How to Plant Spiky Moss in a Substrate? (Attachment Guide)

As an owner of an aquarium who wishes to include a natural scenic environment in your aquarium tank, a common worry is how to attach the plants to their relevant substrates.

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If this worry is present for you with Spiky moss similarly, then this is for you!

How to Plant Spiky Moss in a Substrate
How to Plant Spiky Moss in a Substrate

How to plant Spiky Moss on a substrate?

Attaching Spiky moss to a substrate is simple!

This can be done with the help of either an aquarium-friendly glue or a piece of thread or twine.

The use of either of these materials will help you attach your cutting of Spiky moss to its substrate securely.

What substrate is best for Spiky Moss?

One advantage for you when planting Spiky moss is that it can be attached to almost any substrate with ease! Whether it be a piece of rock, driftwood, a mesh, a shell, or even a plastic shape, attaching your Spiky moss cutting to it can be done effortlessly.

However, if you want your moss growing fully submerged in the tank, it is advisable to select a substrate of a heavy nature.

Since Spiky moss is a plant of lightweight, it tends to float. Therefore, if the substrate is also light in weight, both the moss and the substrate will be afloat, either mid-tank or at the surface.

To prevent this, ideally, the substrate should be heavy, such as a rock or a piece of driftwood, to prevent the moss from floating around freely in the tank.

What is the best way to grow Spiky Moss?

The best way to grow Spiky moss in your aquarium is to attach it to a substrate (either vertical or horizontal), and to position it in the tank whichever way you like. This combined with the required nutrients and lighting will promote the growth of your Spiky moss cuttings.

Growing the moss on a vertical substrate will showcase the different layers it consists of. It also helps long-term maintenance where the lower dying and decaying layers can be trimmed off easily.

To achieve optimal growth of your Spiky moss, the elements below are vital.

  • Water – Since the moss is grown submerged in your aquarium tank, there is no added stress on this element. Be as it may, you must ensure the quality of the water is at its best. Constant periodic changing of the water is important not only for the fish in your aquarium but also for your Spiky moss. This, along with a gentle flow of the water within the aquarium, minimizes the chances of algae growths and rotting of the moss.
  • CO2 (carbon dioxide) – CO2 plays an important function in the growth of Spiky moss, just as it does in every plant. Therefore, adding liquid CO2 to your aquarium tank at levels that wouldn’t harm your fish will optimize the growth rates of your moss.
  • Light – For best results for the fast growth of your Spiky moss, exposing your aquarium to periods of 8 to 10 hours of lighting will be ideal. This will not only allow the moss to grow fast but will also help minimize the chances of algae growing in the moss.
  • Temperature – High temperatures in the aquarium can result in your Spiky moss melting, decaying, and rotting. Temperatures between 25 to 27 degrees Celsius (or 77 to 80 Fahrenheit) are preferable, as they will promote the healthy growth of the moss. It’s also important to choose a source of lighting that will minimize any heating up of the tank due to the long lighting periods, such as a non-incandescent bulb.
  • Nutrients and fertilizer – As with any plant, aquatic plants such as Spiky moss also need nutrients to grow. For this, you can add in any aquarium store-bought liquid fertilizer. This will be a safe option for your fish as well while providing the necessary nitrates and phosphates for your Spiky moss.

This, combined with a solid substrate such as a rock will secure the moss in place in your aquarium.

Providing all these mentioned components will then help create the best environment for your Spiky moss to grow in!

Does Spiky Moss float or sink?

Spiky moss is an aquatic moss. This means it can be grown submerged in water.

However, with the overall plant being lightweight, it has a high tendency to float upward if not securely attached to a heavy base.

Can I anchor Spiky Moss?

Yes, you can!

All you need is a heavy substrate to plant the cutting on, and it will then anchor your Spiky moss to grow submerged in the water.

How can I plant Spiky Moss on a Substrate?

Planting Spiky moss on a substrate can be done using either a form of glue or a piece of thread. If using glue, it will be best to use a quick-drying fish-friendly type of glue, such as flourish glue. If using thread, make sure to tie the knot firmly and to cut off any excess dangling pieces, to prevent fish from nipping at the loose ends.

