Step By Step Guide - Riccia And Java Moss

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eaglesaquarium

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Complete newbie here. My dad had a tank years ago, and now that I have a son, I am looking at getting a tank going. My dad never had plants in his fish tank, but I think that going with live plants is definitely the way to go. The fish will prefer a more natural environment, and it might give them a much healthier environment. Anyway, being the ridiculous guys that I am about things, I am currently researching a tank that I have not purchased, nor do I plan to until September. Anyway, I am researching different plants to add to my tank. I am looking for hardy plants that don't require a ton of light, a ton of CO2 or a ton of maintenance.


Java moss is one that I am pretty sure I am going to want to have. The method that is described for growing it just looks awesome. Even more important is the fact that it will not grow off the substrate that you place it on. I even like the fact that you can pick it up and vacuum underneath it to remove detritus, etc. and then just place it back when finished.


A few questions I do have though:

1) How often do you need to "clean" the java moss? I figure that there will be some buildup of detritus inside the plant, so that would need to be "rinsed" out. I figure that I could do that every time I vacuum, since I will have to remove the plant anyway to vacuum. Is that often enough, assuming I vacuum at least every two weeks? Secondly, would it be better to rinse it in the water that I remove from the tank, or tap water. I assume the water that is removed from the tank, since tap water would destroy any beneficial bacteria that may be colonizing the plants (does that happen?)


2) Riccia looks so nice, especially the pearls. Is it possible to get that effect with only the CO2 produced by fish/bacteria, without adding extra CO2 to the tank?


3) Is there a reason to wait for the mat of ricca to come off the substrate, before "starting over"? For me, I would much prefer being able to build that time into my schedule fairly regularly, rather than needing to do it when it finally comes free.


4) I am thinking about using a plastic convas, rather than hair net. Plastic canvas is a crafting material that people use to sew with yarn to make little decorations, etc. Is there any danger in the plastic? I figure that this type of material would be safer for a newbie like me than a hairnet. I don't want any fish to get caught in it by mistake. I figure that I could just cut the canvas to the same size as the slate, and tie them together.


5) I know that when adding fish, they must be added in stages to allow the bacteria colonies to grow to meet the needs of the nitrogen cycle. Does that happen with plants, or can they all be added at once?


6) Last, but certainly not least, is it possible to raise plants and fish in an aquarium with two power filters running on the tank? (I am considering a 56 gallon tank (~30in x 18in x 24in), but don't want the added expense/complication of a canister filter. I am thinking that if I ran two power filters, one on each side of the tank and a heater on each side of the tank, I would have a bit of a back-up system in place, in case of failure of one of the devices. I was thinking that having two heaters and power filters that is rated for 40 gallons would be sufficient. If one broke, I would have a little time to get a new one installed before catastrophe set-in.



Thanks for the step-by-step and the pictures. The "lawn" effect that you have going looks just great. Are there any fish that will munch on these plants? I plan to have (eventually) neon tetra, zebra danios, platies, mollies, guppies, cory cats. I figure I will end up with close to 24 fish total in the end. I also would like to add in some taller plants - java fern, wisteria, hornwort, etc. - to hide equipment, give a more natural look, etc.
 

aaronnorth

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1) Wave your fingers through it so the detrius is floating, then do your vacuuming
2) Highly unlikely, hardly any plants pearl without addition of CO2.
3) You can do it whenever you like, keep trimming it every week or two, eventually it becomes to thick and this is when it breaks off as the bottom leaves rot.
4) You could just use the plastic canvas, and tie it on with fishing line, this is what I do because I cannot use hairnets! You still end up needing to tie the hairnet down with fishing line anyway...
5) Plant it as if you was not going to make any changes, the more the better. Just remember to leave space for them to bush out and ake nito consideration the different heights, textures & colours etc, obviously this depends how serious you are on trying to get those "perfect" tanks you see out there!
6) Yeah thats fine, it would probably just be cheaper to buy one 2nd hand cannister though rather than 2 power filters, less clutter, better performance & so much easier to clean!
You want to aim for 10x turnover, this can either be from filters alone or a combination of a powerhead & filter.

