Java Moss Question

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Spencer318, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. Spencer318Valued MemberMember

    Question about java moss carpets. So in a year or 2 i plan on upgrading to a 125 gallon tank. I would like to have a java moss carpet. Figured I'd have about 2 inches of soil substrate like EcoComplete, then 1 inch of black sand substrate. If i just weigh down some JM with stones and wood, will it eventually take hold and grow throughout the substrate by itself?

    I saw that some people use mesh or egg crates to make a quicker version but my concern with that method is that i think it would make planting other things difficult.

  2. PeteSteversWell Known MemberMember

    I don't know that it would grow through the substrate or just attached itself to the surface of the substrate.

  3. JenCWell Known MemberMember

    From what I've seen it doesn't root, it grows up not down, and it doesn't stick to my black sand. It sticks like superglue to everything else though, especially climbing up walls.

    I wanted a java carpet too but didn't see any easy way to do it without mesh or gluing it onto rock. I also have concerns about using mesh, primarily that I won't be able to get under it, fry could get trapped, anaerobic pockets could form, etc. Doing a section glued to slate seemed like a better option but not quite what I wanted so now I'm leaning towards a java moss wall and something else for the substrate. I'm interested to see what other folks suggest.

  4. OriongalNew MemberMember

    My experience was that it didn't really adhere to the substrate by itself (I had similar where I tried it, Eco-Complete with black sand mixed in at the top layer). Of course also can't say how much of that was due to disturbance by the corys searching for food; but if you're going to have any kind of substrate-hugging fish it would probably be the same sort of issue.
  5. Spencer318Valued MemberMember

    Yeah i read somewhere about some people just mixing it into the the top substrate but i can't really find any before and after's of that kind of experiment.

    Does anyone have suggestions beyond JM that would be a really easy carpeting plant that stays generally short and doesn't involve me having to get CO2?
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  6. JenCWell Known MemberMember

    S. Repens and dwarf hairgrass both grow in my non-CO2 tanks but they do better with higher light. The s. repens can get pretty leggy in my low light tank.

    I find dwarf hairgrass is beautiful but super annoying to maintain. It seems I'm forever finding grass trimmings after I trim it.

    Dwarf sag is my current favorite all-over-the-substrate plant. It's easy to care for, propagates quickly, and doesn't need CO2. It's not a low carpet but I like it.

    I'm letting java moss run amok in my tanks right now so I can try a mesh wall in another tank I'm setting up. It's crazy how fast it grows.
  7. OriongalNew MemberMember

    Agree with JenC - Dwarf Sagittaria is also what I ended up with as all-over cover for a low-tech planted tank (it will grow into everything though, including sending up runners/babies underneath decorations.) S. Repens is also good, but I haven't had much luck with it myself (only because the ramshorn snails seem to love it and will eat it down to bare stems.)

    Same pics I posted of my shrimp tank in the other thread - can see that even large-ish gravel doesn't deter it much (about 10 months between the pics):


  8. JenCWell Known MemberMember

    Totally. My dwarf sag popped up on the other side of the tank and I was so impressed!

    What kind of moss did you use for your wall? I'll be using java moss because I already have a ton of it but I know it's not the best moss choice for that project.
  9. OriongalNew MemberMember

    It's java moss. I was going for something the shrimp would like over aesthetics, but I ended up liking how it looked as well and wouldn't hesitate to use it that way again.

    The only issue as you say is that it grows like mad - it even tries to grow up out of the waterline. (I don't know if it can survive above water, I trim it.)

    It's some of the most versatile stuff there is, I find all kinds of uses for it. The flag fish like to spawn in it, livebearer fry like to hide in it, and some of my swordtails even graze on it now and then. I usually find some way to work it into a tank, even if it's just growing it on a decoration.
  10. Vishaquatics (Koiman)Well Known MemberMember

    +1 for dwarf sag being a great beginner carpeting plant.


    I grow this much dwarf sag within around 8 days. Once it’s established, it won’t stop!
  11. kallililly1973Well Known MemberMember

    I like the look of the dwarf sag looks like a bunch of small swords. I was gonna suggest some micro swords maybe if you could get them to make some runners and keep bunching them together to form a carpet type setting.
  12. Spencer318Valued MemberMember

    I tried doing a few sprouts of Dwarf hair grass but my corydora's and yoyo's just weren't having it lol Dwarf Sag looks good though, I'll have to read into that!