wanted: aquascaping idea for problem area
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Old 07-31-2004, 10:12 PM   #1
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wanted: aquascaping idea for problem area


I've got a corner tank and all the equipment goes in the very back corner. Something that has spoiled my enjoyment of this tank is the "clear" tubing (which turns white) that goes in and out of my sand filter.

I recently decided to try a moss curtain. I took a reptile hammock and sewed java moss to it, then used the suction cups to make a little screen/curtain around the offending tubes. It's a big improvement--at least in my eyes. But I'm having a problem. Due to water movement or possibly too much moss, I'm finding little bits of java moss coming off and landing all over the tank making a mess.

I'm looking for an alternate plant that will completely cover the mesh and not be so messy. I'm also open to other suggestions. Since this is where all the filtration equipment goes in and out, there is a fair amount of current in this location. It's back behind the hoods, so it gets low light.
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Old 07-31-2004, 10:22 PM   #2
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I saw a picture of someone growing brazilian pennywort up a mesh. Brazilian pennywort can grow into a thick planting that would block any equipment in the back of your tank without the mesh. I put a huge planting of crypt spiralis in the corner of my tank to cover equipment.
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Old 07-31-2004, 11:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestions. Unlucky for me, pennywort doesn't seem to like my tank. I've tried planting tall plants, but the current from the powerheads blow them forward too much.

Here's a pic of the offending equipment. http://www.pbase.com/image/32018280

And here's the same area with the moss screen. Maybe it just needs to be thinned out? I don't have much experience with java moss. http://www.pbase.com/image/32018286
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Old 08-01-2004, 12:34 PM   #4
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Looking at your first pic (with the equipment showing) my first thought was: Is this really Java Moss? It almost looks like terrestrial moss which is sometimes used to cover flower pots to hide the soil.

In any case, what I would do is to let the Java Moss establish on the moss wall before placing it in front of the power head. This could take patience and a few weeks, but once the moss has a good grip on the surface, it will not be blown around anymore.

Or, you could connect two "walls" and place the moss in between them, spreading out evenly, but using much less. After a few weeks the moss will grow out of the holes, but still be firmly attached to the curtain.

Or, you could move the powerhead lower, and cover the white tubing with moss without having too much current in that area. I imagine that a moss wall in front of the powerhead would reduce flow quite a bit.

Or, replace the white hoses with clear PVC or even glass pipes. Not sure where to get such thing.
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Old 08-01-2004, 05:54 PM   #5
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Thanks Wasserpest. I'll try thinning it out some and see if that helps any first. Tying it straight to the tube was plan A--until I got the (not so) brilliant idea of trying a wall. Plan A is looking better (easier) all the time.

I've noticed that the few sprigs I put in another, cooler tank do seem to be growing. Is java moss heat sensitive? If so, is there an alternate that can take the heat better?

If I go with tying the plant to the tubes, is java moss my best choice? It's going to be a low light position and my tank gets hot (mid 80's). It wasn't real clear in the pic I posted, but there are 3 intake strainers in the rear corner so debris clogging the filters is a factor.
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Old 08-01-2004, 07:28 PM   #6
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I think Java Moss is very temperature tolerant... It grows in cool water as well as in tropical temperatures. There is a similar looking moss called "Christmas moss" which grows more compact and is better suited for moss walls or tying to tubes.

I would say tying it to the tube might be simple and effective... don't use too much, spread it thin and evenly, and the new growth will cover the white after a while. Java moss needs a regular hair cut... more so than Christmas moss.

Good luck!
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Old 08-01-2004, 08:06 PM   #7
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Wow..
You have serious nutrient problems with that moss. Its dying ! There are no flaws in your plan , the flaws come from growth. Are you keeping any nutrients in the water column ?
Even without haircuts JM will stay green in the lowest of lighting conditions provided it has nutrients.
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Old 08-01-2004, 09:22 PM   #8
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I've only had it a couple of weeks and it looked like that when I got it. Some of the tips are greening up (a little bit), but I wondered if I'd planted it so thickly it was choking it out or if the heat was getting to it (discus in the tank).

While I like the look of the screen for covering the equipment, what I've got isn't what I'd envisioned when I put it together.

Yes, I fertilize. If I'd been thinking when I picked my screen name, it would have been "gross overfeeder."
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Old 08-02-2004, 12:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
when I picked my screen name, it would have been "gross overfeeder."
LOL !

Well if it looked like that when you got it it should come back. It definately prefers cooler water but really hates to be too thickly layered, the insides will turn brown and die off. I have grown moss in higher temp's but it dont get that same lush look and the growth slows down.

Thin it out a bit and give it some time, it should be OK..
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Old 08-02-2004, 12:32 AM   #10
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Oops. I got way more than I thought I would when I ordered it and decided I'd go ahead and have an instantly lush wall. That poor stuff is piled on thickly. And since I hate to sew, I decided to do a very thorough job the first time.

There's enough good stuff peeking out for me to try again with a lighter hand.

Thanks.
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Old 08-04-2004, 03:36 PM   #11
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Wrap a long string of hornwort around it maybe? *shrug*
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Old 08-04-2004, 03:44 PM   #12
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Well, I decided to try and save the screen. It took several hours to poke single fronds through the mesh, but it looks much better and the moss seems healthier.

I've also put in some tall plants (crypt spiralis or retro spiralis?) and an aponogeton in the area underneath and slightly forward to grow up to the bottom.

If the moss doesn't make it due to heat or whatever, I'm going to try tying some kind of plant to the tubes. I know hornwort will be too brittle in a hot tank to take the current. Does anyone know which takes heat better--java fern or anubias?
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