Just think what you are going to do with the offsping from the livebearers, you will get over run! lol

Thanks, Aaron
 

eaglesaquarium

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1) Wave your fingers through it so the detrius is floating, then do your vacuuming
2) Highly unlikely, hardly any plants pearl without addition of CO2.
3) You can do it whenever you like, keep trimming it every week or two, eventually it becomes to thick and this is when it breaks off as the bottom leaves rot.
4) You could just use the plastic canvas, and tie it on with fishing line, this is what I do because I cannot use hairnets! You still end up needing to tie the hairnet down with fishing line anyway...
5) Plant it as if you was not going to make any changes, the more the better. Just remember to leave space for them to bush out and ake nito consideration the different heights, textures & colours etc, obviously this depends how serious you are on trying to get those "perfect" tanks you see out there!
6) Yeah thats fine, it would probably just be cheaper to buy one 2nd hand cannister though rather than 2 power filters, less clutter, better performance & so much easier to clean!
You want to aim for 10x turnover, this can either be from filters alone or a combination of a powerhead & filter.

Just think what you are going to do with the offsping from the livebearers, you will get over run! lol

Thanks, Aaron


Thank you so much for the advice! Yeah, I've been thinking about the babies from the livebearers. One thing that I am considering is keeping all one sex of livebearers for a while, at least with the first specie or two (especially the guppies! lol) I might just keep male guppies for a while.


Interesting advice on the canister... I'm a little wary of used stuff. Not that used stuff is bad, but finding a good source for quality used stuff is the concern I have.


One last question regarding the plastic canvas: Is it heavy enough to hold the plants down, or will they float away? I figured I'd need to add something to keep them anchored... maybe not.
 

aaronnorth

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I have has a couple of second hand filters now, both been good except a Tetratec EX1200 which leaked but this is a common problem with them so I half expected it, free repair from TT though :)
If you get filters of here though then you should be fine.

I'm not sure, you can always get a couple of small rocks and tie one onto the sheet if you need to.
Thanks, Aaron
 

altecmicro

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important update Please note that since writing this topic nearly 2.5 years ago i have heard from a number of members that certain burrowing fish have managed to get caught in the hairnet used with this method, occasionally with tragic consequences. I personally have not had this problem even with a common plec in there through out but please be careful as i would not want any of you to lose fish as a result of my advice. in the most part as long as the net is tight enough you should be fine, leave it baggy and obviously inquisitive fish may get caught up in it.....anyway read on if you wish to continue.

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Hi Everyone, i've had a number of PM's regarding how to grow and attach riccia to slate or bogwood in the aquarium following the recent TFF riccia epidemic.

I thought i'd write an easy to follow, step by step guide.

FOR JAVA MOSS FOLLOW THE STEPS HERE FROM "8" ONWARDS, PICS AT THE END

Pseud's Guide to Making a Moss Wall - <a href="http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=126491" target="_blank">http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=126491</a>

When you purchase your riccia (dwarf riccia or Riccia Fluitians) it will come in either a plastic tub, plastic zip lock bag or on a piece of mesh. quite daunting at first as most people look at their little batch and think "what on earth do i do with it now"

for id purposes dwarf riccia is on the left, riccia fluitians is on the right
pintop.jpg


basically follow the following steps:

1- do a decent water change (around 30-50%) and refill adding fertiliser (but not over recommended optimum dosage, avoid that extra bit for luck)

2- remove the riccia from the tub/bag or mesh (no problem if you have to break it up in the process) and place it in a tub of aquarium water. Then break up all the clumps of matted riccia into seperate plantlets.

3- with a piece of airline tube make a loop and float it in your tank (at least 10 inches across) or use a plastic tub with a transparent lid

4- place the separated riccia pieces inside the "floating fence" or tub (filled with tank water) making sure it isn't matted together.

5- leave for a week without touching anything. it will get a bit messy with some bits escaping from the fence. just scoop them up and put back inside. if your using a tub this wont be a problem

6- fill a bucket with warm tap water and take out all the riccia in the tank placing it in the bucket. (noticing you now have twice as much riccia than a week ago!!)

