Help Problems with nippy fish and moss

Matt B

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Here is a picture of my diy moss tree:


Now for the problem. I have Christmas Moss sandwiched between two layers of plastic canvas. The growth was going fine for a period and then the barbs began foraging for stray food among the gullies made by the plastic canvas. As the moss came in more they kind of move it back out of the way, just ripping it up and spitting it out, I do provide other veggies which they love.

All in all I think I've cleaned enough moss off the filter intake to have covered these things 5 times. I was thinking of removing the top layer of canvas so there's not all the little spaces for food and stuff to get caught in but was wondering whether the moss would hold on, I can't really see a whole lot of root material protruding from the bottom.

At this point I'm down to about half the moss I had at the height of it, so I kind of feel like its a "watch them rip out the rest of it or try something else" stage. Thanks for any thoughts or input.
 

JDcichlidlover

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First off that sucks ;( im sorry . Your tree is awesome
Can you take the trimmings in a breeder net and let them grow again? You could put a divider in the tank to separate the fish from the tree. Move the tree to the end. Just til its grown enough that you can take the plastic off the top. To be safe id let it grow big before I took the divider back out
 
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Matt B

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Thanks for the reply. I will start keeping the bits and pieces in breeder, I don't know why I haven't been doing that but I should have a bunch pretty quickly!

The tree is kind of embedded in the aquascape right in the middle of the tank and can't really move so I can't isolate the fish from it unfortunately. I guess maybe I could build plastic canvas cages around them until they get big.......
 

nippybetta

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Cages would look kind of cool, and hopefully they'd work. Be careful to construct them so the fish can't get trapped or hurt by them.
 
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Matt B

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Any of you morning people have any ideas?
 

AlanGreene

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Maybe you could attach the moss to thin wire mesh and then bend the wire around the branch? You would have to use a lot of moss to get the same effect doing it like this but it would stay in place and not create those food trapper holes
 

RogueAgent94

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A cage would work until it grows big enough but even then the barbs will go after it. Moving the tree to an area away from the middle of the tank might be a good idea. My barbs always foraged in the middle of the tank and ignored things around corners. What I did, when I built moss trees, is that I grew the moss in a separate, low flow tank and then added a very full 'branch' to the tree afterwards. Then there was enough moss that it grew fast enough for the nippy fish to take some off and still have a good amount of greenery there.

Jonathan
 

Terra

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The solution is clearly another tank. Get some non-nippy fish for this one, and a new tank for the barbs
 
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Matt B

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Thanks guys for the input. Of course my first thought was to get another tank!!!!!! Once my wife made it clear that wasn't in the cards I started this thread.

I think I'm going to do a kind of combo of several suggestions. I'm thinking I'll coral the moss to a breeder box at the slow end of the tank and let it grow protected. In the meantime I'll pull the top layer of canvas and see what happens with the remaining moss there. Once I have a nice wad, plenty for one platform, Ill attach it to the lower canvas and hopefully there will be enough to sustain itself with the pecking. Then I'll just repeat for the other platforms.
 

AlanGreene

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Okay your wife said you couldn't get another tank, she said nothing about you getting 2 more tanks now did she? amateur mistake!
 
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Matt B

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Well, the good new is I have alot more moss than I thought! When I first sandwiched the moss between the plates I had it spread out covering more or less 50% of the plate, when I took the top plates off they had grown thick mats between the plates despite the constant pruning from the barbs. The moss came totally off of the bottom plates which I wasn't expecting so I removed them all.

Now I have just bare tree branches and a breeder full of moss. I'm going to let it fluff itself back up for a week or so and then I have an idea to make a new canvas structure that should give me both the instant gratification I crave and plenty of moss to withstand pecking.
 
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