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I'm new to aquarium plants - I currently have a few anubias attached to driftwood and I'm using liquid fertilizer. I am preparing to order some easy, low-tech tissue culture plants to add to the tank. I like the look of moss on driftwood - the forest look - but I don't want a plant that will take off and invade my entire tank. I'm hoping for suggestions for something that will give me that moss-covered wood look without the aggressive growth of the mosses I've read about (java, christmas, etc). I have a 46 gallon bow front with 2 WavePoint Sun Wave High Output T5 12,000K Daylight Lamp lights. I have black diamond blasting media for substrate.
 

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If you dont mind it being about 4-5" tall windelov java fern looks pretty cool whem you attach several to a piece of wood or something. I did this on a larger piece of drift wood, some pics in last page of my journal and many more cooler looking ones online.
 

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.. but I don't want a plant that will take off and invade my entire tank.
Having moss take over and invade your tank is probably the last thing you should be worried about, especially in low tech. It really doesn't grow that fast and you just turn off your filter cut off the growth and suction out or use a tweezer. Compared to other mosses, yes java is a faster grow, but christmas moss is fine.

I've had moss in practically every tank I've setup and it's never been a problem. Now if your talkng about riccia or duckweed that's another story.
 

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Fissiden

Pellia

Subwasertang
All of these can easily take over a tank. They can be managed, but once introduced, they're nearly impossible to remove completely.

hubb2424 -

Any mossylike plant will find it's way into the the crevices and voids of your tank. It's normally not a big deal if you trim once in a while and commit to it being a mainstay. If you want to avoid that altogether, it's probably best to go with some other type of epiphytic plant, like Java Fern, Bolbitis, Anubias, or Bucephalandras. There are also mini versions of each of those that can fill driftwood space nicely.
 

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All of these can easily take over a tank. They can be managed, but once introduced, they're nearly impossible to remove completely.

hubb2424 -

Any mossylike plant will find it's way into the the crevices and voids of your tank. It's normally not a big deal if you trim once in a while and commit to it being a mainstay. If you want to avoid that altogether, it's probably best to go with some other type of epiphytic plant, like Java Fern, Bolbitis, Anubias, or Bucephalandras. There are also mini versions of each of those that can fill driftwood space nicely.
Love all those plants (my tank is pretty much all that plus moss), but none of those will give the OP the "moss-covered look" he/she is going for without using actual moss. It's just really not an issue especially in low-tech. Maybe avoid java moss, but all others are easily kept up with, during routine maintenance.
 

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I haven't updated it in a while, but here is a link for plants that grow on objects. Look up and research some of the plant names listed. You'll find what you need: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/33-plants/723817-plants-root-onto-objects-3.html

As for low-tech with moss, you shouldn't have any problem with it taking over. I've removed and added moss in low-tech setups many times, never had remaining rogue bits.

Good Luck in whatever you choose!

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I haven't updated it in a while, but here is a link for plants that grow on objects. Look up and research some of the plant names listed. You'll find what you need: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/33-plants/723817-plants-root-onto-objects-3.html

As for low-tech with moss, you shouldn't have any problem with it taking over. I've removed and added moss in low-tech setups many times, never had remaining rogue bits.

Good Luck in whatever you choose!

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True, there's no real concern of these plants taking over in a low-tech, but I'm not sure how you managed entirely avoiding the rogue bits. I've had various mosses, pelia, and subwassertang spring up months down the line in various places. It's especially likely if I give the moss haircuts. It's still mostly manageable, but something to be mindful of, so as not to cross contaminate species.
 

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Since I keep large cichlid that dig and rearrange substrate, I avoid substrate plants and use epiphytes predominantly with a few rooted plants secured in pots. In my 125g, I have trident Java fern and Bolbitis attached to larva rock in the middle and left, and in my 75g, 90% of the plants are Anubias and Buce attached to lace rock. The low growing epiphytes (trident Java fern and mini Bolbitis) are close enough in look to moss without moss invasiveness. Hitchride moss can ruin a structured scape by popping up at wrong places and I got rid of it by heavy dosing of excel, 5x daily for a week.
 

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