Riccia Aquarium Plant: Care, Propagation, Benefits in Aquarium

All aquarists know what Riccia Aquarium Plant. In common people, this plant is called “water moss”. When properly cared for, the plant forms bright green islands floating above the water.

riccia aquarium plant

Riccia Aquarium Plant Description and Varieties

In Latin, its name sounds like riccia fluitans. Riccia is a type of liver moss.

Its structure has a number of features:

  1. The root system and leaves are missing.
  2. It consists entirely of thin branching stems and plates.
  3. Cuticles involved in gas exchange are located on the plates. Riccia is floating, as one of the elements of the aquarium flora.

The plant grows quickly in comfortable conditions and is capable of forming a carpet 2-3 cm thick in a short time. It is useful for fish that love darkness, since, when floating above the water, it does not allow daylight to enter the aquarium.

With proper care, bryophyte takes on a bright green color. The plant acquires dark green shades if spores have formed on it – they are necessary for reproduction.

Dark, brownish-red shades of the thallus indicate plant disease or the presence of harmful chemical compounds in the aquarium. Riccia is widespread in the wild.

All types of this moss, including wild and aquarium ones, are divided into 2 categories:

  1. Floating Riccia.
  2. Riccia Amano – Drowning

In the cells of the first type, there is a lot of oxygen, due to this, the plant stays above the water and does not sink, it is distinguished by a light green hue. Sinking Riccia has a darker color, thick and long stems, and is located underwater.

Riccia Aquarium Plant Benefits in Aquarium

Riccia Aquarium Plant tends to grow quickly and pollute the aquarium, which is why many aquarists try to avoid it.

But Riccia also has beneficial properties:

  1. Plays an aesthetic role – beautiful aquarium decorations are obtained from it.
  2. It releases various organic compounds, takes part in the formation of the aquarium environment, releasing oxygen.
  3. Fish and shrimp found in the aquarium use water moss as food. At the same time, Riccia is the most favorable plant for the latter – it is convenient for adults and cubs to move around it.
  4. The loose parts of the Riccia serve as organic fertilizer for the other plants in the aquarium.
  5. Small fish species use moss as a hiding place during the spawning season.
  6. Molluscs and young fish offspring use Riccia as a dwelling place. An overgrown plant for small fish species is a good defense.
  7. The plant serves as a natural shade for the aquarium. This is important for keeping fish that like shade.

How to plant Riccia Aquarium Plant in aquarium?

Riccia Aquarium Plant can be used to create original aquarium landscapes. To do this, you can use the simple techniques described below.


In order to create a Richiya rug, you need a plastic mesh. A hairnet or one that sells some fruits and vegetables will work. It must be filled with moss and secured with a strong fishing line to the heavier decoration of the aquarium. Riccia will grow and hide the net. The result is a moss rug.

It is important not to forget to take care of this carpet, as Riccia tends to grow uncontrollably. The stems can come off and contaminate the aquarium.


How Riccia is located on the stone.

By the same principle, you can ennoble the aquarium driftwood, stones, or create an original decoration using coconut. Before starting work, you should treat the object to which the plant will grow with a saline solution.

The moss must be placed on the object and secured with a mesh. As it grows, the plant will hide the mesh and create a bright green finish in the aquarium interior.


This design can be created by fastening already grown moss bundles with a thread or fishing line.


To create such a decoration, you need to pick up a strong fishing line, lower it with one end into the aquarium and secure it with a load. Bring the other end to the surface of the aquarium and fix it too. It is necessary to tie bunches of riccia to the fishing line. Growing up, the moss will gradually hide the support and form a beautiful decor.

Riccia Aquarium Plant Maintenance and care

Riccia is an unpretentious aquarium plant, so even an inexperienced aquarist can keep it.

riccia aquarium plant maintenance and care


Riccia needs a lot of light. The light source should be placed on top at a distance of at least 10-15 cm from the plant. The use of incandescent bulbs is not recommended as this can cause localized overheating.

The lack of normal lighting can cause the layers of moss to rot, and for this reason, stems and twigs can disintegrate, and new islands cannot form.


Riccia in the aquarium.

For Riccia, an aquarium with a volume of at least 10 liters is suitable. Moss is unpretentious to the water in which it is located. But the most comfortable temperature for him is + 22 … + 26 ºС, lower temperatures can negatively affect his growth.

It is also recommended to use water with the following parameters: soft water with an indicator of 5-8 dH and an acidity level of no more than 5 pH.

Avoid contamination of the water and change it every few weeks, the recommended rate of water changes is 20% of the volume of the aquarium. If these guidelines are not followed, a white coating may form on the Riccia, which will impede the release of oxygen.


Riccia gets all the minerals necessary for its vital functions from freshwater. If fish live in the aquarium, then it will absorb the remnants of their food and products of activity, thus obtaining organic matter.

Additional enrichment with carbon dioxide is not required for the plant. Rooted mosses are an exception. For their comfortable existence, additional carbon dioxide supplements should be used. The recommended carbon dioxide content in the aquarium is 15-30 mg / l.

Riccia Aquarium Plant Care

Instructions on how to get the fish out of the aquarium correctly before weeding the Riccia.

The property of Riccia to multiply quickly and uncontrollably can harm the inhabitants of the aquarium. Excess stems break off and pollute the water. An overgrown moss carpet prevents oxygen and light from entering the aquarium. To avoid this, it is necessary to weed the Riccia, removing even the smallest fallen stems.

In addition, it is recommended to systematically cleanse the moss thallus from debris: to do this, you need to get a bump and rinse it under running water.

Riccia Aquarium Plant compaitable Fishes and plants

Before you start planting, you need to think about where and next to which plants the Riccia will look harmonious. Moss is best suited for decorating grottoes, stones, creating caves.

Plants with which liver moss can be combined:

  1. Hybrid echinodorus planted on a riccia carpet will look spectacular.
  2. Tufts of Hemianthus micrantemoides grass and stones overgrown with Riccia will be a beautiful display.
  3. You can plant a lawn consisting of floating riccia, glossostigmia povoinichkovy and dwarf eleocharis.
  4. Excellent compositions are obtained by using Riccia next to other types of moss or fern.
  5. The proximity of Riccia and Duckweed should be avoided, as both plants create shade and suppress each other.

When choosing plants that will be in the aquarium with liver moss, you should take into account the conditions in which it is recommended to keep both of them – they must match. The appearance of Riccia allows it to be combined with most aquarium plants.

Riccia Aquarium Plant propagation

In order for Riccia to start breeding in an aquarium, you just need to put a twig that has no signs of wilting or breakage in water at a temperature of at least 20 ° C. The plant will take about 2-3 weeks to form bright green bumps. If it is necessary to place the riccia at the bottom, then a piece of thallus can be fixed on the stone with a net. As the moss grows, the mesh can be removed.

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