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Java Moss: What You Should Know
A good aquarium setup requires so much more than a tank and a couple of gallons of water.
If you want to truly recreate a natural environment for your fish, you’re going to have to fit your tank up with caves, a gravel or sand substrate, and some quality aquarium moss.
We could write thousands of words on each of the aforementioned aquarium additions, but today we want to focus solely on aquarium moss, specifically Java Moss.
Java Moss is one of the most popular moss types among aquarists old and new and boasts benefits that extend far beyond the realm of aesthetics.
In this article, we’re going to be discussing the many perks of keeping Java Moss in your aquarium, as well as detailing the various areas of aquarium plant care in which many beginners – and even some veterans – fall down.
Even if you’re a total fishkeeping novice, you’ve likely heard Java Moss mentioned at some point.
But what exactly is it?
Officially known as “taxiphyllum Barbieri,” this aquarium moss can be relied upon to liven up a bare tank, making your fish feel more comfortable by mimicking their natural environment.
Java Moss can be attached to all sorts of aquarium accessories, including caves, driftwood, and novelty decorations, so it won’t be restricted to the floor of your tank.
Furthering its appeal, it is one of the easiest strains of aquarium moss to grow, so you’re unlikely to run into any trouble growing it in your tank, regardless of your level of experience.
If for whatever reason, you would prefer to purchase Java Moss as opposed to growing it yourself, you should be able to find some in your LFS (local fish store). If they are all out or simply don’t stock it, Java Moss can be easily found online.
The lighting of your tank will also play a role in the development of your Java.
This moss can be grown in both low and high lighting, with the level of illumination influencing its color.
If you want a dark and long plant, the kind that would be preferable in a smaller tank, you should grow your moss under low lighting.
High lighting will make for a brighter and thicker plant, which is more effective when it comes to breeding and maintaining fry.
It should be noted, however, that high lighting facilitates the growth of algae and may necessitate the addition of a tank cleaner, such as a bristle nose pleco, to your aquarium.
Where To Plant?
Java Moss can be grown or placed in your aquarium in a number of forms.
If you want to go the simplest route, you can just place some store-bought Java Moss in your aquarium and leave it to roam the tank as a floating plant.
For those who wish to be a little more attentive in their aquascaping, there is the option of growing a Java Moss carpet.
As mentioned above a Java Moss Carpet makes the perfect home for eggs and fry and can be added to an aquarium by placing some Java between two pieces of mesh and sealing them off to ensure the plant does not come loose.
Once you are certain the sandwich is secure, you can place it at the bottom of your tank and watch as it grows into a hypnotic swaying safe space for smaller fish.
You may also want to consider adding a Java Tree to your aquarium.
You can make a Java Tree by adding the moss to a small piece of driftwood, ideally one that has some branches and bears some resemblance to an actual tree.
The moss can be secured to the driftwood using glue, but, of course, you’ll need to find aquarium safe glue to ensure it stays in place once the tree has been completed and submerged in the water of your aquarium.
Why is My Java Moss, Turning Brown?
Because Java Moss requires so little effort on the part of the aquarist to maintain, problems are pretty rare.
That being said, they do occur and adequate measures should be taken to rectify them when they do.
One of the most commonly experienced problems with Java Moss is discoloration, with many aquascaping novices reporting their Java turning brown despite having seemingly followed all necessary steps to ensure a healthy plant.
Moss may start turning brown if it has grown too dense as all water will be absorbed before it has the chance to reach its inner layers.
As well as discoloration, this can cause aquarium moss to become loose and drift away from objects it has been fastened to.
This is one reason why you should consider trimming your java as opposed to allowing it to grow freely.
You may also experience problems with algae developing on your moss.
Should this happen, there are few things you can do besides removing the infected moss from your aquarium and replacing it.
If you have grown your moss from scratch and would rather avoid discarding it, you may be able to rid it of algae using a toothbrush, but you’ll have to catch it in its early stages if this method of algae removal is to be effective.
It’s difficult to imagine a tank not being improved by the addition of Java Moss.
When used in an aquarium, Java Moss makes it more pleasing to the eye while simultaneously enriching the lives of the fish stored within it, so everybody wins.
Although it may take a little bit of patience to grow, Java Moss, be it in carpet or tree form, it requires very little effort and can be mastered by aquarists of all levels.
As the perfect introduction to aquascaping, Java Moss may even help you discover a new hobby within your hobby.
Jack Dempsey has over 20 years of experience with freshwater aquariums, his goal is to help beginners avoid the biggest mistakes when getting started. If you find something helpful please share it on your favourite social network. If you need help with anything send Jack a question.