For more information about planted aquariums, Natural Aquariums recommends "The Simple Guide to Planted Aquariums" by Terry Barber and Rhonda Wilson.
Pond Life "This inexpensive guide is one of the most useful books I've ever owned and my favorite beginners guide to pond life. I can't even say how many copies I've gone through and given away." - Rhonda Wilson

"Nature Aquarium World 2" The second Nature Aquarium World book from Takashi Amano. Mr. Amano's aquariums and photography make him the most celebrated planted aquarist in the world today.

Christel Kasselmann's "Aquarium Plants" is the most complete encylopedia of aquarium plants to date. A must have book for the aquatic plant enthusiast.

Freshwater Invertebrates

Moss Animals


Moss animal is the common name for Bryozoa. Most of the known 3,500 species of moss animals are marine species but there are also about 50 freshwater species. Some of those will sometimes appear in the home aquarium.

Moss animals live in large colonies and resemble a mass of very small marine feather dusters. Individuals in the colony are called zooids. The have small hair like tentacles that retract when they are disturbed. The tentacles bring food to the animals. They eat algae and protozoa.

Moss animals may show up in the aquarium occasionally, unfortunately I've never been able to keep the colonies alive more than a few months at a time. They will sometimes show up on a somewhat regular basis in the same tanks. The moss animals I see most often in my aquariums form branching colonies, though other speices form different types of colonies. Some very large colonies that look like a gaint egg mass are found in some lakes.

Moss Animal Links

The photo shows moss animals in one of my aquariums. The zooids pictured have produced statoblasts. This is an asexual form of reproduction. Statoblasts, are somewhat similar to seeds in plants. They are resistant to adverse conditions and can germinate to form a new colony when conditions improve.

Hydra | Moss Animals | Leeches, Worms, and Planaria
Arthropods | Crustaceans | Small Crustaceans | Insects | True Bugs | Flies
Mollusks | Snails | Ramshorn Snails | Pond Snails | Malayan Livebearing Snails | Clams