Flame or flame moss (Taxiphyllum sp. Flame Moss)
Taxiphyllum is a relatively small genus of mosses, about thirty species, belong to the hypnosis family. Among aquarists, ten species are popular, relatively unpretentious, living in any light and temperature range from 16 to 30 degrees. A unique feature of these mosses is vertical growth, which is both an advantage and a disadvantage of this species. Mosses grow poorly to the substrate, but they do not die when swimming for a long time in a layer of water.
One of the most prominent representatives of taxiphyllums is the flame of moss. The birthplace of this unique aquarium plant is the cool waters of Central Asia. This beautiful plant won the appreciation of aquarists for its unusual form of shoots. Moss in its structure is very dense, bright green, closer to dark in color. Like all representatives of this genus, it grows vertically upward, spiraling in the process of growth and creating an image of a green bonfire in an accumulation of shoots, logically substantiating its name - flame. Moss has a very low growth rate.
For aqua design - this is, somewhere, a nice plus - it does not require frequent haircuts, while retaining the compositional concept for a long time.
Maintenance and care
The conditions for keeping fiery moss are completely uncomplicated. For well-being, stable growth and development of the plant, soft or medium-hard water with an acidity of 5.5 to 7.5 pH is preferred. It is water hardness that affects the twist of fiery shoots. The plant will be grateful for periodic doses of carbon dioxide added to water, but it can exist normally without it.
Optimal - comfortable water temperature for the content of fire taxiphyllum is 16-20 degrees, but when the temperature rises in the hot season to 28 degrees, it still exists normally. Moss does not require additional top dressing, perhaps the only requirement of this unpretentious plant is clean, preferably “moving” water. Increased siltiness, or even an insignificant suspension in water, can kill a plant; therefore, filtering is necessary.
A new plant will take root in the aquarium without any problems, if you know some features of the content. To plant a flame of moss is necessary in the "old" water. Since the plant does not take root, it is attached to a net or fishing line on driftwood, stones, creating a composition and at the same time remembering that in fresh water the moss can be sick for a long time, or even die.
Use in Aqua Design
Moss flame is mainly used to design the middle and background of the aquarium. The plant reaches a height of 15 cm, therefore, vertical design is mainly used in aqua design. The plant attaches to the substrate with fishing line and when leaving often maintain the shape of the cypress. Such a decision is recommendatory in nature, there can be a great many options for design imagination. When creating a composition, the plant can be easily moved around the aquarium, creating new images.
Sometimes aquacomposition requires horizontal growth of the plant - short in height, but wide in area. In this case, it is better to mount the moss on a grid. Gradually, the moss grows and hides the net.
Caring for a flame with moss involves cutting, as in the process of growth and aging of the plant, dead brown shoots appear that do not add to the beauty of the composition. For effective cleaning of moss branches, shrimps are indispensable, which literally “lick” the plant, without leaving a hint of dirt. Therefore, such important aquatic sanitaries are often included in the composition.
Each aquarium is equipped with a backlight, for a flame of moss, bright light is important, in the range of 0.25 - 0.5W / liter. And the farther the plant is from the light source, the brighter the source should be. But when compiling the composition, different plants can be involved and they are not always photophilous. Therefore, the fiery moss is often highlighted by the name, which adds to its beauty and mysterious mystery.