Weeping moss caring for the pleurocarpous vesicularia ferrieiWeeping Moss also known as Vesicularia Ferriei, is a commonly used aquarium plant, giving an enclosure a diversified look. Additionally, this moss species when healthy grows outward both as a submersed or emersed plant.

However, it would only survive out of the water in a highly humid land. Keep reading to become a pro in caring and propagating the Weeping Moss.

What is Weeping Moss?

The weeping Moss is a plant that gives aesthetic value to the tank. They also serve as perfect coverage for fry and small crustaceans like shrimp. It is a great alternative to the Java moss and has a distinct branch style.


Scientific name Vesicularia Ferriei
Lighting Moderate
Growth rate Moderate
Height One inch
pH 5.0 to 6.0
Water temperature 60-85F
Water hardness Acidic
Co2 requirement Recommended but necessary

Classification Table

Kingdom Plantae
Division Bryophyta
Class Bryopsida
Subclass Bryidae
Order Hypnales
Family Hypnaceae
Genus Vesicularia
Species V. montagnei

Weeping Moss Care

Weeping Moss care is straightforward because the plant is adaptable. It can grow in a variety of freshwater environments, planted by almost anyone. However, here are basic requirements to look out for a while caring for the Weeping Moss.

– Water Parameters

The Weeping Moss in aquarium requires a water temperature range of 60-85F. These plants prefer acidic environments, yet they can also survive neutral levels in terms of pH levels. So, a pH of 5.0 to 6.0 is ideal.

– Lighting

The ideal lighting for the Weeping Moss is moderate to bright aquarium lights. This is because its natural habitat is somewhat shaded but still allows partial sunlight through its shallow waters.

Additionally, note that intense light can dry out this moss species, so do not place the Weeping Moss tank in direct sunlight. Furthermore, the plant does not need special aquarium lights and it can survive low lighting.

– Location

You can plant the Weeping Moss in a variety of vivarium locations. But, be sure they are entirely aquatic enclosures. Below are a few suggestions to try out:

  • Paludarium
  • Aquarium
  • Ripariums

– Placement

The Weeping Moss can tolerate being partially or completely emersed. So, put that into consideration while thinking of placements. Nevertheless, you may plant the Weeping Moss as a foreground and tie it to rocks or wood. But, the area should have flowing water that can cover the plant.

– Substrate

Weeping Moss can grow on almost any surface because they do not absorb nutrients through roots, they do not have specific substrates needs. At the same time, add in surfaces they can latch on like wood, sand, or gravel into their tanks. Other surfaces can suffice if they are firm.

– Nutrient

If the Weeping Moss grows appropriately, it should have a downward slope. If shaped otherwise, the plant is not receiving enough nutrients. To remedy its deficiency, add in fertilizer but be aware that this can also trigger an algae infestation.

Furthermore, be aware that a newly planted Weeping Moss needs time to acclimatize and would likely grow slowly at first. Nonetheless, monitor the plant closely.

– Pruning

The Weeping Moss should be trimmed occasionally so it can maintain a desirable size. Trim the shoot’s ends to encourage new growth.


The Vesicularia Ferriei proliferates via the traditional bryophytes rooting system. They do not root to a substrate but would latch onto hard surfaces like rocks and driftwood using rhizoids. Their rhizoids help them naturally grip different objects but cannot absorb nutrients.

– Origin

The Weeping Moss plant is native to China and was only introduced into the aquarium hobby in 2004. It has since then spread throughout the aquarium hobby worldwide. Furthermore, in the wild, this plant can be found on moist rocks, riverbanks, and damp small stream soil. It gets its name “Weeping Moss” due to its similar appearance to the weeping willow tree.

– Description

The Weeping Moss growth rate is moderate, and they grow to an average height of one inch.  This pleurocarpous plant has a vibrant green color. However, its fronds look like they sag in an outward manner.

Common Problems

– Browning

The Weeping Moss turns brown when the water parameters are wrong, or the environment is not conducive. The tips start to go brown until it gets down to the base. Fortunately, you can reverse the brownish color if you notice it on time.

Once you notice, first check the water parameters and then clean out the Weeping Moss aquarium. Additionally, you will need to trim off the browned ends and monitor the plants afterward.

– Algae Infestation

Algae infestation is a common problem the Weeping Moss faces. The algae tend to grow all over the plants when there is too much lighting in a dirty tank.

This is a severe issue because the algae can block off the plants’ access to nutrients and light. If not treated, the Weeping Moss turns brown and dies off.

