MABJ's Mossy Bonsai
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:58 PM   #1
MABJ
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Default MABJ's Mossy Bonsai

Hey all!

I'm excited to finally start another journal on here. I took a vacation from tanks and shrimping but as some of you know, I graduated college and I've got time now to devote to some tanks.

I'll be making two or three new tanks in the next year, and this is the first.

As you'll be able to tell by the title; I want this to be a very mossy tank. SO mossy in fact that it will have a moss wall, a moss floor and a tree of moss!

So over the past few weeks I've worked with Han and we put together a plan for the flora in the tank.

My moss wall will be flame moss, so it should look interesting as the moss creeps up, not down. My moss floor will be Christmas moss (that and mini Xmas are my personal favorites). And my moss tree will be well maintained round pellia.

I'll also have in this tank several Anubias Micro plants to keep with the scale of the tree.

The tank itself will be one of my favorite tank brands -- AquaTop. The AquaTop 4g package includes a beautiful tank and some extras. They build top quality tanks that are low-iron, affordable and gorgeous.

My scape will be interesting I hope. I plan to do 2/3 of the floor a low to the ground 1-2 inch gravel bed of black flourite and 1/3 will be divided by a jutting out rock I plan to make look like a cliff. Behind the cliff, I intend to have a 3.5-4.5 inch substrate bed.

On top of that cliff I have a moss tree which will be the main focus of the tank.

Other plans: I hope to cycle it quickly with a combination of Safe Start, seeded filter media and snails. I hope to develop quick biofilm with a product called Bacter AE, and the plan is to get a very blue species of shrimp in here within a month.

So as I do with all my builds, here's a cost breakdown:

Tank/filter/light- $80

3X Moss species & Anubias - $190

Substrate (large grain flourite black)- $20

Filter cover- $5

Safe start- $10

Moss tree- $60

I don't have shrimp yet, but I hope to not spend more than $70-80 shipped.

Last edited by MABJ; 06-29-2014 at 05:51 PM.. Reason: .
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:01 PM   #2
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So what is my timeframe for putting the tank together?

I've been planning it for a month. I got my moss tree in, my substrate, filter guard, safe start.

Monday (four days) my tank should come in.

Thursday (seven days) my plants come in.

Some time in between Monday and next Saturday I plan to have a shipment of blue snails come in.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:01 PM   #3
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why use substrate?

cool idea.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:03 PM   #4
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why use substrate?

cool idea.
Congrats on being the first! . Thanks for stopping by.

Why use substrate? That's a good question.

I have a few answers- A I want to do the different levels to make it look like a tree on a cliff. B I like having substrate in case I want to plant crypts or anything like that (crypts are a favorite of mine). C there's lots of beneficial bacteria in the substrate and it gives my MTS a place to hide.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:20 PM   #5
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I wish you the best of luck/skillz, what kind've filter and tank size? Only thing I recommend is go with a different moss than flame for your wall, its interesting but ant gonna look too well
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:23 PM   #6
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I wish you the best of luck/skillz, what kind've filter and tank size? Only thing I recommend is go with a different moss than flame for your wall, its interesting but ant gonna look too well
Why do you feel it won't look great? We considered several different mosses and decided flame was cost effective and would look nice.

Thanks for the well wishes. I've got several filters I can use, but it came with a HoB with good reviews.

4g tall AquaTop nano.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:29 PM   #7
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its just gonna grow straight up and walls generally get less light than rest of the tank so its not gonna look uniform if you get what I'm saying. If you can get a way to disperse light evenly throughout the whole wall, it'd be great, but for cost effectiveness why not use java or taiwan? Spiky or peacock would look great.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrungOut View Post
its just gonna grow straight up and walls generally get less light than rest of the tank so its not gonna look uniform if you get what I'm saying. If you can get a way to disperse light evenly throughout the whole wall, it'd be great, but for cost effectiveness why not use java or taiwan? Spiky or peacock would look great.
Hmm I'm not sure. I have a plan to get the light to hit the whole wall, we'll have to test it out. I also chose it because it looks very different from Xmas and it can easily be picked out if it gets mixed up.

I can always swap it out eventually if I don't like it, I was planning on keeping the wall pretty well trimmed though.

What do you suppose would do better as a moss wall but be different enough from Xmas moss?
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:53 PM   #9
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Ya try it out, your right can always swap it out easily. Weeping if you can get it to weep, fissidens, willow. You do a good willow moss wall and it looks divine
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:17 AM   #10
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Ya try it out, your right can always swap it out easily. Weeping if you can get it to weep, fissidens, willow. You do a good willow moss wall and it looks divine
True enough! I've got lots of options thankfully . Did you have some shots you wanted to post?
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
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True enough! I've got lots of options thankfully . Did you have some shots you wanted to post?
Ya sorry it took so long, I was trying to find my picture of the willow moss wall to show you but couldn't find it...

first I think was taiwan moss, but these two pics show which parts getting the light and not
b4

after

heres weeping moss as a wall

off the aqua moss site its labeled wrong, its actually a weeping wall
but this was the best and uniform wall I've been able to create in my prime with mosses, like with all my walls, light did not reach the bottom to grow out


What your trying to do is really cool and will look really cool if grown to the best. I've seen attempts where the moss looks stringy, still looks pretty cool but more potential is there. Heres a pic of kind've what your trying to achieve as a setup I believe minus the carpet


My recommendation!
tips
Keep the water clean!
photoperiod to the minimum-once you get algae its really hard to eradicate
with my moss tanks, photoperiod is 0-4 hrs and then gradually raised
This in my opinion helps a lot with moss to adapt to conditions
If you get algae during the startup then the light intensity is mostly too high

Those two tips for ya
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:21 AM   #12
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Cant wait to see it all come together!
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:21 AM   #13
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Cant wait to see it all come together!
You tha man!! I'm pumped too!
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:26 AM   #14
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All those tips are great and thanks so much for posting those pictures!

Have you ever considered growing a wall out flat first then erecting it? That way the moss is all grown out and if you keep it all trimmed, it won't be too bad. That's just a thought. Han has been prepping the flame moss for meh. He said it is perking up.

Oh another note is I don't want moss walls on the two sides, just on the back wall. I want to be able to see in from the sides ^^.

That willow moss looked fantastic btw. How much does willow usually run?
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MABJ View Post
All those tips are great and thanks so much for posting those pictures!

Have you ever considered growing a wall out flat first then erecting it? That way the moss is all grown out and if you keep it all trimmed, it won't be too bad. That's just a thought. Han has been prepping the flame moss for meh. He said it is perking up.

Oh another note is I don't want moss walls on the two sides, just on the back wall. I want to be able to see in from the sides ^^.

That willow moss looked fantastic btw. How much does willow usually run?
You know I never thought to do it that way..

I never posted a pic of willow moss, I was trying to find my willow wall but couldn't find it it probably got deleted.

Heres willow:


You can find a smaller version of it
Bartohog, he has a good deal on multiple golfballs.
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