Make Christmas Moss Grow Faster

TheBettaSushi

Hey all! I wanted to know if someone out there has some kind of technique they use to grow out Christmas moss quicker. My Anubias plants are growing but moss is taking forever. I’ve had my plants for a over a month now and I dose with seachem flourish once a week. I don’t use co2 because I have low light plants that don’t require it. I’m using the Fluval Edge 4.4watt 21led headlamp that comes with the tank. The moss is glued on to manzanita driftwood. Temp of tank is 76 degrees. I know I have some browning but I’ve been told that it’s because it’s getting acclimated to the water and that I’ll have dead spots before it actually takes off and grows.

I’m still cycling the tank...

77BAEB56-A93A-408C-ADE0-C1F3414C5AA3.jpeg

4240AEB6-6FF6-4826-91AC-9F419ED3CAE5.jpeg
 

Giul

How long has it been glued to the wood? Don’t worry, once it starts growing it’ll thrive!
 

Rowan

I had some christmas moss that wasn't thriving and I finally realized that it was getting choked out by algae. (Very fine and hard to see mixed in with the strands of moss.) I started spot-treating with hydrogen peroxide almost every day and it's doing much better now.

I'm guessing you're NOT having the same issue, since you just recently set up the tank, but I thought I'd throw it out there just in case.
 

TheBettaSushi

How long has it been glued to the wood? Don’t worry, once it starts growing it’ll thrive!
About a month... I had to re-glue some a week ago because the fish were zooming through it and dislodging it.

I had some christmas moss that wasn't thriving and I finally realized that it was getting choked out by algae. (Very fine and hard to see mixed in with the strands of moss.) I started spot-treating with hydrogen peroxide almost every day and it's doing much better now.

I'm guessing you're NOT having the same issue, since you just recently set up the tank, but I thought I'd throw it out there just in case.
Thanks! I’ll definitely keep an eye out for that. I noticed white fuzz growing on the wood last week but heard that driftwood also has its own cycle when introduced into a tank. It was gathering up by the moss but it seems to have dissipated now.
 

FiscCyning

Thanks! I’ll definitely keep an eye out for that. I noticed white fuzz growing on the wood last week but heard that driftwood also has its own cycle when introduced into a tank. It was gathering up by the moss but it seems to have dissipated now.
Yeah the white fuzz is normal and shouldn’t affect anything (plants or fish). Moss does tend to be a slow grower when it’s first getting established.
 

angelcraze

I'm far from a moss pro, but maybe gluing it more sparingly would encourage it to grow more on the wood instead of old growth. Like my giant baby tear carpet, if I let it grow too tall, it would choke itself out and go floating as lower plant parts that anchored it smothered. Hope that makes sense!
 

TheBettaSushi

I'm far from a moss pro, but maybe gluing it more sparingly would encourage it to grow more on the wood instead of old growth. Like my giant baby tear carpet, if I let it grow too tall, it would choke itself out and go floating as lower plant parts that anchored it smothered. Hope that makes sense!
Makes perfect sense and I did do that originally but from what I’ve read/seen on how to make moss trees, they suggest to use bunches then glue because the glue will eventually make the moss die off and they need other ways to stick together. therefore, the bunches will help them stay put and latch on to one another and on the driftwood.

Yeah the white fuzz is normal and shouldn’t affect anything (plants or fish). Moss does tend to be a slow grower when it’s first getting established.
How long does it take to get established? It’s been looking so pathetic for a month now lol. On the other hand, my Anubias is sprouting leaves every other day. I’m just becoming impatient I guess and figured if someone had a way to make it grow faster, I’d like to know!
 

angelcraze

Makes perfect sense and I did do that originally but from what I’ve read/seen on how to make moss trees, they suggest to use bunches then glue because the glue will eventually make the moss die off and they need other ways to stick together. therefore, the bunches will help them stay put and latch on to one another and on the driftwood.
!
Oh well that makes sense too! I didn't know the glue would kill the moss. Maybe that's why my fissedens never took off. I killed it all with glue!
 

