Java moss belongs to the Hypnaceae plant family. Java moss is an easy to grow plant with irregular small branched stems. It is commonly used in freshwater aquariums because it adds a lot of value to the tank including its ability to soften the harsh conditions of the tank.
Java moss is relatively easy to install, grow, and maintain. It can easily be grown by dropping the moss on top of the water if you want it to float or tie the moss to driftwood or a rock if you want it to adhere to the bottom of the tank. You can place a piece of driftwood upright and tie the moss to the top to form an underwater tree. You can place the moss between two pieces of plastic mesh laid on top of the substrate bottom to form a moss carpet. Spread the moss on one side of the mesh as evenly as possible. You can keep the moss adhered to the wall of the tank by attaching suction cups to one of the mesh pieces.
One of the major reasons why java moss is ideal for tanks is because it creates an ideal place for eggs to attach. It also provides a suitable environment for guppies to hide.
It is important that you don’t move the moss once you already placed it in the aquarium tank. It will attach itself to any surface available including rocks, driftwood, rocks, or gravel with the help of rhizoids that serves as its root. However, the rhizoid does not supply nutrients like root, it is merely used for attachment to surfaces.
Care And Maintenance of Java Moss in Aquarium Tanks
Java Moss is very hardy and not so selective when it comes to basic environmental demand and water types. Even as a beginner, you can grow and maintain them easily It only requires some simple basics that include soft acidic water, optimal temperature (Between 21-24oC), pH 5-8, salinity, and good water current. Java moss can start slow until it is fully established.
Also, the hardy nature of the plant allows it to grow in varying environmental conditions, provided they are not too extreme. It will tolerate temperature up to 30oC, just that it grows faster in colder water around 21-24oC than warmer ones. Likewise, for light demands, it can thrive both in low and high light intensity.
However, the light intensity can affect how well the plant will thrive. The high light intensity can result in your java moss growing to be denser and compact. Low light intensity can result in a dark and lanky plant. It is also important to note that low light intensity can give room for unwanted growth of algae.
Growth Of Java Mosses
You can boost the growth of java moss by CO2 and fertilizers. But these two are not very necessary because the plant will still do just fine without them. You can leave the Java moss to grow wild and only trim when growth is excessive or regularly trim it to give a precisely desired shape. For the sake of propagation, you can simply cut a piece of medium-sized java moss from an already flourishing plant.
Similarly, you can use water siphon to change the water and vacuum the moss regularly. This is to ensure that the tank is clean and prevent the growth of algae by removing excess substrates. It is also important you replace the moss once algae start growing on it. This is because it might no longer serve your desired purpose and do more harm than good.
Uses Of Java Moss In Aquarium
Java moss is the most common type of moss used In aquariums because of its hardy nature, beautiful outlook, easy growth and maintenance, as well as regulating the environmental conditions of the aquarium tanks. When compared to other aquarium plants, it is relatively easier to grow, maintain, and almost impossible to kill. Every broken piece is capable of forming a new java moss plant.
One of the major uses of Java moss in an aquarium is that it provides a hiding place for aquarium fishes and fry. Some peaceful aquarium fishes, particularly females sometimes need to get away from disturbing tank mates and hide from them. The long stringy leaves of java moss provide an ideal place for the fish to hide. It also provides surfaces where eggs can attach.
Java moss can also act as a natural filter in aquarium tanks and soften the harsh conditions of the aquarium. Similarly, it can also provide the aquarium with a natural feel and help the aquarium simulate the natural habitat of the fish. It is often very common to find java moss growing on the surface of trees, streams and rivers which are generally the natural habitats of these fishes.
Likewise, aquarists make use of java moss for aquascaping. Aquascaping is the subtle art of arranging aquatic plants, driftwood, rocks and pebbles in such a way that it gives a very beautiful outlook. The beautiful nature of java moss adds a touch of beauty to your tank and makes it more appealing.
Java moss is suitable for virtually all aquariums regardless of the size of the tank. It is hardy, hence, it is easy to grow and maintain even by beginner aquarists. It has a wide range of uses that include adding beauty to your tank, providing a hiding place for tank members, providing surfaces for eggs to attach, and acting as a natural filter.
How to grow Java moss can be dependent on what you want. You can make it float by simply dropping it on top of the water, make it form an underwater tree by attaching it to an upright substrate, rocks or pebbles at the base of the tankmake it in form of carpet with the use of plastic mesh.
The only problem you will likely face in growing java moss is algal growth, and it can be easily dealt with once it is noticed. You can carry out propagation by using a piece of the existing plant.