Java Moss will easily spread on any surface. You can cut a piece from an existing plant and replant it to create a new colony. However, unlike most aquatic plants, Java Moss doesn’t grow fast. It takes more than 3 to 4 weeks for the Java Moss plant to grow and spread in the aquarium.
Let’s now understand how Java Moss spreads.
How Does Java Moss Spread?
A small piece of trimmed Jave Moss is enough to grow a new plant. However, it can also be done by layering or division. Cutting a Java Moss plant is the easiest way to propagate it. It’s done by taking a piece out of the mother colony and replanting it to grow into a new colony.
When plants grow too tall in their natural habitat, they often develop weak stems at their tops.
These weak stems become brittle and break off to grow as a new independent plant.
This enables the plant to establish itself in a new environment.
In the wild, aquatic plants tend to travel down the current lines until they find an ideal spot for themselves.
They will continue to grow until no more nutrients are available for them to sustain.
However, in an aquarium, you should trim the moss to stimulate healthier growth.
You can then replant the trimmed plant by attaching it to rocks, driftwood, or other objects using strings or aquarium-safe glue.
In just a few weeks, the rhizoids will attach themselves to the object.
Remember that plant cuttings can take some time before they grow again.
It’s usual for a plant to take a few weeks to establish and start growing at an optimal rate.
You can add fertilizers and nutrients to accelerate their growth.
However, exercise caution as an overdose can stimulate algal bloom.
How Fast Does Java Moss Spread?
Java Moss doesn’t grow fast like most aquatic plants. It takes around 3 to 4 weeks to attach securely to other surfaces. Therefore, it takes longer for Java Moss to grow and cover the aquarium. However, for it to grow and spread faster, you will have to create optimal conditions inside the tank.
Under optimal conditions, Java Moss can grow up to 2 to 3 mm per day or 1 to 1.5 inches per month.
However, its growth depends on the lighting and water conditions inside the aquarium.
In low light (less than 1.5 watt/gallon), moss grows slightly slower than medium light (2 to 4 watt/gallon).
However, under high intensity, the Java Moss plant can grow faster.
Having said that, you must be careful while using high-intensity lights as it can cause the algae to bloom.
Algae on your moss can derail your efforts to grow it faster.
Moreover, you will have to replace the entire plant and restart the process.
Finally, providing optimal lighting conditions, a regular supply of CO2, well-circulated clean water, and sufficient nutrient dose can accelerate the growth rate of Java Moss.
However, you can help your Java Moss plant spread faster by cutting and replanting it inside the aquarium.
How To Plant Java Moss Properly?
Java Moss is hardy and can easily grow in a new aquarium.
However, you must ensure that it doesn’t introduce pest snails or unknown algae in your aquarium.
You can do this by disinfecting your moss by dipping it into a bleach-detergent mixture and then rinsing it thoroughly to remove the pests, algae, and unwanted pathogens.
Then, you can soak the Java Moss plant in clean water for 20 minutes.
Once your plant is aquarium-safe, you can place it in the tank.
To plant it in the tank, you can start attaching its rhizoids to a hard surface like a rock, driftwood, gravel, or decor so that it can grow and spread inside the tank.
There are three different ways to attach Java Moss to other objects:
- Using aquarium-safe glue,
- Tying the moss, and
- Creating a carpet or lining.
Let’s take a look at each of these methods now.
Method 1: Use aquarium-safe glue.
This is an easy and the most effective method to attach the moss to any surface.
Below are the steps to glue Java Moss in the tank:
- First, get a sturdy object like a rock, driftwood piece, or a decorative item to attach the moss.
- Apply a thin layer of super glue on the surface.
- Gently press the Java Moss into the super glue for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Once the moss is secure, place it in the tank.
Method 2: Tie the moss.
You can use a fishing line or a cotton string for this technique.
Given below are the steps to attach Java Moss using a cotton thread or fishing line:
- Get about two inches of fishing line or cotton thread.
- Next, pick an object you want to use as an anchor.
- Tightly tie the fishing line or cotton string around the Java Moss plant to ensure that it stays firmly planted in one place.
- Remove any extra lines from the decorations and plants before placing them back in the tank.
- Over time, cotton threads will break down. So after the Java Moss attaches itself to the anchor, you can cut off the remaining strings.
Method 3: Create a carpet or lining.
This method involves creating a carpet or lining at the bottom of the tank.
Start by using plastic canvas and suction cups to create a layout for your Java Moss to grow.
First, it’s essential to clean the tank thoroughly to remove algae, dust, and debris.
This will ensure that the suction cups get attached to the glass firmly.
Given below are the steps to attach Java Moss with the help of a carpet or lining:
- Measure the size of the carpet area you want to cover. Then, cut pieces of the plastic canvas to fit into the desired space.
- Pierce the plastic sheets with a sharp object to connect the suction cups for mounting.
- You can attach the suction cups at each end and every six inches along both sides. If you want to make sure they don’t fall apart, add some additional material in the middle to increase stability.
- Place the moss evenly across the surface of the sheet. Now, overlay a mesh over the moss.
- Attach the plastic sheet and mesh using a string. Start by going around each edge of the mesh, stitching at two-inch intervals. After finishing, tie up loose ends and cut the extra material if necessary.
- Sew a few rows horizontally across the mesh, maintaining a distance of six inches. After finishing, tie up the end and trim the extra material.
- Put the plastic canvas into the aquarium and press down firmly so that the suction cups stick to the glass.
After doing this, the Java Moss plant will take 3 to 4 weeks to attach itself securely.
Once the moss grows, ensure you regularly trim it to maintain its shape.
Moreover, you can use the trimmed pieces to propagate a new colony for creating a dense underwater landscape inside your aquarium.