Riccia Moss Ultimate Guide on Planting, Maintenance, and Care

Fish tanks and Aquariums are a beautiful addition to your home as well as the workplace.

Aquarists all over the world have been making new additions to these fish tanks and aquariums to make them even more beautiful. Among these various additions, plants and mosses take a prominent place.

Takashi Amano, a Japanese aquarist popularized one such beautiful plant that can be added to the aquariums and fish. By name, it’s identified as the Riccia Moss.

Riccia Moss Ultimate Guide
Riccia Moss Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

Although this plant is identified as a Moss, this is actually a plant that can survive fully submerged in the waters. Only the Japanese plants can be used in such away. Riccia Moss from another origin cannot be used fully submerged in the waters.

This plant is scientifically known as the Riccia fluitans. And other common names for these plants are Crystal wort or the Riccia Moss. The Riccia Moss plant is seen growing in Europe, America, and also Asia, and this plant is a foreground plant.

The Riccia Moss can be easily grown and grows around 03 to 05 cm in height at around one month’s time and can spread and grow all over the tank during a very short period.

Therefore it should be seen that this plant is given a proper clean and trimming once in a while. So that this plant does not overtake the other plants and thereafter the whole tank.

Another important factor that we should know about this plant is that this plant requires a medium to a high amount of light for the growth while it requires a temperature of around 68 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, this plant requires a P.H rate of 6 to 8.

About Riccia Moss

Riccia Moss, although known as a Moss is a plant. The Riccia Moss is a foreground plant that has a very fast growth rate. This plant grows up to 03 to 05 inches in height and is seen mainly growing in Europe, America, and Asia.

The appearance of Riccia Moss

The Riccia Moss is a very mossy and vivid looking plant. Like other mosses this plant does not have a root system and can be used either floating or as a carpeting plant.

Is Riccia Moss good for Aquariums?

Yes, the Riccia Moss does not have any bad effect on the tank mates and other aquatic plants in the tank. Therefore these plants will add a beautiful look to the tank when added.

However, as a fast-growing plant, this plant can cover the whole tank within a very short period of time. You have to see that these plants are given a regular trimming when kept in your fish tank or aquarium.

Tank Requirements to plant Riccia fluitans

Riccia Moss requires a minimum of around 10 to 15 gallons of water for its growth. It does not require any specific type of substrate. It has a fast growth on any form of substrate.

Tips to maintain Riccia fluitans?

Riccia Moss is very easy to grow and also has a fast growth. These plants require a temperature of 68 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit, a moderate to a high amount of light and a regular cleaning and trimming of the plant.

When these plants are given these minimum requirements in the tank they will have a healthy growth in the tank.

Tips to Care & Cultivation of Riccia Moss

Providing the required amount of light, CO 2, temperature and maintaining the PH level in the tank will help the Riccia Moss to grow.

Also see that these plants are trimmed and cleaned properly so that they receive light on all parts of the plant and have a green look in them.

Advantages and Disadvantages of planting Riccia Moss in my Aquarium

Riccia Moss has certain advantages to the tank such as,

To Aquarium Tanks

Like all other plants the Riccia Moss will also make its food through the process of photosynthesis, providing the oxygen requirement of the tank to a certain level.

Also, the Riccia Moss will be a great addition of decoration to the tank or Aquarium.

To Fish

Having a Riccia Moss within the tank will have certain advantages for the fish and other small tank mates within the tank. The Riccia Moss will be a source of food for certain fish as well as a place of hiding and shelter.

Also, this plant will be a great place for the fish to lay and hide their eggs from other tank mates within the tank.

Also, they might also bring certain disadvantages to the tank such as,

Algae Growth

Riccia Moss can attract Algae to the tank. Therefore a regular cleaning of the water and seeing that the Moss receives only the required amount of light and nutrients in the water can help control Algae growth within the tank.

Regular trimming of the plant

As a very fast-growing plant, this plant can cover almost the whole tank within a couple of weeks’ time. Therefore a regular trimming of the plant is required to have a healthy growing plant in the tank.

Common problems of planting Riccia Moss in Aquarium Tanks

Incorrect caring methods

Compared to other aquarium plants and mosses the Riccia Moss requires only a minimum requirement of maintenance.

So when this proper care such as the sufficient amount of light, the proper amount of temperature, and proper cleaning and trimming of the plant is not done there will be certain health issues on the Riccia. This might even cause the plant to die in the tank.


Algae is another problem that you will have to face with almost all kinds of aquarium plants in your tank. Algae will start to grow in the tank when there is a nutritional imbalance in the tank.

So here it should be seen that the Riccia Moss in the tank receives only a sufficient amount of light or sunlight, proper and regular cleaning is given to the tank, and also there is a nutritional balance in the tank.


Snails are another problem in having aquarium plants in your tank. Some of them may even harm the Riccia Moss in the tank.

Even though these snails are not added to the tank on purpose they may come to the tank with other aquatic plants bought. So you have to see that regular cleaning is given to the tank to get rid of these snails.

Turning Brown Color

When the Riccia Moss grows and is left without trimming for a longer time, the inside of the plant will start to change in color and thereafter spread throughout the plant causing the plant to decay.

And also at times, when the plant receives more amount of light these plants will change in color.


Not taking the proper care of these plants will also cause these plants even to die. Therefore you have to see that these plants are given the minimum and proper amount of care.

Enemies Fish

Enemy Fish can be identified as the tank mates in your tank which feed on Aquatic plants. If there are fish such as the goldfish in the tank they will eat the Riccia moss plants which will damage the plant.

Similar Plants to Riccia fluitans

Plants that are liverwort and similar to Riccia Fluitans are the Plagiochila asplenioides and the Conocephalum conicum.