TheBettaSushi

Oh well that makes sense too! I didn't know the glue would kill the moss. Maybe that's why my fissedens never took off. I killed it all with glue!
Yeah it does. The part of the moss that you glue will die off because it’s been blocked from nutrients by the glue itself. This is why they say to only use a tiny thin layer of glue.
 

Giul

My moss was slow to start growing but once it did, it seriously did. You can try fertilizing twice a week to see if that helps but I think you’ll be surprised at the change you’ll start to notice when it establishes itself
 

TheBettaSushi

My moss was slow to start growing but once it did, it seriously did. You can try fertilizing twice a week to see if that helps but I think you’ll be surprised at the change you’ll start to notice when it establishes itself
How long will it take to establish? I can keep dosing but because I’m still cycling, I’m afraid that flourish will mess it up. I’ve had an extremely difficult time trying to cycle my tank for some reason. Thankfully the danios helped because I’m finally in the nitrite phase. My Anubias is growing beautifully, java fern is ehhhh and my moss is a complete embarrassment. I’m thinking it’s going to take several months for this moss tree to actually look like a tree. :-(
 

Giul

How long will it take to establish? I can keep dosing but because I’m still cycling, I’m afraid that flourish will mess it up. I’ve had an extremely difficult time trying to cycle my tank for some reason. Thankfully the danios helped because I’m finally in the nitrite phase. My Anubias is growing beautifully, java fern is ehhhh and my moss is a complete embarrassment. I’m thinking it’s going to take several months for this moss tree to actually look like a tree. :-(

Oh, in several months you’ll already be shaping the trees to look the way you like. Java fern is a slow grower but give the moss time to recover from being glued and I’m sure you’ll see a difference soon. Also how long is your tank light on for? You can increase the time it’s on (so long are you don’t get algae) so that the moss can grow more. But be patient I have 10 times the amount of moss that I bought originally 5 months ago. I put it in an established tank and I let it float to grow more so after about a month I saw a difference in growth speed (from slow to rapid).
 

TheBettaSushi

Oh, in several months you’ll already be shaping the trees to look the way you like. Java fern is a slow grower but give the moss time to recover from being glued and I’m sure you’ll see a difference soon. Also how long is your tank light on for? You can increase the time it’s on (so long are you don’t get algae) so that the moss can grow more. But be patient I have 10 times the amount of moss that I bought originally 5 months ago. I put it in an established tank and I let it float to grow more so after about a month I saw a difference in growth speed (from slow to rapid).
Do you think it’s taking long because my tank isn’t established yet? I leave the light on for 9 hours then switch it to the blue night light for a couple of hours so it doesn’t just go pitch black. It’s nice to see the calming effect the blue light has in the tank. Once I am ready to go to the bedroom, I turn it completely off and turn the airstone on right after that. I do have one slight problem though and that is I don’t get a lot of light on the edges or corners of the tank. I was thinking about getting external lighting but I’m afraid it will be too much for a 6 gallon tank and I definitely don’t want an algae bloom.

Oh, in several months you’ll already be shaping the trees to look the way you like. Java fern is a slow grower but give the moss time to recover from being glued and I’m sure you’ll see a difference soon. Also how long is your tank light on for? You can increase the time it’s on (so long are you don’t get algae) so that the moss can grow more. But be patient I have 10 times the amount of moss that I bought originally 5 months ago. I put it in an established tank and I let it float to grow more so after about a month I saw a difference in growth speed (from slow to rapid).
Btw the only reason why I want it to grow faster (besides it looking pathetic) is because my cycle is almost towards the last phase and once it’s done, I am going to wait a month or so to make sure my water parameters remain stable and then danios I have will be returned so I can get a pea puffer. I would really like the moss to grow by that time so that my tank looks plush for the puffer. The moss will have been in the tank for 2 months by then.
 

-Mak-

How long will it take to establish? I can keep dosing but because I’m still cycling, I’m afraid that flourish will mess it up. I’ve had an extremely difficult time trying to cycle my tank for some reason. Thankfully the danios helped because I’m finally in the nitrite phase. My Anubias is growing beautifully, java fern is ehhhh and my moss is a complete embarrassment. I’m thinking it’s going to take several months for this moss tree to actually look like a tree. :-(
It doesn't really take any time if conditions are right. This was my old setup, from day 1 planting to day 12 of growing. Less than 2 weeks, and over time the christmas got so big it started blocking light to the other plants.


Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 11.24.40 AM.png
Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 11.24.49 AM.png

It was uncycled and I was doing Nilocg Thrive fertilizer daily, nitrate went to 80 ppm. Overdosing excel 5x. Flourish is very dilute and lacks adequate nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, so it will not increase those levels in your tank, nor do fertilizers mess with the cycle

I think your light is not enough, if you search on google you will see most planted tank keepers with a fluval edge try to upgrade the light. Moss can survive in low light but it'll thrive when there is more light. You may also be lacking some nutrients due to how dilute flourish is and the infrequency of dosing, though if you're cycling with ammonia it can use ammonia, so fertilizer may be a problem for the future.
 

TheBettaSushi

It doesn't really take any time if conditions are right. This was my old setup, from day 1 planting to day 12 of growing. Less than 2 weeks, and over time the christmas got so big it started blocking light to the other plants.


Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 11.24.40 AM.png
Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 11.24.49 AM.png

It was uncycled and I was doing Nilocg Thrive fertilizer daily, nitrate went to 80 ppm. Overdosing excel 5x. Flourish is very dilute and lacks adequate nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, so it will not increase those levels in your tank, nor do fertilizers mess with the cycle

I think your light is not enough, if you search on google you will see most planted tank keepers with a fluval edge try to upgrade the light. Moss can survive in low light but it'll thrive when there is more light. You may also be lacking some nutrients due to how dilute flourish is and the infrequency of dosing, though if you're cycling with ammonia it can use ammonia, so fertilizer may be a problem for the future.
Can’t have that much nitrate in my tank. I’ve got fish. My lights are leds, not halogen like the old fluvals that people were switching out. I heard excel isn’t good to use especially in small tanks like mine. And I dose once a week. Is that not enough?

This is what my lights are under tech specs:

1705953A-C349-4AD6-946B-DECCB07D088E.png
 

angelcraze

It doesn't really take any time if conditions are right. This was my old setup, from day 1 planting to day 12 of growing. Less than 2 weeks, and over time the christmas got so big it started blocking light to the other plants.


Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 11.24.40 AM.png
Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 11.24.49 AM.png

It was uncycled and I was doing Nilocg Thrive fertilizer daily, nitrate went to 80 ppm. Overdosing excel 5x. Flourish is very dilute and lacks adequate nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, so it will not increase those levels in your tank, nor do fertilizers mess with the cycle

I think your light is not enough, if you search on google you will see most planted tank keepers with a fluval edge try to upgrade the light. Moss can survive in low light but it'll thrive when there is more light. You may also be lacking some nutrients due to how dilute flourish is and the infrequency of dosing, though if you're cycling with ammonia it can use ammonia, so fertilizer may be a problem for the future.
Pls pardon the small hijack, but is that hydrocotyle at the bottom? What type is it?
 

Giul

IME, I think the lights should be fine, my sister’s Christmas moss grows like a weed in her top fin 20 gallon high. She’s using the original light/lid that came with the kit and it’s still thriving. That tank also doesn’t receive fertilizers so I think it will simply grow slower in less than ideal environment. But again, once it is established it will start growing more rapidly. I have very hard water so the difference may be that you have softer water than I do.
 

Vishaquatics

As some others have said, it will "take off" after it establishes itself. Almost all mosses grow painstakingly slow. My version of fast growth is around 3 inches a day, which is what some of my stem plants do in tanks that I have Co2 in. If you really want to speed it up, pressurized CO2, grow lights, and fertilizers are the way to go
 

angelcraze

I think the lights would be fine to grow the plants you have and they don't necessarily need added ferts, but if we're talking about how to make it grow faster, added ferts, co2 source and more light is the answer.
Ooops, just saw Vishaquatics already said that.

Maybe stem plants would be a good addition if you want a lush planted tank for your puffer. Along with the others.
 

