Spanish Moss Anyone? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Spanish Moss Anyone?

Has anyone tried Spanish Moss on emerging driftwood? If it touches the water does anyone know of toxicity levels?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Teebo View Post
Has anyone tried Spanish Moss on emerging driftwood? If it touches the water does anyone know of toxicity levels?
Good question. Very little literature about the toxicity of Tillandsia usneoides (Spanish Moss) exists, and I have never seen it on any toxic plant lists. The plant is used a lot in Latin America as a contemporary herbal medicine. Research studies have shown T. useneoides has antiviral, anti-inflamatory, and analgesic properties. Oral extracts from the plant produce a compound (3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaric Acid) that has shown to reduce blood glucose in laboratory study animals. Some people make a tea out of this plant for what 'ails em' (whether or not it does any good or not...). Several Native American tribes have used 'Spanish Moss' for livestock feed. One thing for sure ~ people and animals don't die from ingesting it.

From personal experience... I've used Spanish Moss hanging from emerging driftwood for many years (in aquariums housing shrimp, snails, and/or sensitive fish). Occasionally I would get lazy with trimming long strands touching the water... never encountered problems by 'Spanish Moss' touching the water with aquarium fauna/flora. T. usneoides does have a tendency to wick water - I don't like to keep Tillandsia constantly wet, so that is why I would trim strands growing down into the water.

I continue to grow several clumps indoors (no longer have driftwood extending out of my tanks and/or growing 'Spanish Moss' over my aquariums). They do very well under artificial lighting. I also grow several clumps outdoors in full sun that do well (even with staying constantly wet for several weeks during our "jungle-like" rainy season). An easy Tillandsia to work with.

Late addition: Although not hanging over an aquarium, this is a pretty good picture of T. usneoides touching water in a natural environment. If touching water while hanging over an aquarium, there is always the possibility of "rot" due to being constantly wet.
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Last edited by wastewater; 10-21-2016 at 11:46 PM. Reason: Late addition
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input! I am going to try it than

I need something to grow on my emerged driftwood, moss, airplants, something. Something without large foliage blocking access to the tank and light.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 05:36 PM
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old thread, sorry - but just saw this.

My worry with spanish moss would be the bugs. It grows all over charleston - but it's known around here that you can get tiny little biting bugs if you pick it up.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 05:40 PM
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same for when I lived in NC
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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I bought mine from a "clean seller" they already cleaned the moss, unless they are microscopic. Either way I tried this and failed, the air is too dry in the north even directly above an open top aquarium. The moss dries out too quickly, was worth a shot!
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