Are you a beginner at aqua scaping? Do you worry about choosing the right type of moss for your aquarium? Worried it would be too complicated to maintain?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, let me introduce you to Spiky moss!
Being one of the best and fast-growing mosses in popularity, it is also one of the simplest types of moss to handle and maintain, irrespective of your prior experience.
So, what is all this fuss over Spiky moss?
If you wish to grow a bed of Spiky moss in your aquarium, you just have to follow three simple steps.
- Get a sample cutting
- Attach it to your preferred substrate
- Insert it into your aquarium
- It’s as simple as that!
With leaves growing outward in shapes of spikes, Spiky moss is a great addition to any live aquarium and getting your hands on a sample of Spiky moss is just a walk in the park! Literally!
If you live close to a lake, park, or forest, all you need to do is scout around till you find a patch of Spiky moss. You can then take a small portion from the plant, which you can use after a thorough rinse.
If not, you can grab your cuttings from the nearest store or even get them delivered to you online.
How to grow Spiky Moss
With the ability to be grown using cuttings, the process of propagating Spiky moss is quite smooth. All you need are a few cuttings of the moss, and the substrate you wish to attach the moss to!
In choosing a substrate to which you attach the cutting of Spiky moss, you can select any form of solid structure, which could be either a small rock, piece of wood, or even any form of plastic shape of your choice.
However, to ensure that the moss grows submerged, make sure the substrate chosen is heavy, so that it will not float back up once the aquarium is filled with water!
When selecting a method to attach the Spiky moss cutting to the substrate, you could choose between string and glue, such as superglue. As superglue dries fully, it does not add any toxicity to the aquarium, therefore being a safe choice for your tank.
Once you’ve completely attached the moss to the substrate, you could position it in the tank as you wish!
After this, all you need to do is to prune the growth periodically!
Main problems of growing Spiky Moss
One main problem you could face when growing Spiky moss, is the uneven growths and decaying of lower layers with time. As Spiky moss grows outwards as spikes it also grows upwards, one layer over the next. This leads to the older layers at the bottom decaying.
As a solution to this problem, undertaking regular pruning and removal of dead and decaying lower layers is advisable.
Another problem faced with the use of Spiky moss is the growth of algae, which thrive in long periods of lighting. To prevent such growths from forming, it is wise to include small shrimp such as Cherry shrimp in your aquarium. Such shrimp are beneficial as they feed on algae. Also ensuring proper periods of lighting between 8 to 10 hours, along with a gentle water flow could also help decrease such growths of algae.
The use of CO2 in growing Spiky Moss
While Spiky moss is capable of growing well with limited conditions like low to medium levels of light and CO2, increasing the levels of CO2 in the aquarium would create an ideal environment for Spiky moss to grow in.
This can be done by adding liquid CO2 into the aquarium tank. This would help in a healthier and faster speed of growth for Spiky moss.
How long does Spiky Moss take to grow?
In comparison to other varieties of moss, Spiky moss has a medium to fast pace of growth. However, like all moss types, it is slower in growth when compared to the other multiple types of plants.
For a cutting to grow in about 1 to 1 ½ inches in height, under ideal conditions, it would take a period of nearly a month.
How could I make Spiky Moss grow faster?
Ideal conditions for Spiky moss to grow in would include lighting periods of about 8 to 10 hours, medium to high levels of CO2, regular pruning, alongside moderate temperatures.
At higher temperatures, Spiky moss would begin to melt and decay. Therefore, to speed up the rate of growth, using a light source that minimizes heat production is important.
Maintaining lighting periods of less than 8 hours would be ideal in preventing algae growths. However, it decreases the rate of growth of Spiky moss as well. Higher periods of lighting, of over 10 hours, promote faster growth of Spiky moss. Although, it also encourages the growth of algae. So, in order to maintain an ideal speed of growth with minimum algae, maintenance of 8 to 10 hours of lighting is vital!
As shown before, adding liquid CO2 would also improve the rate of growth of Spiky moss. However, you should take care to maintain a healthy level of CO2 based on the fish reared in your aquarium as well!
Maintaining a proper pH level is also a fundamental requirement when growing Spiky moss. For this, pH levels between 5 to 8 would be ideal, as it would promote healthy growth of the Spiky moss as well as reduce the chances of algae growth.
Best fertilizers for Spiky Moss
Similar to all other plants, moss varieties in aquariums need nutrients to grow. Spiky moss, once attached to its substrate can obtain these nutrients from either its substrate or from the water.
Although Spiky moss can thrive well without added fertilizer, the addition of it will be favorable for the growth of the cuttings.
For this, liquid aquarium fertilizers which contain micronutrients such as nitrogen or potassium could be added in. Adding in such liquid fertilizers is not harmful to the fish, as it is designed in a manner suitable for aquariums. Although, ensuring any purchase of such liquid fertilizers from an aquarium store would be best!
Felt that the entire explanation was too complicated?
All you need is your sample of Spiky moss and your choice of substrate. This combined with 8 to 10 hours of lighting along with optionally added liquid CO2 and liquid fertilizer would make your Spiky moss blossom into a luscious aquarium growth!
So why still hesitate?
Turn your aquarium into a wonderful natural haven pleasing to your sight as well as for your fish!