How Do You Use Moss?

AdoraBelle Dearheart

Fish Aficionado
Tank of the Month!
Jul 22, 2020
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I have lots of Java in the 240 gallon. But,I get you as its hard to make look like other mosses in the pretty pictures. Java does not grow into beautiful layers like Christmas moss will. Or into tight mounds like Fissidens. Java in big amounts from a distance could pass as hair algae! Now,I have it on wood..but it has filled in the gaps between wood in an amorphous blobs. It also can get entangled in other plants as strands are loosened by scavenger type fish and float everywhere.
Sometimes Java does send out beautiful Fir tree like branches. Why not always,I can't say. If that was it did all the time..I would let grow from end to end.
One last- those 'scape vids of moss pruned tight on twisty branches? You will quickly find its not reasonable to expect yourself to keep it sheared tight. I way. I would be shearing twice a week by dunking my arm to the pit!
Good to hear that others have had the same experiences with java moss! I keep meaning to pick up some weeping or christmas moss and try those out.


Fish Fanatic
Jan 21, 2021
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Moss can make an aquarium look very nice,but it can be hard work tweaking it and nudging along its propagation,basically a double edged sword.Most videos showing moss depict a beautiful tight knit carpet on wood or rock.Apart from the odd video where it genuinely has been left to spread over years,I wouldn’t want to know what money was spent to getting it looking so good in an instant.
A shortcut to creating a nice tight carpet of moss is to purchase Marino moss balls and basically flatten them out and then attach to the wood or rock.An advantage of this method is less cleaning,as moss balls are already like hair balls ?.don’t forget moss sinks too,so when cutting Java or any other long thronged moss,it can be spread everywhere unless utilising a siphon to quickly gather the cuttings,meaning it can get in the filter and into nooks and crannies where it will grow if left unchecked.
One last negative,once moss is in the tank,it’s in,be prepared to empty the tank if you ever get bored and want rid of tiny bit left will keep growing.
These are only the negatives if you aren’t prepared to put in the work,moss balls take most of the work out of it,and giving them a light squeeze now and then is all they need.However they can lower pH,but also help with keeping a steady pH.It’s all swings and roundabouts.
The upside with moss is that it can look stunning when green,lush and tight and your eyes will get drawn to it,regardless of how good the fish look.
All in my humble opinion.


New Member
May 4, 2009
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I love moss, I once had a tank entirely devoted to different types of moss. It works best thoroughly tied to rocks, wood, or craft mesh with cotton string. You can go ahead and wind the string around and around the object to make sure the moss is thoroughly tied on. Fissidens fontanus, Christmas Moss, and Weeping Moss are some of my favorites. Moss does not do nearly as well in warm water, it does best in the upper 60s to mid 70s in temperature. So it would not be ideal for a Betta tank, since Bettas need water of 78-82 degrees. Plant eating fish like Goldfish will usually eat up moss, so that wouldn't be the best setup for it either. I've found that shrimp such as Cherry Shrimp or Amano Shrimp will keep the moss clean so algae doesn't take over. Besides the temperature thing, moss is a very easy plant. It can do well in low to high light, and can make do without fertilizer or do well in a well fertilized tank. If it gets too dense the inner layer can die and then it won't stay attached to the object, so to maintain it just remove some of the outermost layer with your hand and then retie that part somewhere else.

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