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Thread: Willow Moss in its natural biotop

  1. #1

    Willow Moss in its natural biotop

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    Hi,
    some of you seem to be interested in aquatic mosses. During a small trip by bicycle yesterday, I came to the ďMarliner BachĒ, a small brook in my region which leads into the Tollense river. There are almost no real aquatic plants in this small brook but then I found some rapids (man-made but it doesnít matter). On the big rocks of the rapids I found an interesting looking moss. Itís Fontinalis antipyretica, you know it as Willow Moss. It is a native moss in my region but it is rare because it grows only on rocks/stones in smaller shady brooks. But in my region there not so many small brooks and there are almost no natural bigger stones in them, just fine sand. I heard that it should grow in lakes and ponds too but I never saw it in any lake in my region.
    There are big bulks of this moss in the man-made rapids of the Marliner Bach. Oh, any moss-freak would drive crazy. I saw a stone with so much moss on it that looked like a perfect green ball of moss. It has approximately the size of a basket ball. Damn, it was too far away to take a good picture of it or to collect it. Here are some of the pictures of the moss in its natural habitat:

    [img][650:490]http://people.freenet.de/r.gall/QuellmoosHabitat01.jpg[/img]

    [img][650:490]http://people.freenet.de/r.gall/QuellmoosHabitat02.jpg[/img]

    This is an other habitat about 100 meters upstream of the rapids:

    [img][650:490]http://people.freenet.de/r.gall/QuellmoosHabitat03.jpg[/img]

    The stones were smaller and there were much less moss. Donít ask me what this bright green plant is. I donít know it because I wasnít able to collect it. I didnít wanted to go into the water because itís cold (about 14-17įC I guess) and about one till two feet deep. The current is strong but no as strong as it is in the rapids.

    This picture shows a close-up view of the moss:



    Itís stiff and much bigger than Java moss. I guess itís Fontinalis antipyretica var. gigantea. Most of the moss was black and only the ends were green. It was really huge and there were relatively few algae.

    Last time I visited this brook was in July and there was almost no moss on the rooks/stones, just lots of algae. I collected some of the moss from an other position upstream. But it started to rot, I guess my desinfection-solution (mix of malachite green and formalin) was too strong. This time I collect again some of it (only the green parts) and I was more careful. Itís still green, doesnít smell yet and most of the worms and other invertebrates died. Hopefully it survives. There are thousands of small organisms like Gammarus spp. etc in the moss (you can see it on my last picture) but I just want to have the moss without any other living being. Some of these little creatures can be really harmful for small fishes or invertebrates, so a desinfection is useful.

    I guess some of you also want to have this moss. I heard that you canít buy real willow Moss in Singapore. But there are two big problems: at first, it needs cool water. In its natural habitat the water never becomes warmer than 22 or 23įC (itís a shady little brook with a very strong current). So you must have a tank with cool water. 24-25įC shoud be the maximum temperature (this is what I read in the web). The other problem is the transport. Two of my Singaporean friends are pilots of Singapore Airline and we traded several times certain fishes etc., so to ask them to help us with the shipping is not a problem but they come only every once in a while to Frankfurt and I still havenít asked them yet when their next flight to Western Europe or Frankfurt will be. The third problem is my National Service, which starts in less than two weeks. I wonít have the time to organise the shipping (or itís a great effort for me because Iíll need the help of several family members). So, sorry guys, at the moment I canít send you any of it, although I would do it if you are interested in. Iíll will ask my friends when they will come again to Frankfurt but the chance is very small that they will come this or next week.

    Best regards

    Robert[/img]

  2. #2
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    Those were very good pictures you posted, Robert. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    The Willow Moss looks like the same one I got from Tony who lives in the United Kingdom. They never grew well in my tank until I had the chiller. Professor Benito told us once the Fontinalis antipyretica has many varieties and some grow to several metres in length.

    Actually, shipping moss isn't a big problem. Mosses are good travellers and can stay alive in an envelope for several weeks. I don't need any Willow Moss as I already have them. But if you're a moss enthusiast, I can send you some Taiwan and Weeping Moss. If you like to have them, let me have your address through private message.

    Loh K L

  3. #3
    Hi Loh K L,
    thanks for you offer! But at the moment I'm not interested in it (because of my NS). I know that the shipping itself is not the problem but the price is it. A small envelope with less than 200grams costs me about 56Ä (~110SGD) if I sent it with DHL Express. This is really a lot of money for such a small amount. If one of my friends take it with him, it costs less than 10Ä and I can send you about a kilogram of it.

    regards

    Robert

  4. #4
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    Hi Robert,
    I saw some similar one when I visited Austria. It "roots" on to a rock which is quite near to the river bank so I am able to took some photos of it. The river current is strong and is very cool.



    I managed to pull out a few strands and passed some of it to Timebomb. The rest of it was however, turned brown after a few day.

    Regards,
    Ong Poh San

  5. #5
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    Hello Robert,

    The Willow Moss that you found is black with green ends because in its natural habitat it grows seasonal. When in an aquarium environment with constant temperatures and lighting it is summer all year round for the lucky moss. The black portion is the growth from previous years.

    Willow Moss also grows abundantly here in Scotland. I sent a couple of parcels over to Singapore earlier this year and by all accounts it survived the journey looking a lot less stressed than I do after a flight!.

    Regards,

    Andy

  6. #6
    Thanks for your replies!
    I'll try to keep it in my shrimp tank, which has only a temperature of 20-23įC most of the year. It should be grow well, I'll see what happens. Here is a pciture which shows the size of this moss:



    On the left side you can see Java moss and on the right side is the Willow moss which I collected. Hoepfully it won't lose it's size in my tank.

    regards

    Robert

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