, this material is not to be used without
proper citation and my permission :-)

Neil Frank, TAG editor    Aquatic Gardeners Association    Raleigh, NC USA