7- swish it all around to get out any debris and separate the matted bits again.

you now have a few options.

riccia on slate, wood, or plastic mesh

depending on the choice above you can use a transparent nylon hairnet, cotton thread or fishing line to tie it on.

a hairnet is by far the best and easiest to work with so long as it fits over the object.

i have used a plastic mesh with a hairnet.

pin1.jpg


now is a good time to place the mesh or slate in the tank to see how it will look, get the size right and visualise the finished piece.

pin2.jpg


8- lay your riccia on the object everywhere that will have direct light. ie not underneath or behind. This is where it can all go wrong, put to much on and the bottom layer will not get enough light and die in a few weeks time leading to the "carpet" breaking free of the net and making a hell of a mess. place enough riccia on the wood,slate or mesh so you have a thin layer, you should just be able to see the wood/slate beneath it.

as i have riccia coming out of my ears i have used as much as possible in mine, this is about the limit, any more and it will not go to plan.

pin4.jpg


pin6.jpg


pin7.jpg


9- place the hairnet over the top and wrap cotton thread around a few times and tie off making sure the netting is pulled tight against the mesh/slate. leave it loose and you will have a flat slate tile for example with a dome of riccia on top rather than a flat carpet (remember it floats)

pin8.jpg


10- as long as there is light directly on the riccia you can place the object anywhere you like. The closer to the light, the more it will pearl. (ie usefull for a cave roof)

pin9.jpg

the blue bits from the mesh will be concealed when the riccia starts to grow.

i have used riccis fluitians for the mesh piece, and have used dwarf riccia for a few more slate covered pieces

finished effect (but needs to grow out a little)

pin10.jpg


You will notice after a week or so the riccia will grow over the netting and start to break off and float to the surface, this should provide a continuous harvest of fresh riccia so long as you clear the surface riccia every couple of weeks.

after 1 week
rflu1.jpg

side view
rflu3.jpg

after 3 weeks
40g5dec05.jpg


full tank shot
40gdec05.jpg



if you do not remove this floating riccia often enough the blanket effect on the surface will cut off the light to the whole tank killing everything. keep an eye on it trust me!!

Keep co2 as close to 30ppm as possible, this is one plant that will survive without co2 but will never reach it's full potential (the pearl carpet effect) without it.

For the cotton thread/fishing line method just tie on one end and wrap it round every direction till the riccia is secure.
the problem is when it grows the whole lot comes free and makes a hell of a mess. riccia does not have roots so will never attach itself to anything.

Here are a few more pictures of my riccia, all held down with hairnets.

resting.jpg

rekord601.jpg

pearlcarpet1.jpg


and under moonlight

ricciamoonlight1.jpg


Please dont be nervous of riccia, as you can see from the steps above the process is simple. With the correct lighting and co2 anyone can create a lovely bubbling carpet for their tank within 2 weeks.

You will rarely find Riccia available at the LFS, the easiest source to obtain it from is mail order suppliers such as Greenline or Java.

Java Moss (pics - step by step)

pinmoss1.jpg

pinmoss2.jpg

pinmoss3.jpg

pinmoss4.jpg

pinmoss5.jpg


updated pictures after 6 weeks growth

c2.jpg

c3.jpg

c5.jpg

c6.jpg

full tank shot
c1.jpg


the moss will branch upwards (towards the light) in about a month this will look like a lawn of grass. all you have to do is give it a quick haircut every month or so to keep it neat. this will work fine in tanks as low as 1 WPG with no CO2 although it will obvoiusly grow more readily with co2 and higher light

i will update this when mine has grown a little


Good luck with your tanks and dont forget to post pictures in the members picture section.

Jimbooo

ps: as this post has now had over 2000 views i'll assume it has been of use to a few of you out there. i'd be really grateful if you'd put a reply on the end of this thread once you've created your carpet giving some feedback of your little project. if i can improve this post in any way i will. thanks, james

i dunno this post is still active or not... currentlt i just start plant my java moss 1 month ago. now looks like nothing change to my java moss. can i know what are ur moss looking when reach about 1 month?
thanks.
 

mike455555

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you can see the moss after 6 weeks in the end 6 pictures =]
 

mentolis

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hi guys. can anyone tell me if can leave co2 on all the time day and night. i will be going on holiday and just to leave it on for plants only as i would move all fish to other tank with mo co2.
also how are snails doing with co2 in the tank.

thanks
 

JasonMichael

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This is unreal! Haha, how often do you usually maintain the riccia? BY the looks of it, riccia grows much more quickly than java? Also, love the moonlight, is that a T5 blue light you used there?
 

Jamowens

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Just bought some Riccia Moss 10oz for £4 off Amazon , never used moss before , really good info on how to use it
smile.png
 

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