How I Grow Aquatic Moss - By Dennis Singh
First and foremost, I think adaptation is the key to growing aquatic moss. All the information is already out there. When I started out I could only grow Java Moss. My Erect Moss would brown out on me, and my Christmas Moss would die out on me. and so I set forth for inspiration from the moss pictures from killies.com. I saw beautiful pictures of Erect Moss and Christmas Moss from Mr Loh K L. This is what started my drive, so I started reading every post about moss I can find. And it hooked me on when I started seeing beautiful results. My next moss was Singapore Moss, and then Erect Moss, moving into Taiwan Moss and Weeping Moss and then Willow Moss. All these species are magnificent in their own way.
A moss needs a period of time to adapt to your tank conditions. The cooler and cleaner the water (lets not worry about nutrients just yet, I'll get more into that later on), a good flow (which makes oxygen injection a lot of sense), and of course moss being attached to something, the quicker it will adapt and the better it will grow. Its true that CO2 content is higher in colder water, but that doesn't explain a the big deal on how CO2 is the best way to grow moss. I grew moss with a hang-on Marineland Emperor, which takes out the CO2 efficiently. I couldn't grow other aquatic plants well with this setup.
No CO2 injection, so does it means that CO2 was constantly in my tank with cool water? Was it coming from my tap? I find it hard to believe that the levels suggested out there are what are needed to grow moss. I had a backyard shaded 24x7 tank with artificial lighting in freezing waters and even browned-out moss would recover for me. Though this would take a period of about 1 month for things to actually start growing from these browned-out moss. Was CO2 naturally cycled into my tank outdoors? I don't know but it was a 20 gallon which I don't think is big enough to do so naturally from what I have heard. CO2 is beneficial though right? I used to think it would make a great difference but mosses do just fine without it. However, it sure doesn't hurt to add in as a macronutrient.
Going back to adaptation, the more changes you make to your tank, the more time it will take for your moss to adapt. The GH and KH of the water don't matter much as long as you keep them consistent and letting the moss have time to adapt to these conditions. Your moss will keep growing and growing. The more fertilizers you add, the more you will have to worry about algae and delay. Mosses do need macros, but very little. You can tell when mosses lack of nutrients as they will get lighter and even transparent in color. That's when adding little by little should come about.
I have always had terrible luck when adding traces only from Seachem. Maybe I am adding too much, as I'm always get attacked with some sort of algae or utricularia. Even then, though, the mosses will continue to grow as long as you have cooler water. Higher levels of fertilization are not a problem as long as you have something taking in those nutrients. Water changes are great to ensure clean water, just keep your GH and KH consistant, and allow time for adaptation for each continual growth.
I will now go over two different species of mosses:
Vesicularia sp' - involves Weeping, Christmas, Singapore and more.
Most of these species need cooler waters. It makes a lot of sense as they originate in cooler regions like Canada. An odd exception would be Singapore Moss, but even then this moss are found in shaded areas.
Taxiphyllum sp' - involves Java Moss and so many different other types
This species is an extremely easy moss to caretake over. The adaptation time is faster, and the species can tolerate higher temperatures. They are very fast growers just like all moss when settled. These mostly have origins in warmer climate countries.
Always keep the water clean and new, and keep the water flowing.
In general, dose lightly, provide good light, and keeps it cool if not cold is my key to full potential moss growth. Many can grow moss without these conditions, but this is just my easy way. With all plants like downoi, mosses, toninas, you just can't seem to grow them, comes evolution making the range of conditions very favorable to us hobbyist.
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- Information about the cultivation of the different Aquatic Moss, Aquarium
Moss, Java Moss, and Christmas Moss.