Mosses: Are they just weeds? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Mosses: Are they just weeds?

Someone recently told me that he avoids using mosses in his tanks because they become weeds or pests. They frag easily and have the potential to take over a tank, and that once this happens it is hard to get rid of them. I just put some mini Xmas moss on my driftwood and it is growing fast. I am wondering whether I need to get rid of it while I still can. Any advice?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 02:56 PM
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Send it to me .

He's probably talking about java moss which can take over but still grows slowly. If you really want weeds, grow some fast growing stems like Hygrophila polysperma. Mosses only grow fast if you let them. If you're afraid of the moss ending up in other spots in your tank, just take out the driftwood and trim it.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 03:18 PM
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The description by your friend sounds more inline with algae than Moss. Mosses are actually relatively slow growers and offer many benefits in the tank. I've never had mini xmas and would be happy to purchase from you if you decide on getting rid of it but its a lovely moss so you should try to grow it out and see how you feel...

remember that mosses are like hedges where they can be trimmed and sculpted.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 03:26 PM
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Re: Mosses: Are they just weeds?

A weed is anything that doesn't belong where it is. For example A rose garden is a weed.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 03:54 PM
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I love my 'weeds'! More importantly, my shrimp seem to love them too

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 04:28 PM
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He might have been talking about riccia (which is not a moss but confused as one) which does break apart very easily and will take over and choke a high light tank pretty quickly. Beautiful when under control but a pain when it's not.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 10:20 PM
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I would not consider mosses to be a weed. They might grow rather quickly compared to some other aquarium plants, but this growth can still be controlled and they do make great sinks/sponges for excess nutrients in the water, plus shrimp love to look for food in them.

The fragmentation isn't nearly as bad as your friend implied. While some parts may fall off if the plant isn't properly secured, he might have been referring to the fragments ability to survive and regrow. Unlike a good percentage of aquatic plants, mosses don't need a root system to survive as they take their nutrients directly out of the water.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 02:33 PM
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I've never thought of mosses in that light, but I suppose I can see where your friend is coming from. . . nearly every shipment of plants that I get has some moss hitch-hiking in the bag. Every type of moss I've kept does have the tendency to misplace a piece or three every now and then. I leave them alone and watch them skip around the tank until they find something to grab onto. I find the 'natural' way they plant themselves to be endearing! In my low light tank, moss doesn't grow quickly enough to be a pest, and I've always found it easy enough to remove if it ends up in a bad place. . .
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