TheBettaSushi

IME, I think the lights should be fine, my sister’s Christmas moss grows like a weed in her top fin 20 gallon high. She’s using the original light/lid that came with the kit and it’s still thriving. That tank also doesn’t receive fertilizers so I think it will simply grow slower in less than ideal environment. But again, once it is established it will start growing more rapidly. I have very hard water so the difference may be that you have softer water than I do.
My Ph is at 7.6 GH is around 4-5 and kh is about 4-5 as well. I haven’t tested today yet (I’ve been testing every day since I’m still cycling) but changed 30% water last night due to a bit of a nitrite spike so my GH/KH is around there from what I’ve experienced in my past readings. It’s just strange that everything is growing except for the moss. I guess I’ll just have to ride it out and be a bit more patient.

I think the lights would be fine to grow the plants you have and they don't necessarily need added ferts, but if we're talking about how to make it grow faster, added ferts, co2 source and more light is the answer.
Ooops, just saw Vishaquatics already said that.

Maybe stem plants would be a good addition if you want a lush planted tank for your puffer. Along with the others.
I use flourish as my fert and I just may have to get small external lights. Co2 is a no for me right now as I’m uncomfortable with using it since I don’t really know much about it yet. For my small tank, it may be a bit too much. Do you recommend anything else besides flourish? I have two danios in there now but plan on returning them as they are lenders and replacing them with 1 dwarf puffer.
 

-Mak-

Can’t have that much nitrate in my tank. I’ve got fish. My lights are leds, not halogen like the old fluvals that people were switching out. I heard excel isn’t good to use especially in small tanks like mine. And I dose once a week. Is that not enough?

This is what my lights are under tech specs:

1705953A-C349-4AD6-946B-DECCB07D088E.png
Oh I understand, I just wanted to demonstrate how it does grow immediately in good conditions. Even with LEDs they don't seem to me to be very powerful nor do they have good spread, a good amount of your moss is in shadow. Spread is probably a bigger issue than intensity in your case.

Excel isn't extra good or bad in small tanks, the dosage is just smaller. And dosing flourish once a week could be enough with slow growing plants like yours, but still I sometimes see people develop deficiencies on slow growing plants. In comparison some people will dose much more concentrated fertilizers 2-3 times a week in low tech.
 

-Mak-

Pls pardon the small hijack, but is that hydrocotyle at the bottom? What type is it?
It's a terrestrial species from outside, I was just experimenting to see if it would grow submersed. It did but not very well, so I got rid of it eventually
 

TheBettaSushi

Maybe stem plants would be a good addition if you want a lush planted tank for your puffer. Along with the others.

Don’t stem plants require a different kind of substrate than mine? I’m using caribsea supernaturals moonlight sand. Even then, I don’t have enough room in my opinion. My tank is quite small. It’s hard for me to siphon gunk from the top of the substrate without knocking things over. It may not look like I have much in my photos but believe me, it’s packed lol. I need to leave some room for growth for the plants I have now lol.

Oh I understand, I just wanted to demonstrate how it does grow immediately in good conditions. Even with LEDs they don't seem to me to be very powerful nor do they have good spread, a good amount of your moss is in shadow. Spread is probably a bigger issue than intensity in your case.

Excel isn't extra good or bad in small tanks, the dosage is just smaller. And dosing flourish once a week could be enough with slow growing plants like yours, but still I sometimes see people develop deficiencies on slow growing plants. In comparison some people will dose much more concentrated fertilizers 2-3 times a week in low tech.
Hmm... makes sense. Maybe I will get a small bottle of excel and see if that will help. I’ll just dose a smaller amount than recommended and see if that will encourage growth. What do you think? And you’re absolutely correct in regards to how my light is spreading. It’s high lit in the middle but the sides are shaded off. The strange thing is that the middle tree isn’t doing well (it’s right under the light) yet the left of the same tree closer to the shaded area is really green... dark green. The moss tree to the left of the middle tree is the same... the right side is green but the left where it’s towards the corner isn’t doing well. I’m not sure if the light is causing it not to grow. However, the Anubias that is in the back corner and front corner have sprouted leaves. It’s really weird. Do you think I should get two small external lights to put on top of the glass? If so, which lights would you recommend?
 

angelcraze

Almost sounds like light is too intense in the middle...
 

