How to Use Aquatic Mosses in Your Planted Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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How to Use Aquatic Mosses in Your Planted Tank



To make your tank truly spectacular, try adding moss to the mix. With many types to choose from, moss adds a lush and natural touch to your aquarium.

When it comes to stocking your freshwater aquarium with live plants, you have many options to choose from. You can choose tall plants that grow broad leaves, short plants that grow small leaves, and everything in between. One unique option you might want to consider to make your planted tank truly unique is aquatic moss.


Types of Aquatic Mosses


There are a number of different types of aquatic moss that can be used in planted tanks. These mosses can be used to create a living green carpet on the bottom of your tank or they can be rooted to pieces of driftwood. Below you will find a list of some of the most common aquatic mosses:
  • Java Moss – This is the most common type of aquatic moss and it is known by the scientific name Taxiphyllum barbieri. What makes this moss so popular is the fact that it is incredibly hardy and it thrives under a variety of conditions, even in low lighting. Java moss doesn’t require any extra fertilization – it can grow with the nutrients created by decomposing organic wastes.

  • Singapore Moss – The scientific name for this aquatic moss is Vesicularia dubyana and its growth and appearance varies depending on the conditions in which it is grown. Singapore moss produces small leaflets that are ovular in shape. This type of moss can grow in water or on land.

  • Christmas Moss – This type of moss is known by the scientific name Vesicularia montagnei and it is named for the Christmas tree-like shape of its growth. Christmas moss produces very bright green foliage – brighter than java moss – and it grows very well in low light conditions. This type of moss does particularly well when rooted to driftwood because its fronds tend to grow downward.

  • Peacock Moss – This type of moss is known by the scientific name Taxiphyllum sp. And it has different leaves than other common mosses – the fronds spread out much like a peacock’s feathers. Peacock moss has a soft and velvety texture and it grows in thick clumps but also has the ability to branch out.

Tips for Using Aquatic Moss



Growing aquatic moss in the planted tank requires certain things including light and nutrients as well as certain water temperatures and a surface to grow on. Many mosses grow well in low lighting conditions and they also do well in cooler water temperatures. One of the most important things aquatic mosses need is a surface on which to grow. To begin a growth of moss, spread it out in an even layer over the desired surface and let it grow in. If you want to grow it on a particular surface – like driftwood or rocks – you can tie it down with fishing line or dark-colored thread.


When it comes to lighting for aquatic mosses, ambient light is usually best. Some species, however, require a little more light, though 2 watts per gallon is usually sufficient. The most important nutrients for aquatic mosses are trace elements which can be found naturally in your tank as fish waste decomposes. You generally do not need to worry about fertilizer – in fact, if you over-fertilize your tank it might lead to excess algae growth which could choke out your mosses.

Using aquatic moss in your planted tank can give your tank a unique look and a natural feel. A lush carpet of moss can also provide your fish with food to snack on and cover for baby fish. There are many benefits to aquatic moss, so consider adding some to your planted tank.


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 04:46 PM
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Where are you admins pulling this stuff? You've got a wealth of information here on the forum but are putting outdated and/or inaccurate on the front page of the site.

Case in point: watts per gallon (and the bits about fertilizing). For anyone coming here who reads this: please use the search function on the forum or check the Lighting section for information about how to properly light a planted aquarium. Also check the Plants section for information about moss care.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-24-2015, 06:11 AM
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When I joined this forum, watts per gallon was widely referenced. Also there was no EI (estimative index method of dosing fertilizer). It works for us really well, there's some veteran members here who used the old methods and have very successful tanks.

That said, I think it's more important to understand from a fundamental level how to balance a tank: how to manage a tank's light, co2, and fertilizers.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 10:25 AM
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How can anyone recommend Java moss? I put some in my tank, and it looked great for a few months. Then I began finding it everywhere. Little bits of it began to infiltrate my glosso carpet, which had been doing great, until at last about half of the mass of the carpet was not glosso but Java moss. The whole thing looked horrible. Ripped out the glosso.

I'm still finding lots of Java moss where it shouldn't be. Pretty soon I'm going to take apart my entire tank for a move, and when I rebuild it my one iron rule will be No Java Moss. That stuff should come with a biohazard label. Fishstore guy says that's just what it does (wish he'd told me when I bought it!)
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachawry View Post
How can anyone recommend Java moss? I put some in my tank, and it looked great for a few months. Then I began finding it everywhere. Little bits of it began to infiltrate my glosso carpet, which had been doing great, until at last about half of the mass of the carpet was not glosso but Java moss. The whole thing looked horrible. Ripped out the glosso.

I'm still finding lots of Java moss where it shouldn't be. Pretty soon I'm going to take apart my entire tank for a move, and when I rebuild it my one iron rule will be No Java Moss. That stuff should come with a biohazard label. Fishstore guy says that's just what it does (wish he'd told me when I bought it!)
It's too bad you have bad experience with Java moss.

I have it in a vase with cherry shrimp, growing on Mopani wood. I have only trimmed it twice in the past 4.5 months but was fortunate enough that the wood was easy to remove from the tank for trimming. It's also growing slow but thick, such that it does not need to be trimmed very much now. Last trim was maybe two months ago?

With decent light it does not grow very stringy, hence less likely to break off.

I think for most mosses it's easier for the tank keeper if the wood/rock is removable from the tank for trimming. That's what I try to do anyway, not always possible depending on the hardscape/aquascaping desired.

Anyway, here's a photo of it.

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