This aquatic plant is favored in planted tanks because moss helps a hardscape look more mature and grown out, which is a look that is enjoyed by most aquarists. It is also helpful in providing a safe environment for fry to grow so it is useful in breeding projects.
Below, we’re going to discuss everything you need to be successful. We’ll review plant varieties, ideal tank, habitat, and fertilizers so that you can safely include these beautiful plants in your aquarium. Both your eyes and your fish will thank you!
Java Moss care items:
This species naturally grows in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Japan, Java, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and the East Indian islands. It thrives in moist tropical climates and grows on rocks, tree trunks, and river banks.
In the aquarium trade,
Java Moss Appearance
Similar to other mosses, this moss has no true roots. Instead, they have sticky rhizoids that help them anchor. This makes it a flexible aquarium plant that can be “planted” in various locations like driftwood and rocks, in addition to the substrate. It is more flexible because it doesn’t rely on roots. Instead, it absorbs nutrients primarily through its leaves.
Java Moss Care
Java Moss Habitat
When thinking through caring for any aquatic creature or plant, it is helpful to consider the organism’s natural environment and try to mimic that. This species flourishes in warm, moist, tropical environments so you will see those conditions reflected below.
It is advised to run your aquarium lights for 8-10 hours a day. This can help reduce algae outbreaks. Additionally, it mimics natural daylight for your plant and animals, which helps create a more realistic environment than if the lights are on constantly. If you forget to turn off your lights frequently, consider purchasing an aquarium timer.
Co2 is not required. However, it is recommended if you’re interested in faster growth and brighter colors.
Similar to CO2, fertilizer is not required. However, it is recommended for faster growth rates. Because this species is a rootless plant, liquid additives that go straight into the water column are your best bets.
- Ideal Temperature: 70°-86°F (21°-30°C)
- pH: 6-8
- Water Hardness: up to 20 dGH (333 ppm)
We recommend doing water checks regularly on your tank, to support both your aquatic critters and plants.
How to Plant
To plant this species, it will need somewhere to attach its rhizome. Good options are driftwood, rocks, or even plastic decorations. There are several methods for attachment: aquarium-safe glue, tying it down, or creating a beautiful
1.How to Glue
It may feel counterintuitive to use something like super glue on your plants, but this method is effective and easy to do.
- Get the decoration (driftwood, rocks, etc) that you want to use as the anchor for your moss.
- Dab a small amount of superglue on the surface
- Press the
Java Mossgently into the superglue and count to 5 seconds.
- Once secured, place the decoration with the moss back in your tank.
2. How to Tie Down
This method involves a fishing line or cotton thread. The goal is to fasten the plant securely to the decoration with the fishing line or cotton thread.
- Gather your fishing line or cotton thread, your
Java Moss(we recommend 2 inch pieces at minimum), and your decoration which you plan to use as the anchor.
- Tie the fishing line or cotton thread tightly around the plant and decoration, so the plant is securely attached to your decoration.
- Trim any excess line and place the decoration and plant back into your aquarium.
Cotton thread will break down over time. Once the
3. How to Carpet with
Carpeting, or lining the bottom of your tank, requires a different approach. To prepare, gather plastic canvas and suction cups and decide where you want the
- Cut your sheets of plastic canvas to fit the desired carpeting area. Cut 2 sheets to the exact same measurements.
- Puncture the plastic sheets with the tip of an exacto-knife. This is where you will attach the suction cups through.
- Attach suction cups at each corner and at 6 inches intervals along each side. Adding a few extra in the middle will add more stability.
- Spread your moss in a thin layer over the sheet with suction cups.
- Place the second sheet over the moss.
- Fasten the two plastic sheets together with string (envision that you’re sewing them together). Go around all four edges, doing a “stitch” every 2 inches or so. When finished, tie it off and cut excess line.
- Sew a few rows of horizontal lines across the canvas, spaced out by about 6 inches. When finished, tie it off and cut the excess line.
- Place the plastic canvas inside the tank and press down firmly to adhere the suction cups to the glass.
Java Moss Wall
Java Moss Tree
To create a tree in an aquarium, a piece of driftwood is used to resemble a tree trunk. Moss is attached to it by using aquarium-safe glue or tying it down with fishing line. The moss will attach and grow outwards from driftwood. Aquascapers get really creative with this approach and can make the tree resemble a Bonsai tree or forest inside their tanks.
