Name: Riccia fluitans
The beauty of Riccia fluitans can be seen when there is enough CO2 supply and bright light to the water until its saturation. We can see oxygen bubbles (from small until big bubbles of O2) on the Riccia leavesī tips. One interesting thing is that when you use different types of light bulb, the green colour of Riccia are much different in the appearance. I tied Riccia to stones and put several ones in an aquarium of 125x62x65 cm lighted with a metal halide lamp of 150 W, and others in an aquarium of 60x30x36 cm lighted with 2 compact PL-L (compact PL Long comes from Philips) of 36 W. Under PL-L, the green colour stands out very beautifully with many big O2 bubbles topping all around the Riccia tips; while under the metal halide lamp, the colour is rather subdued with smaller O2 bubbles. However, since Riccia tends to float to the water surface after it is mature (around 3 - 4 weeks, depends on light, nutritient and CO2 supply), we should be patient to take out the floating Riccia almost daily, and re-tie it again to the stone.
I got a small handful of this plant while I was getting plants from my LFS. The guy who worked there told me they grow slow, but are hardy. He was wrong, after 3 weeks that small handful almost covered my whole top of my 40 liter tank. I recommend this plant, very easy to keep only if you have miminum of about 0.5 Watts per liter. I have 0.8 Watts per liter. Also, if you add CO2 to your tank these things will flourish.
I have grown Riccia in my tank under VHO lighting and CO2. They flourish and I was constantly having to divide the patches and tie them down to new stones. They grow like bushes and the added "oxygen bubbles" make this a plant for the aquatic enthusiast.
Despite being repeatedly warned that Riccia is overly sensitive, I find mine doing well in my 40 liter planted tank. The only problem with this plant is that it's probably the messiest thing ever. Also, I had a Bronze Cory in the tank and he went to town on the Riccia. I'm not sure if he was eating the plant itself, just playing or munching on stuff caught in the pad of plants. Either way, the little bugger would have destroyed the Riccia overnight if I had not repatriated him back into the community aquarium. But this plant grows fast!
I've been hunting for some riccia for ages, and finally found out why I can't ever locate any. Apparently riccia is illegal to sell in my area. I live in San Diego, USA.
This is one of the best plants for carpeting. I love to see the oxygen bubbles getting released out. But I have problem with it because it always gets into my filter.
Riccia is a beautiful plant to have in an Amano style aquarium. I have mine in a 38 L planted aquarium with a 65 Watt CF bulb, CO2 injection, and it does excellent. No other foreground plant can compare when it pearls later on in the evening. The best way to plant it is to wrap a little bit of netting around it and tie it off on the underside with a lead plant anchor. The netting that a sack of apples comes in from the grocery store is what I use, then just keep it trimmed just above the netting so you don't see it. You never have to worry about retying it back on a rock using this technique, just normal pruning that comes with any planted tank.
Riccia fluitans can be regarded as one of the best plants to do carpets for your aquarium. Fishing lines or colourless materials may aid in the tying of the plant to rocks and woods. For a successful experience I recommend: bright lighting (1.5-2.5 Watts/L), abundant CO2 injection, but not in excess so as to vary the pH too much, a fertilizer which is rich iron, and a good pruning will maintain the health and quality of the plants. Best of luck.
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