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RE: Andrew's moss

Andrew wants some help identifying an aquatic moss. My response to Jason's
Salvinia post was not designed to set myself up as a "plant expert". Rather
it was more due to the fact that he expressed so much excitement over his
"discovery". Years ago, while at university, I almost lost all interest in
botany due to a series of incredibly boring lecturers who made botany seem
like the driest subject imaginable. If Jason, and others, can maintain their
enthusiasm for the subject it is something to be encouraged.

My reference to Leptodictyum roparium comes from the little T.F.H. volume
"Windelov's Tropica Catalogue - Aquarium Plants, A Complete Introduction".
On pg. 120 this plant is illustrated and described as "similar to Fontinalis
antipyretica but more durable and tolerates warmer water". I am familiar
with Fontinalis due to the fact that I was able to collect it from brooks
and streams in Nova Scotia when I was a teenager. I had great success with
it in cold water aquariums but it did not, in my experience, like water over
20 C, turning brown and dying back when the temperature went past that

Since Andrew lives in central Georgia, the climate there is much more
temperate than the one I grew up in. I'm sure that other species of mosses
might be found in his local streams than those which I would be familiar
with as a Canadian. Perhaps referring to a guidebook for local flora and
fauna might give you some more help in identifying which species of plants
that grow locally. The Peterson Field Guide Series might have a volume which
would be suitable.

I'm sure that those people fortunate enough to live in areas where the icy
grip of winter doesn't hold the landscape hostage for six months of the year
(or longer) might find many species of plants which could prove suitable for
use in aquariums. Caution is advised in collecting wild plants however -
make sure that you aren't destoying habitat and that collecting is legal in
your area.

James Purchase