Buying the Weeping Moss Plant

When looking to buy a healthy Weeping Moss, you should:

  • Look closely at the cluster of moss that doesn’t contain snails or other pests
  • Check that the batch of moss possible in small tissue culture is moist and in good shape

How to Plant the Weeping Moss in an Aquarium

Apart from driftwood surfaces, the growing Weeping Moss would also quickly propagate in any aquarium area. You can do this by cutting up the moss into pieces and then replanting them in various parts of the tank.

As discussed earlier, you may use thread or glue to hold new clippings in place in your preferred location. Allow the Weeping Moss to stabilize, grow and then trim when necessary.

Propagating the Weeping Moss

The Weeping Moss is pleurocarpous, so when propagated, they would grow out small stems that have tips with spores. The spores blow off to create new clusters of growing Weeping Moss. Be sure to maintain a fairly good environment by adjusting the water parameters to meet its requirement.

Watering the Weeping Moss

If the Weeping Moss is not submersed in stagnant, low pH water, it would be fine. Also, ensure that water current passes through the plant to encourage propagation and nutrient circulation. If the plant is above ground level, you will need a fogger or a mist to help it stay healthy.

The Weeping Moss vs. Java Moss

The Weeping Moss and Java Moss are similar because these aquatic plants can adapt to a wide range of water parameters. The two moss species grow rapidly and adhere to different aquarium surfaces.

Weeping mossThey are both green in color, but Java Moss is a lighter shade, while Weeping Moss is a deep green color. In addition, they both use their rhizoids to anchor on firm surfaces and would need trimming quite often.

Likewise, they are great additions to breeding tanks as they serve as effective breeding surfaces, shelter for smaller fish to hide, and make aquariums look nice. However, the weeping shoot grows downwards while the java moss grows upwards.

Additionally, the Java Moss grows faster and is readily available in aquarium stores. Contrary to the Weeping Moss, it is quite scarce and is mainly found in online distributors’ stores.

– What Other Moss Species Is Similar To Weeping Moss

Here are a few plants that are similar to the Weeping Moss and would thrive in your aquarium:

  • Taiwan moss
  • Phoenix moss
  • Feather moss

Please note that different flora can co-exist if they have similar water parameters. A mix of plants can cause your vivarium to look really beautiful. Note that they can be an alternative to the Weeping Moss plants if the moss seems challenging to get.


Why Is Weeping Moss a Popular Aquatic Plant?

The Weeping Moss or Vesicularia Ferriei is sought after because of its unique creeping branches that fall downward. In addition to most bryophytes deteriorating in uncomfortable environments, the Weeping Moss would survive and thrive. It has a high tolerance for high lighting. Hence, it is perfect for small vivarium setups where lighting is crucial for a refined overall scape.

How Do I Attach Weeping Moss to Driftwood?

The Weeping Moss does not anchor onto driftwood like other plants due to the absence of roots. Rather there are ways you can plant the Weeping Moss carpet in your aquarium. Here are a few techniques:

– Tie with String

One method is attaching it to driftwood and tying it in place. You do not need multiple strings to secure it firmly as one is enough. Also, do not tie the knot too tightly but just enough, so it is snug.

– Apply Glue

The second method is by using glue to hold the Weeping Moss to the driftwood. This may be pretty challenging because you have to take the wood out of the aquarium, clean it and apply the glue so it can adhere properly. But, the driftwood doesn’t need to be completely dry before application, and the glue application’s point may become discolored. Not to worry, as the moss would grow over the discoloration in no time.

– Hold Down With Rocks

You can weigh the moss down with rocks. Simply put the Weeping Moss where you want it to grow and put some small rocks over it. The downside of this is that if it’s an aquarium containing snails or fish, they will knock down the rocks. So, you have to monitor the moss placement and replace the rocks as often as until the moss grows.

– Place in Holes

You can break up the moss clusters and stuff them into the driftwood holes and crevices. The Weeping Moss would begin to grow after a while. Like lodging the moss with stones, this method also has tendencies of tank mates moving them away. Monitor the moss and put them back as often as you need to.

Does the Weeping Moss Plant Need CO2 Injections?

No, it is not compulsory to add Co2. Indeed, the Weeping Moss relies on only light and other water requirements, but it would survive without Co2 injections. Still, Co2 is not bad for a growing Weeping Moss plant. Instead, it helps it grow and be healthy.


At this point, you can tell why the Weeping Moss plants have gained so much popularity through the years. A little cluster of moss would spread out fast under the right conditions. Here are significant reasons why you should plant the Weeping Moss in your aquarium:

  • Weeping Moss grow like luxurious mini trees
  • They are rare and are an interesting sight to show off in a properly lit vivarium
  • The weeping Moss are also functional as fish use them as egg scattering sites.
  • Weeping Moss also do not need special UV lights and are amateur-friendly.

Why not try out these pleurocarpous plants and enjoy numerous benefits.

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