Christmas Moss Caresheet

Christmas Moss is very attractive and popular aquatic plant in the aquarium hobby which is also known as Xmas Moss. It is a creeping moss very widely spread in the tropical Asia including India, Japan, Philippines and Thailand. It grows on shaded wet bank of stream, rivers and creeks and on moist forest soil. It is found mainly emerged condition. It is used in planted aquariums as an ornamental underwater plant. Its popularity is increasing day by day among the aquarium enthusiasts.


It is a very wonderful moss and is perfect for creating a moss backdrop or ground cover in the aquarium. It can grow up to 10 cm tall and its leaves are nearly round to broadly oval with an abruptly short and sharp pointed apex. The leaves are around 1-1.5 mm long and stand at an almost erect right angle to the stem. It forms triangular fronds in the shape of Christmas trees when it is attached with a piece of driftwood or rock and looks very attractive and undemanding.  It is very popular among the aquarists for raising baby fish and tadpoles to protect them from cannibalistic adults. It makes a good mid-ground or foreground plants. It is very suitable for both aquariums and viviriums or paludariums. It can also be used in ponds or fountains. This moss provides habitat for tiny infusoria which is an excellent source of food for both shrimp and fish fry. This plant is suitable for smaller or larger aquarium and it is completely free of algae and snails. It can propagate easily via division in aquarium condition through proper care.  Overall, Christmas Moss is an excellent plant for covering hardscape, filling in gaps and creating living environment in any aquarium.

Quick Stats

Scientific name: Vesicularia montagnei

Common name: Christmas Moss, Xmas Moss

Origin: South-East Asia

Care level:  Easy

Placement: Foreground

Propagation: By cutting

Height: up to 10 cm

Width: up to 10 cm

Water pH: 5.0-7.5

Water hardness: 5 to 20 dGH

Water temperature: 65-770F

Lighting: Low

Growth: Slow

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Christmas Moss

The Christmas moss (Vesicularia montagnei) was described by Broth. It belongs to the family Hypnaceae under order Hypnales of class Bryopsida. The mature frond hangs down and overlaps each other like the branches of a Christmas tree which give the common name ‘Christmas mosses’. Many aquarium hobbyists grow these plants as a moss wall for decorating the aquascape of fish tank. Synonym of this species is Hypnum montagnei Schimp. (1842).

Christmas Moss is the easier species to keep. It adds an attractive and very unusual splash of green to your home aquarium. It is a hardy plant which does not require large amounts of lighting or advanced CO2 injection. It can grow beautifully in the aquarium condition with sufficient lighting and it can also grow well in the darkest corner.  For optimum growth the tank should have good water chemistry with pH of 5.0-7.5, hardness of 5-20 dGH and temperature of 65-770F. It is a slow growing plant and it is good for both beginners and experienced hobbyists. It should be attached with a piece of driftwood, rocks or tree roots in the aquarium using the dark colored cotton, fishing line or string. When it is grown unattached with any substrates it forms varies and looks more untamed like Java Moss. This plant should be placed in the back, bottom or sides of a tank to create a wall. It can be done by placing the plant between two pieces of mesh in a sandwich-like method and then pressing it against the tank wall. When this plant is placed in the desired position it quickly establishes and gradually spreads out to form a carpet. In this case it should be trimmed to keep its shape attractive.  It should not be kept with dry conditions or hot scorching light. It is hard to keep clean when it is used as flooring because it helps to grow algae. It is ideal for breeding tanks and it can cover the filter entirely which converts it into an attractive feature in aquarium. Christmas moss is also used for removing nitrogen in multiple forms.

Christmas moss is a very popular aquarium plant among the pet fish lovers due to their gorgeous Christmas tree shape and easy to care for. It is available in local or online pet stores with reasonable price. It should be better to buy it from some aquarists who have cultivated in the best possible way in their own aquariums. If you want to purchase it from home online, check out down below to buy your own christmas moss today!

It can propagate easily via division in aquarium condition through proper care.  For proper propagation, some portions of the parent should be cut off and attach them to their new place using nylon line or cotton threads. After a few weeks the moss attaches themselves to the substrate sending out rhizome and form new plants. After a few days it spreads both horizontally and vertically in rows. To keep a good shape it should be trimmed and promote further growth.  It can also propagate by producing new shoots or runners.

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