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Plant Profile - Flame Moss

Plant Profile - Flame Moss

Family name: Hypnaceae

Origin: South and South-East Asia

Flame Moss (Taxiphyllum 'Flame') is known for the unique way it grows. Aquascapers love this moss because of its ability to enhance any tank with a sharp green hint of vegetation. Its peculiar appearance makes it one of the most popular mosses in the aquascaping hobby. Flame moss is regularly used as a decorative plant in aquariums. 

It’s also loved for its low maintenance requirements. In its natural habitat, Flame Moss will grow attached to bushes in slow-moving rivers.

flame moss on stainless steel
Flame moss on stainless steel


Plant Specs:

Of course, it’s not called ‘Flame Moss” for no reason. This moss grows in a distinct upward twisting pattern when attached to driftwood or rock resulting in a flame-like appearance.

When compared to other mosses, the flames of this moss are a deeper green color. Flame Moss can become thick and somewhat bushy as well. 

Flame moss can be grown completely submerged or emersed. When emersed it will grow slowly and when submerged, it grows fairly fast and will glow a healthy green.

  • It is recommended to have this plant submerged so you can see this plant’s real potential.

Like other mosses, Flame Moss grows from rhizoids and can attach itself to hardscape quite easily. These rhizoids will serve to anchor the moss to hardscape and absorb the nutrients the plant needs.

You can purchase Flame Moss in golfball size or on stainless steel.

When grown in a tank, the flames will reach about 3 - 4 in. vertically in a spiral.

flame moss aquatic plant



Flame moss in large cup

Plant Care:

Flame moss is perfect for any aquarist because it can easily be grown in a range of aquarium conditions. You don’t need a specific substrate or hardscape--this moss can thrive anywhere. 

It can be attached to your aquarium hardscape or left afloat (although, be careful if left afloat because it can get sucked up into your filter). If you want to attach this moss to your hardscape, then it’s important to note that this moss needs a little time to securely attach itself.

You can use a small amount of glue or tie down with thread so the rhizoids are able to establish themselves on your hardscape. 

In order to propagate this moss, simply cut the moss into smaller pieces with UNS Scissors. Then, attach the Flame Moss pieces wherever you’d like them to begin growing. 

Although CO2 is not absolutely necessary, CO2 injection will result in the best growth and brightest coloration of Flame Moss. Flame moss doesn’t require nutrient supplementation for speedy and healthy growth, but adding UNS Plant Food to your tank would result in a more greener, more bush-like appearance. Without CO2 or added nutrients, simply keep a well-maintained aquarium to set yourself up for success.

Flame moss is considered a hardy plant meaning it will survive a wide range of aquarium parameters. Simply keep a well-maintained aquarium and that will set you up for success.

Flame moss prefers cool water ranging from 68 - 83 F. Having a filter with slow circulation is recommended. Water flow that is too strong can result in tearing of the moss.

Flame moss will do best in PH levels of 6 - 8. Although, slightly more acidic water is recommended.

Like Christmas Moss or Java Moss, this plant doesn’t need much to be able to grow. Low to medium lighting between at about 8 hours a day is recommended if you want your Flame moss to thrive.

  • Make sure to avoid too much light, especially direct sunlight, in order to avoid drying out or sunburn. 
  • Also, too much light can cause an algae bloom, and once an algae problem has taken over your moss, it’s nearly impossible to fix. 

Make sure to keep your tank clean and do not use too much light!

It’s important to note that you should not make drastic changes to your aquarium. Unstable water parameters can cause Flame Moss to melt.


flame moss shrimp tank


Fun Facts:

This plant brings many benefits to aquarists who add it to their tank. There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Flame Moss. 

Flame moss can provide the perfect shade and coverage for your fish and shrimp, and can cultivate food sources such as infusoria and biofilm.

Flame moss is the perfect addition for your future shrimp tank or naturescape. 


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