Does Riccia Moss have Roots and Stems?

These plants are small and thalloid, therefore the parts of these plants cannot be differentiated as stems , roots and leaves.

How do I prune Riccia Moss?

Riccia Moss will grow fast covering the whole tank, and when these grow in chunks the lower parts of these plants will not receive enough amount of light and will start to rot. So a regular trimming of the plant will have to be done.

Cutting the excess leaves grown will help the plant to receive enough amount of lights on all parts of the plant and help the plant to remain healthy.

Suitable tankmates for Riccia Moss

There are several identified tank mates who can live in harmony with the Riccia Moss.

Such tank mates are,

  • Hillstream Loach-The Hill Stream Loach is a peaceful and active fish that has similar water parameter requirements as the Riccia Moss plant and has a peaceful living with it.
  • Guppies-Guppies are Community Fish that are very peaceful. They can live in harmony with the Riccia Moss. The Riccia Moss provides these fish with a good shelter as well as a good hiding place.
  • Bristlenose Plecos-The Bristlenose Plecos is a very beneficial fish to your tank with Riccia Moss. These Fish are very peaceful and help in cleaning the Algae within the tank.
  • Otocinclus- These Fish are very peaceful and social. They eat the Algae and the Debris within the tank and also help in cleaning plants which is very helpful to the Riccia Moss.
  • Crystal Red Shrimp- the Crystal red Shrimp is an animal that can live in harmony with the Riccia Moss. They are very peaceful.
  • Cherry Shrimp- the Cherry Shrimp is a very peaceful animal. This animal is around 1.6 inches in size and feeds on decomposing plants and Algae. Having these with the Riccia Moss plant will be beneficial to the plant. The Cherry Shrimp will help the plant to get rid of the unwanted Algae within it.
  • The Cherry Shrimp and the Riccia Moss can live in harmony.

Unsuitable tankmates for Riccia Moss

Tank Mates such as the Silver Dollar Fish, Monos, Scals, and the Gold Fish who highly depend on plants in your tank should be avoided from being together with the Riccia Moss.

These types of tank mates can make harm the Riccia Moss very badly.

Is Riccia fluitans invasive?

Yes, as a very fast-growing plant, the riccia moss can cover your whole tank within a short period of time. This plant can cover all other plants in the tank.

Therefore you should see that when growing these plants, they are given a proper cleaning and trimming from time to time.

Where can I find Riccia fluitans?

Riccia Moss is a liverwort and can be seen grown in tangled clumps or mats below the water surface.

Is Willow Moss for terrarium?

Willow moss has the ability to live through low temperatures and light requirements and also has the ability to absorb minerals, therefore it will be a great addition to terrariums.

Why are Riccia fluitans so expensive?

Even though the riccia fluitans grow in many parts all around the world, only the ones that grow in japan can be used in the fish tank or aquarium.

These plants also add a very lively look to the tank. Therefore these mosses being scarce and the high demand for them has made these plants to be very expensive.

How long do Riccia Moss live?

As long as these plants receive its minimum requirement such as the sufficient amount of light, temperature, CO2 etc within the tank these plants will have a longer and healthier growth within the tank.

Why does My Riccia Moss bad smell?

Riccia Moss will have a fast growth in the tank and is also invasive. Therefore these plants will have to be regularly cleaned and trimmed.

But when these plants are not given the proper trimming and they start to over grow in the tank, the bottom parts of these plants will start to dry off even though the upper parts of the plants have a greenly look.

So when these dry plants remain in the tank for a long time they will start to produce a bad smell in the tank.

Is Riccia Moss good for ponds?

With the fast growth of these plants, riccia moss will be a good addition to the ponds as well.

Is Riccia Moss a liverwort?

Yes, the Riccia Moss is a liverwort. A plant that lacks water conducting cells, reproduce by alternating generations and conducts photosynthesis in the haploid generation.

Is Riccia Moss a bryophyte?

No, the Riccia Moss is not a bryophyte, it’s a liverwort plant.

Riccia Moss vs Java Moss

The Java Moss is a very popular moss compared to the Riccia Moss. Java Moss is used mostly in the tanks and aquariums than the Riccia Moss.

The Java Moss requires less amount of light and CO2 compared to the Riccia Moss.

And also when Riccia mosses are used in the tanks they require something to keep it in place in the tank while the Java moss has the ability to itself to the tank or anything that is at the bottom of the tank.

Difference between Riccia Fluitans & Riccia Fluitans sp.

The difference between the Riccia Fluitans and the Riccia Fluitans sp is that the stems of the Riccia fluitans sp grows shorter and thicker stems while the Riccia fluitans grow larger and thin stems.

Also the riccia fluitans sp will have a slow growth and die quickly when there is insufficient amount of light. Compared to the Riccia Fluitans the Riccia Fluitans sp requires a higher amount of light and CO 2 to be a fully grown plant.

Where can I buy Riccia fluitans?

Riccia fluitans can be bought locally at the stores or is available to be sold online.


Riccia Moss or the Riccia Fluitans is an easy-growing plant. This plant is easy to be taken care of and grows on any surface in your tank.

This beautiful green plant is a great addition to your tank. The Riccia Moss can live with any other type of aquarium plants or tank mates in the tank.

As a fast growing plant this plant will be invasive ,therefore you have to see that these plants are given a proper cleaning and trimming in the tank.So that you have a good looking Riccia Moss growing .

By Uswatta Liyanage

Hello. I'm Uswatta Liyanage from Galle, Sri Lanka. I am the founder of this website. Since my childhood I'm an aqua plant lover and I have professionally learned more about aqua plants. So I created this site for share my knowledge and experience with all of you. Now you can refer my site and feel free to contact me if any inquiry.