Have we been wrong? Is our moss really getting algified?

Discussion in 'Plant Help' started by SuperColey1, 2 Jan 2008.

  1. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Member

    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    I just read a thread on APC about moss where the OP was asking why he had algae on his moss but not on any other plants.

    Another poster said its probably not moss its most likely the rhizoids (Mosses equivalent to roots)

    Then he posted this picture:

    Rhizoids-On-Java-Moss.jpg

    Have we all been wrong for so long thinking our mosses are cluttered up with algae? I know mine often look similar to this (not that I have the capacity to zoom in on it like the pic. lol)

    Andy
     
  2. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    west sussex
    on the left of the picture those threads look lie they come from a leaf tip..

    i would even at that magnification call that algae, but hey i'm no expert
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,951
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    I'd agree with fishgeek. Ignoring the fact that it's a zoomed image for the moment it looks like it could be any plant with algae growing on it. Mosses and Pelias are notorious for trapping debris and growing algae. I've often dreamed about designing a filter which used moss as a filter medium. :lol:

    My gut feeling is that the mosses are so compacted and dense that water circulation though the mat is restricted and so nutrient/CO2 distribution is adversely affected. The trapped debris is also likely to be organic so it breaks down and releases ammonia at local sites in the mat which would attract algae. Overdosing excel (3X) often works for me but as usual you have to be careful depending on what other plants are in the tank that could get nuked by the overdose :wideyed:

    Cheers,
     
  4. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    That photo's taken from http://www.aquamoss.net and they really know their stuff about Aquatic mosses... Those structures do look just like the rhizoids on terrestrial Liverworts and Mosses that I've seen under microscopes. The way they are attached to the underneath of the main stem at fairly regular intervals and not growing at more random spacings as they would if they were BBA or another algae suggests they are structures grown by the main plant, rather than algae to me. And they are just on the underneath of the stem, none attached to the tops, or sides of the stems.

    I'm 90% sure they are rhizoids in this picture.
    It doesn't mean that lots of other mosses don't have lots of algae in too, for all the reasons Clive mentioned; but IMO these are rhizoids.

    Be careful with overdosing Excel on mosses; I'm sure I've heard it can kill off some species.
     
  5. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Yeh, to my eye they look like roots. They seem to 'ordered' to be algae, which I would expect to grow in a more 'random' pattern.

    Sam
     
  6. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    west sussex
    clive i have already patented the moss tower technology ;)

    i had a mini system with a return that went to a hanging basket in whicj i had some filter floss
    nbeneth this i had a spiral of 1cm square nylon mesh attached to the underside of the hanging basket to make a spiral trpe cone(image a trumpet snil type shape)
    this netting was the support structure for some wonderful moss and riccia growht

    i guess both liked being grown in a more normal fashion , lots of gas exchange and kept wet
     
  7. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Member

    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Looking at the picture as is said above this is at the leaf tip. The suggestion was that these rhizoids grow on the new growth (as in the picture) to attach to things??

    I have no such problems with mine was just wondering what people thought as this was a new thing for me to see.

    Mine does get algae but only because I layered the moss too thickly and the underneath rotted. This has now changed as the top layer has grown out quite well obviously feeding off its dead relatives underneath.

    Andy
     
  8. Simon

    Simon Member

    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Essex
    I bought some from my local LFS. It was Tropica, but despite the well known brand name, I was horrified at how much green hair algae was mixed in with it. I still tied it to some wood.....looks like the green hair algae is growing as strong as the moss
     
  9. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Member

    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    This is a little different.

    A huge problem with mosses for some people is green hair algae. Normaly because moss is tied to something that doesn't have great circulation around it due due to its bulk. i.e. a large piece of bogwood. Due to this bad circulation the CO2 doesn't get delivered to the moss as it does something that is freestanding like stems.

    Another reson is often light.

    Snother reason is that people layer the moss too thickly which means some that is covered up dies due to the lack of light and then rots causing ammonia release next to the moss which then triggers the algae. Better to layer the moss in strands and let it grow to the thickness you require.

    I used to get this problem but it seems to have abated now.

    The algae I am talking about is the light brown sort which looks like the 'roots' in the pic.

    Andy
     
  10. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    That's not algae. I'ts rhizoids. Some moss seemed to grow loads of it and some dont'. It's very apparent in those mosses that attaches themselves quickly onto surfaces. Christmast moss is one of them. On the other hand, mosses lsuch as flame moss takes forever to attach themselve and have very little of these. Green hair algae is different from this and it's quite apparent from it different shade of colour. Rhizoids tend to be pale in colour and it's very fine, much finer strands than green hair algae
     
  11. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Don't forget that you could have moss that has both rhizoids and algae; either algae or rhizoids; or neither!

    Like Andy said moss can get algae, possibly for various reasons, and many mosses do grow rhizoids.
    I think the key is working out whether you're 'moss algae' is algae or rhizoids and then either delaing with it if it's a problem or letting it be.
     

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