Java Moss For Raising Fry
If you want ornamental shrimp to feel like they’re in heaven, give them a carpet of this moss. It provides a place to hide and an excellent food source. The shrimp will sift through the moss, eating algae and biofilm, helping keep your tank clean and your shrimp happy. It is an ideal plant for a shrimp tank.
Java Moss Maintenance
Although easy to care for,
Detritus, like fish waste and uneaten food, can get stuck in the delicate webs of this moss. Over time, the detritus will become visible, which can be an eyesore in an otherwise beautiful tank. More seriously, the detritus will release nitrates into your tank, which will hurt the water quality and jeopardize the stability of your tank. Therefore, it is important to be proactive with your plant care.
You can also siphon out detritus by poking the vacuum into the moss and siphonig out the detritus.
If left alone,
It should be trimmed with scissors if it starts getting overgrown. Trimming is beneficial to the moss because it ensures light can reach the middle stems and leaves. By trimming regularly, you avoid situations where the middle of the moss dies and turns brown because of insufficient light. It can be challenging to untangle dead sections from new sections so it is better to avoid the entire situation with regular maintenance.
Java Moss – Potential Issues
Algae can be an issue. Algae problems can become exaggerated if there is strong lighting or long periods of light (more than 8-10 hours daily).
In general, algae grows more quickly than moss. This can create a dangerous situation because the algae can become embedded among the small stems and leaves. If it does, it is almost impossible to remove the algae without damaging the moss.
If this occurs, the easiest solution to remove the algae (without removing the moss) is using the cleaning services of freshwater shrimp, like cherry shrimp. However, these may not be compatible with your other tank mates so this could be a limited option.
Another option would be to partially drain the tank (25-50% of total volume), then spray hydrogen peroxide directly onto the exposed algae. You can let it sit for a few minutes before refilling the tank. This strategy will kill the algae but not the moss. Clearly, this strategy is more complicated with a fully stocked tank.
Lastly, if you’re prepared with a little elbow grease, you can go in manually with a soft-bristled toothbrush and scrub the algae off. This works for small spots and is not recommended for bigger jobs.
While not an issue, per se, slow growth can be an issue. If you find yourself in this situation, you can try increasing the light strength or hours (but be careful about the algae), adding in CO2, or layering in a fertilizer.
Trimming makes a mess
Trimming is important for maintaining the health of the plant. However, it is a messy process. This species has small, delicate leaves and stems so as soon as you trim it, these tiny little pieces get everywhere! And then to further complicate it, when you restart your filters, the water current will propel them everywhere.
The best way to prevent this is to siphon out pieces while you’re trimming. Using a smaller siphon, like a ⅜ inch tubing, creates enough suction to remove the trimmings but avoids sucking out too much water where you make a mess.
How To Choose A Healthy Plant
It is important to pick healthy plants for your tanks. Consider the following factors when evaluating for a healthy
- What color is the plant? (ideal is a beautiful deep green)
- Do the leaves and stems look strong? Are there patches of brown?
- Does the plant look well maintained?
- How clean is the tank?
- Are there any fish in the tank with the plants?
Java Moss Propagation
The new piece will attach itself through its rhizoids. This process typically takes a few weeks. You can anchor the new piece with aquarium-safe glue or tie it down with cotton thread or fishing line until the rhizoids do their magic.
Java Moss Tank Mates
Java Moss FAQs
Java moss so expensive?
How fast does
Java moss grow?
Java moss easy to grow?
Java moss give oxygen?
Yes. Mosses are plants and they perform photosynthesis, in which they consume CO2 and produce. This means that by including
Do snails eat
Yes, there are reports of both Mystery snails, Apple snails, and Nerite snails devouring this moss. If you find yourself in this situation, you can experiment with adding more vegetables to the tank to try to sway them away from your moss.
How can I make
Java moss grow faster?
There are multiple levers you can pull to make your
Java moss dead?
Likely, yes. If the moss remains brown after 1-2 weeks with no new green tips, it is best to trim the brown and move on. However, there are reports of aquarists forgetting their
Do Betta fish like
Yes, your Betta will enjoy a tank filled with
Now that you’ve learned just about all there is to know when it comes to caring for