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Beginners Guide

Java Moss: A Beginner's Guide To Learn Everything Step by Step

by Allyson Dillera 03 Nov 2019 0 Comments

Java Moss in Aquarium

A Beginner's Guide To Learn Everything About Java Moss Care, Maintenance, Growth and Aquascape.

Java Moss beginners guide

Java moss is a popular freshwater aquarium plant. It is a native of Southeast Asia where it naturally thrives on riverbanks, tree trunks, rocks, and forest floors.

Typical to its kind, java moss has no roots and instead uses rhizoids to attach or anchor its body. The plant stems are covered by overlapping leaves that can grow as thick as 2mm.

Although java moss originates from a tropical moist environment, it can survive almost anywhere. It is durable, attractive, and low-maintenance, making it an ideal plant for beginners. Moreover, it improves water aeration and helps control algae population in the tank.



Uses of Java Moss

Java moss is mostly used for design and breeding purposes.


Aquascaping is underwater landscaping. It is the art of decorating an aquarium to make it look good and lively. Aside from a nice arrangement, an aquarium also needs to have the perfect living conditions for both the plants and fish.

Typical layouts are imitations of nature like ocean beds, jungle spaces, or mountains. The addition of java moss improves the natural feel of the aquarium. This plant can easily attach to driftwoods, rocks, and other materials.

Common placements of java moss in the aquarium:

  • moss carpet
  • moss walls
  • floating moss balls
  • moss trees

 Suggested: Aquascaping for beginners

Aquarium fish breeding

Java moss improves oxygenation as it inhales the carbon dioxide in the water. It also helps filter some toxins and reduce nitrate levels in the aquarium. As a result, the tank environment becomes more favourable for breeding.

Shrimps use java moss as their nest while baby fish usually feed on the moss itself. In addition, the plant serves as a refuge or hiding place of fry and shrimps from larger fish.


How to Grow Java Moss in an Aquarium

To grow java moss in an aquarium, set up a freshwater tank that can support the ideal plant conditions. Next, add a filter to improve water circulation. Finally, put the moss into the water and make sure that it does not clog the filter.

Ideal Tank Conditions

Java moss will easily grow under the following conditions.

Temperature: The best temperature is anywhere between 21 to 28 degrees Celsius. As the water gets colder, plant growth also becomes faster.

Lighting: While java moss can grow at all lighting levels, it is best to keep the light at low or moderate. This is to control the growth of algae, which thrives better with bright light. 

Water: Keep the pH level anywhere between 5.8 to 7.5. Make sure that the water is clean, fresh and in good circulation.

Suggested: Aquarium Water Quality Management Guide With Parameters Chart


How to Make Java Moss Carpet and Wall

To create a beautiful carpet or wall from moss, you need two pieces of non-toxic mesh that will exactly fit inside the glass. Lightly cover the first mesh with moss and spread them evenly. Place the second mesh on top of the moss and secure them together using a thread.

After placing it inside the tank, be patient and avoid moving the materials around. In a few weeks, you can see the plants fully attaching to the mesh. It will soon be thick enough to look like a carpet or a wall.

Suggested: How to make Aquarium Carpet In A Planted Tank - A Complete Guide


How to Make a Tree from Java Moss

First, select a good piece of driftwood. To make it stand, the bottom part should be heavier than the top. Add smaller wood pieces to create a few extending branches. Using a glue, slowly attach the moss to these branches.


Java moss requires very little maintenance. It is very important to keep the water clean and properly circulating. Dirty and contaminated water can eventually kill the plants.

To control the shape and growth of the plant, trim the moss regularly. Fertilisers can speed up its growth, but not really necessary.

Common Issues

Filter Clogging

One prevalent problem among aquarists using java moss is filter clogging. Often, the water current moves the tiny moss particles into the filter. To prevent this from happening, move the filter to a better location or put a sponge over the filter intake.

It will also help to trim the plants from time to time so it does not take over the entire tank.

Algae Growth

Algae can quickly grow if the lighting is too bright. If this happens and algae start cropping up on the moss, it will be almost impossible to control.

Some chemicals can kill algae without affecting the fish and plants, but you have to be careful with this option. The safest choice is to physically remove the moss from the aquarium.

To prevent excessive algae growth, make sure that the tank is always clean. If possible, put freshwater shrimps like Amano or Cherry Shrimp that naturally feed on algae.

Suggested: How To Attach Moss To Your Aquarium Driftwood


Tips for Beginners

  • It is very easy to propagate java moss. Just separate a piece from the main plant and it will continue to grow on its own.
  • Freshwater is best. The plant can tolerate brackish water, but it needs to be acclimated first.
  • Control the lights in your aquarium. Use LED light for 10 hours daily.
  • If some of the moss turns brown, do not panic. Remove these parts carefully and trim the plant. Discolouration happens when the water is not able to penetrate the plant's inner layers.

Suggested: 10 Best Aquarium Moss for Aquarium Fish Tank 


Alternative to Java Moss

Christmas moss is the most common alternative for Java moss. It is a thick beautiful moss that grows slow and flat. As a result, plant trimming can be put off for a long time.

However, it is not as easy to care for. Unlike java moss that can survive at all light conditions, Christmas moss needs a bright supply of light.



Where to Shop for Java Moss

Java moss is one of the best aquatic plants for your aquarium. Aside from its many uses, it is also very affordable. Due to its popularity, it is very easy to find supplies from reputable stores.

If you live anywhere in Australia, just order from Micro Aquatic Shop and wait for the products to arrive at your doorstep.


Click here to buy Java Moss

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