TheBettaSushi

Almost sounds like light is too intense in the middle...
I know right? I was thinking of using wax paper to dI'm just the middle part of the light but not sure how effective that would be. I seriously need help lol
 

angelcraze

Ok, I don't want to blab on, but I have a tank that is lit in middle like that except it's 120 gallon so doesn't really compare. But what I can say, is I have the plant stems and higher light plants in the middle, and java fern/anubias is in the corners and shaded areas. Idk what to suggest about the moss being so close to the light. The only thing I can think of is having the tall pieces at the sides more. That's if the light is too intense....
The surprising thing is you have no algae. I usually have to add stem or floating plants to use up more nutrients.
 

TheBettaSushi

The surprising thing is you have no algae. I usually have to add stem or floating plants to use up more nutrients.

Shhhhhh Don’t jinx me!!!! Lol
 

angelcraze

Shhhhhh Don’t jinx me!!!! Lol
Oh sorry! I didn't mean to, didn't think of that!
 

TheBettaSushi

Oh sorry! I didn't mean to, didn't think of that!
Lol it’s ok! Should I trim the moss? I read somewhere that if you trim it, it will promote growth.
 

angelcraze

Lol it’s ok! Should I trim the moss? I read somewhere that if you trim it, it will promote growth.
I'm not sure, but trimming makes it nice and uniform, I can't see it being a bad idea. I think it would make it sprout New shoots and get bushier, but I can't grow moss and I'm going on how other plants grow.
 

TheBettaSushi

Hey all! So I’ve been thinking of dosing something else besides flourish to get my moss to grow... any suggestions on what to use? My Anubias plants have also stopped sprouting leaves... my KH has dropped from 3 to 2 within a weeks time yet my ph has been stable at 7.6... I have tried doing water changes to bring the KH back up and because I’m still cycling this tank but haven’t had much success. If someone knows what I can do to help my plants grow let me know please.
 

angelcraze

Add crushed coral contained in a media bag to the filter to keep kh at 4 minimum. I just used a small amount, 1tsp per 30 gallons kept my kh at 4.
 

TheBettaSushi

Add crushed coral contained in a media bag to the filter to keep kh at 4 minimum. I just used a small amount, 1tsp per 30 gallons kept my kh at 4.
I’ve heard that crushed coral is messy and won’t that raise my ph? I already feel like my ph is high as it is, especially with the fish I want to keep once my tank is cycled (I know that fish will adapt but I have heard it shortens their lifespan when the ph isn’t at their desired range).

However, besides raising KH, I’d like to know what else I can do to make my moss grow better. I don’t inject co2 but if there’s any liquid ferts out there besides flourish that will help, I’d like to know about them.
 

Ronniethewitch

light - give it lots of light. My wall filled in very slowly until I aimed the light at it - now it is flourishing.
 

TheBettaSushi

light - give it lots of light. My wall filled in very slowly until I aimed the light at it - now it is flourishing.
Will the brown/melting/dead spots regrow or will I have bald spots in those places?

It looks hideous


DB8949E0-0091-40D1-B60F-7F6A6A8D6F17.jpeg
 

Ronniethewitch

Will the brown/melting/dead spots regrow or will I have bald spots in those places?

It looks hideous

mine did take awhile -two months and still needs to grow some - and mine also started out brown but is filling in nice and green now. If you look in my pictures you can see how its doing...still has a way to go but it is so much better than it was.
 

TheBettaSushi

mine did take awhile -two months and still needs to grow some - and mine also started out brown but is filling in nice and green now. If you look in my pictures you can see how its doing...still has a way to go but it is so much better than it was.
Yeah mine has been two months too. I’m looking into buying one of these



But not sure if that will be too much light and cause an algae growth. It says it’s 3.5 watts. I will have to put it on top of my glass though because the lid on my tank doesn’t come off. It’s all glass on top with a tiny opening in the middle for the filter. aquascaping and hardscaping is a real hassle with my tank.
 

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