It doesn’t feel complete to talk about aquascape plants if you don’t discuss one of the most popular plants, namely java moss. Just like java fern and anubias, java moss is a plant that is also often used. This is because it is easy to get java moss at merchants and also the maintenance of java moss is relatively easy so it is also suitable for beginners.
java moss Overview
|Lighting||Low – High|
|Temperature||21 o C – 32 o C|
Habitat java moss
Java moss has the Latin name Taxiphyllum barbieri , java moss is found in many areas of Southeast Asia, so Indonesia is also included. Usually java moss can live on land and also under water depending on the situation of the place. Because most tropical rain forests have high humidity and towering trees sometimes cover the sun’s rays so they don’t reach the bottom of the forest. That’s where java moss lives in the wild.
Java moss usually lives by clinging to rocks and trees, and is also commonly seen near streams or in slightly wet and damp places. That’s why java moss can actually not only be used in aquascapes, but also widely used in paludariums because it can live on water with a certain level of humidity.
How to grow java moss
How to plant java moss is very diverse, java moss can be used as a wall at the back, as a carpet plant in front, or attached to stone and wood. In essence, java moss must be attached to something so that it is not carried away by the current in the aquarium.
The easiest way is to use super glue or better known as G glue in Indonesia. The use of this glue is safe for aquariums, so you don’t have to worry about it being bad for the fish. What must be considered when using this glue is that the surface on which the glue is applied will turn white.
So it’s best not to use so much that the glue flows where you don’t want it. Just a few drops of glue and then paste java moss on that part. When pasting java moss, what must be considered is not to paste too thick or a lot of java moss. Try to spread the java moss as thinly as possible over the surface to be pasted. If it’s too thick, the bottom part of the java moss may die because it’s not exposed to light. So divide the java moss into small parts and stick them as thinly as possible to increase the success rate.
If you don’t use glue, java moss can also be tied using a rope. Over time, as the java moss grows, it will cover the rope. Just like using glue, try to spread the java moss as thinly as possible over the surface. In Indonesia, in my opinion, java moss is most often used to make bonsai. The method is very easy, but you have to find wood that looks like a mini bonsai. After that, just stick java moss on each of the wooden branches so that it looks like a mini bonsai tree.
If you want to use it as a background in an aquascape or a wall, just use some kind of wire which is certainly safe if exposed to water. Then paste java moss on the wire, of course this wire must be a sheet and at least 2 pieces are needed because it will be used to clamp java moss in the middle of the wire.
Every time you use java moss, try to be as thin as possible, after clamping it with another wire, just stick it on the back of the aquarium glass. Make sure the wire size is the same as the height and width of the aquarium. To attach this wire, you can use a suction cup , a tool commonly used to attach something to the glass.
How to care for java moss
Java moss is said to be a very difficult plant to die. In fact, many people have stories about java moss growing everywhere because when cutting java moss flying around in the aquarium so that some grow in the filter and other parts in the aquarium. But believe it or not, I’ve used moss and it turned out to be dead! Indeed, the moss is not java moss, but christmas moss, but still I have made moss which was said to be indestructible.
Java moss is actually a very tough plant because it can live with minimum to high light and use CO2 or not. Of course, the higher the power of light and coupled with CO2 will increase the speed of growing java moss. But for those of you who don’t want to use CO2 and high- wattage lamps, you don’t need to worry because java moss can also grow in low lighting and without CO2. Java moss does not have a root system that supports its life and gets nutrients from these roots, so it would be useless if you plant java moss in basic fertilizer. Java moss gets its nutrients from its branches and leaves directly from the water.
So, the addition of liquid fertilizer will help java moss to grow compared to basic fertilizers. What you will probably often do is cut java moss. When java moss grows well, java moss may cover other parts of the aquascape.
If this bothers you, you should regularly trim the java moss. Cutting also serves to give the bottom of the java moss enough light so it doesn’t rot and die. Although over time there will be old parts of java moss die, but this will not interfere with the growth of java moss. When cutting, I suggest turning off the filter or water pump to make it easier to take the cut java moss. This needs to be done to avoid the growth of java moss on other parts of the aquarium.
