When building and decorating an aquarium, plants add an amazing aesthetic and it helps bring the whole project together. They add color, provide protection and hiding places for the fish, and even help keep the water parameters in the tank stable. Out of the many options available, one of the most interesting types of aquatic plants is aquarium moss.
There is a great number of types and species of moss that add such a beautiful and distinctive view to each tank. Before deciding which moss to add to your tank, it is important to know if it is the best fit. One of these beautiful aquatic moss is called Peacock Moss. Its scientific name is Taxiphyllum sp “peacock,” and it will make a great addition to your tank.
Peacock Moss Care
Caring for the taxiphyllum sp. peacock moss is not difficult and can be easy enough for a beginner to handle. It thrives in cold water with temperatures between 65°F and 77°F. In higher temperatures, the peacock moss will begin to die, and it will wilt and lose its peacock-shaped fronds. It does well in both hard and soft water, though it needs water with pH levels between 5.0 and 7.5.
Peacock moss does well in all lighting, but the more aquarium light it receives, the faster it will grow. The intense lighting also causes the moss to grow more compact and defined triangular-shaped fronds. Adding CO2 to the tank will also assist the moss is growing at a higher speed though it is unnecessary.
Peacock moss is very attractive and is becoming more and more favored among aquarists. It is very compact and dense and can be planted all throughout the tank. In a submerged setting, peacock moss can be attached to the substrate to create a moss carpet though it is important to give it room since it grows pretty fast and takes up space. Peacock moss also attaches nicely to pieces of driftwood as well as rocks.
It also looks beautiful in the background, and many aquarists attach it to mats to create a moss wall. Possibly the easy placement, peacock moss is also great for simply floating at the top of the tank in loose form. Apart from adding a beautiful view, adding peacock moss to your tank is beneficial.
Peacock moss provides great hiding places and homes for the fish and critters in the tank. Fish tend to enjoy peacock moss, and it is also a perfect space for the fish and shrimp to lay their eggs. Peacock moss also filters your water by absorbing CO2 and releasing oxygen into the tank.
Propagating peacock moss is very simple. Separate the peacock moss and clip off at the stem or fronds. You can then plant the smaller pieces into the substrate or tie them to pieces of driftwood or rocks using a piece of thread. They will accommodate themselves and attach themselves over time. As mentioned above, peacock moss is beautiful for moss walls and carpets. To create either of the two, be sure to acquire a mesh or mat.
Many aquarists use stainless steel mats and plastic or metal mesh sheets. Once you have cut your peacock moss into smaller pieces, simply tie the pieces down to the wall or carpet mesh using a piece of string. Many aquarists use fishline though it tends to hurt your fingers while using it. Others recommend using yarn since it is much more fragile on the skin.
Once the peacock moss is tied to the mesh, it is ready to be either weighed down on the bottom of the tank with rocks or hung up on the back of the tank. Many aquarists also use peacock moss to make amazing tree moss structures. The moss clings to the tree and travels along the branches, creating a beautiful centerpiece for any tank.
Peacock Moss vs. Java Moss
In the aquarist world, Java Moss is one of the most known types of mosses. It is also a part of the hypnacae family, and these two mosses can often be mistaken for each other. In appearance, both Peacock Moss and Java Moss look quite similar. When grown out, they are both dense and have a stringy look to their branches and are both considered great to fill up space.
Peacock moss is more of a soft-looking moss compared to java moss, but both have a feathery look to them. With tank and water requirements, java moss can survive in more variety of conditions which makes it incredibly easy to care for. For beginners, java moss is recommended because it is almost impossible for anyone to kill this moss due to it being so hardy. Peacock and java moss create amazing living and hiding spaces for the critters in the tank, as well as perfect nests for their eggs.
Though it isn’t very popular, peacock moss is such a unique-looking type of moss. Its beautiful color and soft texture brighten up any tank and provides happiness and wellness for the critters that live in the water. It adds almost an artistic aesthetic to the aquarium and is worth giving a shot!
Two Different Peacock Moss: Taxiphyllum sp. ‘Peacock’ and Selaginella Uncinata
Peacock moss is a type of species from the Taxiphyllum genus, though very often, it can be mistaken for the Selaginella Uncinata. The reason for that is that both plants have the same nickname, though they have many differences. For clarification, this article describes Taxiphyllum sp. ‘Peacock,’ not selaginella uncinata.
Physically, it is quite simple to distinguish between these two peacock mosses. The color of the taxiphyllum sp. is more of an emerald green color, whereas the selaginella uncinata has apparent hues of blue mixed with green on its foliage.
The taxiphyllum sp. grows in a bush and has a soft, velvety appearance and texture. Its leaves look delicate and flow smoothly in the water, and the fronds of this moss resemble tiny pine trees. The selaginella uncinata has a harsh and more prominent look to its foliage. The leaves branch out from a central stem and have fine details and edges, almost as if they were each cut perfectly to their shape.
Each of these plants is from a different family. The taxiphyllum sp. is from the hypnacae family, while the selaginella uncinata is from the selaginellaceae family. The taxiphyllum sp. and the selaginella uncinata are both a type of moss, but the selaginella uncinata has more fern-like foliage. The taxiphyllum originates from Asia, and the selaginella uncinata though they are from different regions of Asia.
Each plant got its “peacock moss” nickname for different reasons. When grown out, the taxiphyllum sp. resembles a peacock due to the placement of the branches. Each branch meets at a focal point and fan outwards, creating the same shape as a peacock’s feathers. As for selaginella uncinata, this plant has an outstanding iridescent blue and green color on its foliage that resembles the beautiful color of a peacock.
Both of these plants have somewhat of a similar behavior. The taxiphyllum sp. is a creeping moss, spreading quickly in its environment while attaching to anything in its path. The selaginella uncinata is a trailing plant because it will also spread quickly in its environment. As mentioned above, the taxiphyllum sp. tends to grow in all directions while the selaginella uncinata only grows horizontally and stays low, making it a great plant to add to a terrarium, garden, or nursery.
The selaginella uncinata enjoys water, though it cannot survive if submerged entirely and is advised not to add to an aquarium. On the other hand, taxiphyllum sp. does excellent underwater and above water and would be a better option for any freshwater aquarium.