Java Moss

One of the most popular and commonly used aquatic plants in aquariums around the world.

Java moss is very easy to maintain, its hard to kill and it grows quickly.

Java moss is known to float away, you may need something to hold it in place to stop it from floating away!

Java moss can attach to anything you want it to grow on. Its similar to vine plants, it uses grippers called “rhizoids” to attach itself to surfaces. Unlike roots, Rhizoids do not extract nutrients from a medium.

In aquascaping, Java moss can be used to soften hard features of the aquarium to provide a more homely look. For example, on the walls, the ground or the back of the hard glass surface.

In breeding, Java moss is also very popular as it provides many gaps for eggs to attach onto, small fish also like to hide from larger fish in Java moss.

Shrimp tanks also use Java moss. It is a very good hiding place for shrimp and also helps to capture food.

This aquatic plant can be found in nature and aquariums throughout the world but its native environment is in the warm climate of South East Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia etc).

Java moss can be grown into spectacular forms!

Growth conditions: 60 – 90 degrees F (15 – 32 degrees C)

Water pH: 5 – 8

Lighting: Any lighting! Grows faster with more light. Lower light conditions cause Java moss to be longer, skinnier and darker. Stronger light causes short, dense and bright. If you really wanted to, you can add some carbon dioxide and nutrients to make Java moss grow even faster.

To grow Java moss as quickly as possible, place it there and leave it – don’t touch it, don’t move it, just trim it when you need to.

Java moss spreads like a virus. The amazing thing is you can break off any piece, not only will it stay alive but the broken piece will start growing again!

Because Java moss has a large surface area, water flows can really push it around causing it to clog filters sometimes. This is why its important to regularly trim your moss so your aquarium system remains running well!

If Java Moss isn’t regularly pruned, it can take over your entire tank. If Java Moss isn’t regularly trimmed it will grow very thick and the middle will begin to die. This can cause an excess of nitrates and pollution in your fish tank.

Algae growth is another problem that Java moss experiences.

Under bright lights and low-quality water, algae can grow very quickly. If algae starts to grow in the moss it is very difficult to remove, it is best to just remove the moss from your aquarium and replace it.

Chemicals can be used to fight algae problems, such as _______. This is a short term fix but not a long term solution – you need to ensure that the light and water conditions are optimal.


Moss Balls

There are many ways to introduce Java moss to your aquarium depending on the reason you would like to use it for.

The easiest way is to leave Java moss floating. All you do is put the Java moss into your tank and leave it floating on the surface.

Java Moss Balls

Moss balls are a very common method, not only is this very easy to set up, cleaning and replacement is as simple as taking out an old ball and putting in a new ball.


Attaching Java Moss to a single object so that it does not move around is a very popular option too. To attach the moss, lay it on a thin layer over any object (this can be driftwood, rock or any other ornament), secure the Java moss with some sort of thread. After a few weeks, once the rhizoids grow onto the material the thread is no longer reqiured.

Walls and Carpets

Java moss carpet

Java moss can be grown into a beautiful green carpet. This type of java moss setup is also very easy to maintain.

To make a Java Moss carpet, use two pieces of mesh and thread to tie them together.

The space between the two pieces of mesh gives plenty of space for the Java Moss to grow.

Don’t worry about keeping it all in one piece, you don’t have to be too precise as long as one piece sits on top of another and there is enough space between the mesh for the moss to grow.

Another way is to use a weight to weight the moss down. This can be a rock, fishing weight (just make sure its clean, you can boil it to be sure).

Java moss trees

Image result for java moss tree

Without a doubt, one of the coolest ways ones – Java moss TREES! 😀

Take a piece of driftwood (real or fake it doesn’t matter) with several different branches, use “ethyl cyanoacrylate” super glue gel.

Take a small piece of moss sponge and glue it to the branches. Glue the moss onto the sponge.

Growing a Java moss tree is definitely an advanced technique which requires a lot of time and attention to see the full results.

Things to remember while growing Java Moss:

Nutrients: There needs to be a good amount of nutrients in your water before Java moss can grow. You can add this artificially or let your fish stay in there for a good amount of time.

Water flow: A good amount of water flow helps to deliver nutrients to your java moss.

If the Java Moss isn’t receiving the correct amount of nutrients either from lack of either nutrients or water flow then it will turn brown and start wilt away – not good.

Fertilizer: DO NOT USE TOO MUCH!

Its very easy to fall into the trap of thinking “the more nutrients I add the faster the plant will grow” It is very easy to accidentally add too much fertilizer, this will kill your plants through nutrient burn and ruin your aquarium. A little bit of fertilizer goes a long way, so be careful!

Securing your moss: Remember, this is probably the most important thing to consider.

Do not skimp on anchoring your Java moss, it will just float all over the place and waste a lot of your time and effort. Better to do it right in the beginning to make sure you have beautiful lime green java moss structures.


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