I was wondering if anyone had ever tried to make a Java moss 'carpet', and if so did it work? I'm trying this in my tank by pulling the moss loose and flat, then putting it on the gravel, and sprinkling a little gravel on top of it to hold it down.
Yes, java moss works great for a carpet! I just put it on the substrate with a pebble to hold it down. It will take hold fast and then instead of trimming growth I just sort of flatten it down everynow and then.
IMO it looks great but there are draw backs.
It traps fish mulm like no tomorrow, it is very messy to clean and trim because it grabs onto the substrate and it wont come up without a huge mess.
If you want the look of a moss carpet the best way I have found to do it is to seed a bunch of stone, I used small pieces of lava rock, and just line them all up on the bottom of the tank.
The nice thing about the lava rock method is that you can remove all the stones from the tank, throw them in the bucket and give them a haircut "outside" of the tank. Before putting them back you just give the substrate a quick vaccum and lay it all back in for another month or two.
Also with stone you can get neat elevation changes by stone size. roud:
Here is a photo of a 10 gallon that I started the moss bed in on lava rock as an example. The size of the stone you use will give any look you choose. You may regret putting directly to the substrate after some time.
Momotara, I'm not sure if I can but I will try. (I've never posted pics here before) Buck, That sound like a good idea, Thanks! And you sure are right about the mulm, in one of my tanks I have a glob of Java Moss, but luckily the Corys keep it pretty clean.
Maybe there is a better way to come up with a low-light carpet look on your tank. I can't think of anything else that might give you that look, but maybe someone else can. I have been wrestling with the same thing in my 6 gallon Eclipse tank. Most carpeting plants seem to be high light hogs. In a low light tank, your choices seem pretty limited. Maybe a person could replicate the method I use with my riccia, only using java moss or some other moss. I just tie it to a flat piece of slate with fishing line and let it grow into a solid mat. Since I only use java moss as a background and fry refuge in my low light tanks, I'm not sure how it would behave.
How about growing java moss on a frame. I've been carriying this idea in my head for a few days now.
1. Make a rectangular or irregular shape (not sure about the material yet; thin rigid tubing can be used i think, maybe even run water through it to create some currents).
2. Stretch some fishing line across to create a grid for the moss to hang on to.
3. Plant moss patches and allow it to spread.
The frame should be kept slightly above the substrate so it doesn't grab onto it. It can be easily removed for trimming and placed back again when done.
I think to try it on my 3 gal fry tank when I get a chance.
Perhaps same idea can be applied to making a background "wall carpet".
Also, this method allows to plug java fern into the grid.
It can make a cool effect, if a mount of java moss is what you're looking for.
Sterving, it will work, especially if you use window screen as the media. I have a screen made to use as an algae scrubber on a SW tank. I've also used it to make walls of java moss. Only problem is the lower moss wants to go up, so it eventually exposes the screen underneath when it's used as a wall or to create any vertical effect. I haven't tried using it to put it on the substrate though, you'd have to keep it pretty high up as it does grow through the screen.
I am trying to grow a carpet like my LFS master sensei has. Used some rotala indica shoots that were growing pretty horizontal anyway and put a mix of java moss and riccia in it. The moss does a decent job of holding the riccia in place and the rotala forms a kind of "framing" for it. A few pebbles for weight holds the whole thing down. The other side of the tank has dwarf hairgrass. Whichever ends up looking better I will probably pull out the other. So far results are pretty good, I just have to keep trimming the rotala baby shoots that "reach for the sky".