If you want to turn your aquarium into an ecosystem then I would strongly recommend you get the Java Moss.
The plant descends from the Hypnaceae family and thrives in freshwater, the plants exact identity is still a mystery with the last information indicating that it would be a Taxyphyllum Barbieri. Its place of origin is believed to be Southeast Asia.
Java moss has some of the most peculiar characteristics; for starters, the plant can survive both in and out of water. But for long shelf life, it should be totally submerged into water. Most plants even those on the ocean floor derive their nutrients from the ocean substrate via the roots but the Java Moss derives its nutrients from its stems and leaves.
So if you are planning to adopt it for your aquarium ensure that the water is circulating, so that your Java moss can get the nutrients it requires. It also turns out to be the easiest aquarium plant to grow; while in its natural habitat the java moss will do well in river banks, tree trunks, and rocks and is tolerant of a range of temperatures.
When introducing the Java Moss to your aquarium, attach it to a substrate that will help anchor it down properly as it grows. However, it wouldn’t dry up if you don’t provide a surface and will thus attach itself to any surface.
Benefits of the Java Moss to Aquariums
Aquarium plants offer different benefits to your aquarium dwellers and the Java Moss is not any different only that the freshwater shrimp tend to love them more. So if you are in the business of breeding shrimp adopt the java moss, as it will ensure that you breed some of the healthiest shrimps.
Benefits of Java Moss to Shrimps
People with Shrimps in their aquariums are aware of its hide and seek character, it loves to hide and you will barely know it’s in the aquarium. The baby shrimps have picked up from their parents and they love to hide as well so when you integrate the Java moss in your aquarium, you will have provided the perfect hiding place for the shrimp family.
The baby shrimps will also have an easy time feeding as you will have created for them a natural feeding ground. When you set up an aquarium you should aim as much as you can to provide the most natural environment to dwellers because if they get stressed or are not compatible with the environment then all your energy will be a waste.
Benefits of Java Moss to Water
The ocean ecosystem operates so much like the land where trees and plants purify the air by absorbing carbon dioxide to process its food and release oxygen. Java Moss, on the other hand, is necessary for the conversion of toxins and heavy metals in the water to safe organics.
What’s more, is that it aids in the increase of oxygen in water, thus life in the aquarium becomes sustainable. Levels of nitrite, ammonia, and nitrate will also be greatly reduced if you incorporate the Java moss in your aquarium.
Care guide of the Java Moss
Before you introduce the Java Moss to your aquarium there are some basics that you have to observe so that it does not end up dry once introduced to the tank. For one, don’t use saline water in your aquarium because the moss won’t do so well, and the minimum size recommended for the Java Moss to thrive is 5gallons.
Also, ensure that the PH of the tank lies between 5.0 and 8.0. The Java Moss will give your aquarium a splash of its beautiful green color and enrich your ecosystem with its dense growth if you only ensure that it gets enough bright light. Don’t depend on natural light rather get an artificial light from the stores. The downside of the bright light is that you will most likely invite algae. But then again you can add snails to help clear them.
The temperature in your aquarium should be between 21 and 24 degrees Celsius and remember to check water hardness because if it goes beyond 6 to 24 dGH then you might have to stop using tapped water. Fertilizers are available for your aquarium plants but not necessary for the Java Moss as it rarely needs it just be sure to offer the right conditions and your plant will thrive.
How to plant the Java Moss
You must have realized that the Java Moss gives an aquarium the cosmetic look and you can plant them in any way you want. For example, it can be made to look like a tree in the tank, just find driftwood, design it and anchor it inside your fish tank. Find an aquarium safe string and attach the moss plant to it and wait for it to grow.
You can also use it to decorate the floor of your aquarium and incorporate it as a carpet, remember that Java Moss does not need a substrate to grow so if you attach it on a mesh and place it at the bottom of your aquarium it might take time but it will definitely sprout. Lastly, you can have the plant at the surface of your aquarium. Initially, we indicated that the plant can do well both inside and out of water.
How to maintain the Java Moss
The right temperatures in the aquarium will have your Java Moss thrive and even though you want to achieve the cosmetic look it would be wise to trim the moss a bit so that it does not restrict movement within the aquarium.
Rocks and shells do contribute to the PH of an aquarium, so if you notice that the PH levels are low, you can either go natural or artificial the choice is yours. However, if you go artificial ensure that whatever you are using will not be harmful to the fish, snails, and shrimps in your aquarium.
Almost all types of aquarium fish do love the Java Moss, some use them as their breeding grounds and others love to play on the plant by building the floating bubbles nests. It is, therefore, safe to say that the plant can be used by different types of fishes without them turning it into a delicacy. However, be careful as the moss can totally dominate your aquarium.