Aquascaping Staples

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Where do you start if you’re looking to get into a planted layout? Jordan Stirratt offers a handful of suggestions that can make any aquascape come alive.

Riccardia chamedryfolia 

Here is one of my favourite ‘moss like’ plants to use, and although it’s often labelled as moss it is in fact a type of liverwort. Also referred to as Jagged Germanderwort, Mini Pellia or Coral Moss, this plant is a staple in the home aquarium. But, while slow growing, it will form large bulbous clumps if not maintained.
Riccardia chamedryfolia is polymorphic, meaning that it will assume different forms dependent on its environment. If grown in lower lighting and with an absence of CO2, the plant will appear less compact, forming a loose structure featuring a lighter colour. When grown in high light and supplementary CO2 this plant will grow extremely compact and lush. 

A possible benefit over other commonly found mosses in the aquarium hobby is that Riccardia doesn’t usually to spread in the same manner due to its tendency to develop into a larger singular clump. 

  • Type: Liverwort (often referred to as a moss)
  • Origin: Asia
  • Growth rate and 
  • characteristic: Slow growing. Compact, firm and coral-like
  • Light requirements: High
  • CO2: Recommended
  • Colour: Deep green

 Where to use: Attach to rocks and wood. Used in a wide variety of aquascaping styles.


Nymphaea lotus 

Nymphaea lotus is a true aquatic plant that’s a herbaceous perennial in nature, meaning that it will grow and bloom over the warmer months, die back during winter, and then return in the spring. In the home aquarium it’s possible that this pattern of growth and dormancy may not occur if temperatures are continually stable. 

Similar to other water lilies in this genus, this plant forms stoloniferous tubers from which the roots and leaves develop. In my experience it’s best to trim the leaves before they hit the water’s surface as if one leaf reaches the surface the others will generally start to grow faster in the hope of doing the same. If you are looking for a perfect focal plant then this striking lotus might just be the plant for you!

Read the rest of the feature in the April issue, available to read instantly on our digital edition HERE  or purchase the print edition HERE
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