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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I've been lurking around the forum for a while now getting info to help me with a large tank I'm setting up (and for my low-tech 10gal too), but I've been having trouble figuring out the best moss to use for my grapewood that will be in the new tank.

I'm attempting to recreate the old Japanese yew forests (gnarley trees, thick plant growth, moss on EVERYTHING) in miniture, so I want to get the hardscape covered really well with mossy growth. The issue is that most mosses (xmas, java, flame, etc.) are too shaggy for the look I'm after.

Is there something that will attach and spread, but keep a tidy growth habit?

The tank is 60gal, will have a canister filter, heater to 77°F, and I plan to stock it with small to med schooling fish. My hood was bought second-hand, so I do not have bulbs yet, but I intend to use very bright gro-lights to penetrate the hardscape since it is positioned to partly shade the understory of the tank. I don't currently plan on using CO2 since I tend to stock fish heavily, though that may change later. Our local water is pretty hard also, so unless I add softeners, the tank water will be too.

I'm so frusterated trying to find something that might work that I am seriously entertaining the idea of taking green spot algae cultures from my little tank to impregnate the wood, but I suspect I would regret that later if it took over the glass. ?

Help?
 

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Welcome!
Look at species of Fissidens or Riccardia chamedryfolia (not a moss but still), I think these would give the look you're after. They will still require trimming to make sure it's shaped exactly how you want it. (For the Riccardia you may need CO2 to really get it going, but I haven't had experience with it so I would ask others)
By the way for shaded areas, I would go for lower light plants (crypts etc.) rather than trying to blast the tank with higher light to compensate. And CO2 can make things slightly more accessible, but as long as you know what your goals are with the tank, what plants you want and growth, you don't absolutely need it.
Anyways, good luck with the tank, and make sure to keep us updated on the progress!


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Riccardia is a bladderwort, right? Will that still attach nicely?

I'd considered ricca, but it seems to float up too much instead of hanging on tight. I'm also toying with "cuba", as long as it can handle trimming to keep it tight.

Normally I just buy a little pack of whatever I'm wanting to try out, pop it in my little tank, and see what happens as it grows to determine if I like the look. But we only have one local aquarium specialty store with limited inventory (still better than chain pet store selection), and they will order me anything I want, but I don't want to wait a week and then cram ten new things in an already crowded 10gal. The fish need "some" room, lol.
 

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Yup it will attach to driftwood etc. Riccia will probably get a bit too long and it can be a pain in the ass to maintain, but it's an easy grower. As for HC (Cuba) I'm not 100% sure it will attach as tightly as you might want, I'm a bit iffy with using it that way to be honest (eventhough I've seen people do it on the internet). I think it's more suited planted in substrate, but you can give it a go.


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Fissidens fox is ideal for your needs. You can use yogurt method to attach it. Quite simple and easy to do, and you don't need big amount of moss to cover the wood.
 

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I am fine with being patient, provided its in terms of months, not years. (My other hobby is orchids and exotic tropical plants; I've waited 6+ years for an encyclia seedling to bloom, and it probably won't for another year yet.)

I know it will take half a year for everything to establish like I want, and I intend to have the finished product look like it's centuries old. That won't happen over night. As it is, I've had the hardscape in for over a week while I decide if I like it, lol. Better to take my time and do it right from the start, hence the pickiness over something like moss. :)

Probably a dumb question: if i mix the fissidens and mini pellia on the same branch, will the fissidens smother the pellia, or can they "play nice"?

I like the idea of the mixed textures looking like moss and lichens, but not if one will completely outcompete the other.

Also, do both work well with gluing? I prefer to avoid having to reach way down into the tank to cut string later, though I'll do it if I have to.

Sorry to have so many questions guys. I've had planted tanks my whole life (at least since I was about 7 and realized my goldfish tank was less yucky between WC's after adding anacharis), but this is the first time I have gotten really, really serious with design or moved beyond what I can buy locally at Petco/PetsMart, and its the biggest (read: most expensive) aquarium project I have tried so far, so I'm trying to do my homework before I plant it out, instead of screwing up and having to constantly triage everything later.
 

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If you open up a marimo ("moss" ball), you can tie it down to areas you want covered. It won't attach to anything, but it will grow up through the thread (it's tied down with) and hide it.



 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That is actually pretty awesome. I never would have thought of using yogurt to tissue culture in place. Will that work with most mosses (java, willow, xmas, etc.), or just certain kinds?
 

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Some do better than others. Some people simply use beer instead of yoghurt.
 
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