Even if there are few cuts, java moss can grow if there is sufficient space. You can also directly suck up pieces of java moss using a hose. The cut parts can also be reused in other aquascapes or pasted in different places, so there is no need to buy another java moss.
In addition to cutting, java moss also needs to be cleaned of dirt or food residue that has fallen and is tucked into the java moss. The dirt can make java moss look ugly if left unchecked, the only way to get rid of it is to use a hose that sucks the water out when changing the water.
Benefits of java moss
Apart from being an aquascape decoration factor that is easy to find and easy to care for, java moss also has other benefits. One of the benefits is being a sanctuary for small fish or fry. Fish such as guppies and mollies are more likely to eat their own fry if left unattended.
Because java moss can grow thickly so that it becomes a suitable place for fry to take shelter from bigger fish. In addition to hiding places, java moss is also suitable as a place to lay eggs for fish.
Java moss is also a great place to get very small food for fry. Shrimp also like java moss because apart from being a suitable place to hide, shrimp can also get food from java moss.
Problems that often arise in java moss
The emergence of algae on java moss
Isn’t java moss an easy plant to care for? Why would there be a problem? Actually this is not a problem that is specific to java moss, but to every aquascape. The problem is none other than algae.
In anubias, for example, if there is algae, it can usually be easily removed by rubbing it with your finger while checking what problems are causing the algae to appear. However, this does not apply to java moss. If there is algae on java moss, it will be very difficult to remove.
The reason is that java moss does not have wide leaves like other plants. When algae appear, it may be removed temporarily by using a brush and rolling the algae hair . However, it will not eliminate all the algae.
The easiest way to get rid of this algae is usually to remove all the affected java moss. Another way is to use a cleaning crew, such as shrimp, snails, and other algae-eating fish to clean up the algae.
Java moss is yellowing
This is the problem I experienced when I first used moss in aquascape. Since I heard that moss is a very strong plant, so I tried to grow moss on trees. I even used a filter sponge that I cut and put on the wood so that it was round like a tree. Actually there are many factors that can cause yellowing of java moss. Some of these factors are the presence of food residue or fish waste that settles on java moss and is not cleaned.
This can cause algae or bacteria which will slowly make the bottom of the java moss turn yellow. Another possible factor is that the java moss grows too dense or dense so that the bottom of the java moss does not get enough light so it rots slowly.
Another factor is the water temperature in the aquarium which is too high. Some people say when the water temperature is cold (around 23 o C), java moss grows well. However, when the water temperature is too high (about 25 o C and above), the java moss starts to turn yellow in color.
The latter possibility is due to nutritional deficiencies. Some people say that nutritional deficiencies are one possibility. So, if your java moss turns yellow, try to check if the problem is one of the ones I have mentioned. So, you can slowly try to find a solution. For example, if it looks like a lack of nutrients, of course it will also be seen from other plants. The solution may be to add liquid fertilizer regularly.
If indeed the algae that grows is the cause, you can try to make the aquascape back in balance while removing the algae by cutting the affected algae or removing all of them and using it in a shrimp aquarium, for example.
Don’t forget to always clean up leftover food and fish waste that settles on java moss to avoid things like this from happening, of course. The color of java moss turning yellow or brown is actually a characteristic of dead or dying java moss.
So you can try the methods above to deal with this problem. There is also another possibility why java moss is yellowing, which is that it is still adapting to a new environment. If java moss has just been added and it turns yellow, it’s best to give it a few days to adapt and don’t throw it away. Because there are people who have a story if at the beginning the java moss turns yellow, a few days later it turns back to green and grows in abundance.
Difference between weeping moss and java moss
You need to know that there are very many types of moss that are currently used in aquascapes. Frankly, almost all of them have the same visual or appearance so that it is difficult to distinguish.
The most obvious difference between weeping moss and java moss is the shape of the leaves and branches. Java moss will usually grow upwards, while weeping moss usually tends to grow downwards and looks like a tear. Therefore the name is weeping which means crying.
Java moss is one of the most used aquascape plants. Java moss care is indeed very easy and does not require special care. But, that does not mean java moss will be free from problems. Usually the problem is because of the imbalance that occurs in the aquascape. So, you have to solve this problem to be able to make java moss or other plants to grow well.