Let’s look at some forms of substrates and the methods which can be used to attach the moss cuttings to them.

SubstrateAttach using glueAttach using threadAttach using mesh and string
MeshYes (but difficult)YesYes (just tie with a piece of string)
Coconut shellYesYes (but difficult)Yes
Spiky Moss on a Substrate Idea Table

How do I prepare driftwood to plant Spiky Moss?

When sourcing driftwood, it’s best to purchase one from your local aquarium store. This is because driftwood sourced directly from nature takes much longer to clean to prevent it from affecting your aquarium and fish.

Your first step when preparing your driftwood, even if it’s bought from an aquarium store, is to give it a thorough clean-up. This is to get rid of any tannins, microorganisms, and dust or dirt particles that could be attached to your piece of wood.

Tannins in the wood are what are responsible for brown water in an aquarium once the piece of wood is introduced to the tank.

The various microbes in the piece of wood may also not be very beneficial to your fish and can make your fish sick. So, it’s a good start to get rid of such organisms and components that come along with the driftwood.

  • If your piece of wood is small, you could place it in boiling water for about 20 minutes. This will help remove the said tannins and microorganisms. You can then follow up with a thorough rinse and clean with regular water and a wire brush if further needed.
  • If your piece of wood is quite large, and you can’t afford to boil it in a pot, you can soak it in hot water for about a week. This of course is a slower but much-required process. Once soaked, you can then follow through with a gentle brushing using a regular or wire brush and water. Be sure to thoroughly rinse it at least twice after.
  • Using a 3% – 5% Hydrogen peroxide solution to soak the wood is also a viable option. This can be done either overnight or for a period of 2 days depending on the size of the wood. Then soak in regular water and follow with a thorough rinse.

Note: Do not use cleaning agents when brushing and cleaning your driftwood. Since driftwood is porous, it can absorb these chemicals into the wood and later be released into your tank and could potentially harm or even kill your fish!

Once the cleaning process is complete, you can then go ahead in attaching your Spiky moss cuttings to the driftwood.

What is the best fish-friendly way to attach Spiky Moss to a substrate?

The best fish-friendly way to attach Spiky moss to its substrate would be attaching using glue such as flourish glue or super glue. If left to fully dry before inserting it into the aquarium, the glue will not create any harmful impact on the fish. Any marks left on the substrate will also be covered as the moss grows thicker.

This is the safest method because, in the event of using twine or any form of thread, there is a chance of the fish feeding on the loose ends. This can create digestive problems and be harmful to your fish.

Can Spiky moss attach to fabric?

Yes, with the help of superglue or being tied to the fabric, Spiky moss can be secured onto a piece of fabric.

What is the safest glue to attach Spiky Moss?

Flourish glue is a highly recommended glue safe to be used to attach moss onto any surface, whether it is a rock, driftwood, or any other substrate.

However, if flourish glue is hard to find super glue will act as an ideal substitute.

How can I apply glue to attach Spiky Moss to driftwood?

Applying glue to driftwood is simple. All you need to do is thoroughly clean the surface to get rid of any sand or broken particles and apply a few drops of glue. Once done, tighten the Spiky moss cutting onto the drops of glue for a few minutes.

Once the glue is fully dried, you’re good to go!

Can I attach Spiky Moss on driftwood without glue?

Yes, you can.

If you prefer to not use glue on driftwood, you can simply attach the moss using a piece of string or a mesh along with a zip tie.

Can I use super glue to attach Spiky Moss?

It is possible. All you need to do is apply super glue along the area where you wish to attach your moss cutting and press it down until the glue is dry.

Is super glue harmful to my Spiky Moss aquarium tank?

Super glue is not harmful to your aquarium when it has fully dried. However, it may not be so if introduced into the tank when semi-dried or fresh out of the glue stick.

Do’s and don’ts of planting Spiky Moss on a substrate


  • Do choose a heavy substrate to anchor your Spiky moss within the aquarium.
  • Do make sure your Spiky moss is securely attached to the substrate, for if not, once introduced to the tank, it can come free after a while.
  • Do clean your Spiky moss cuttings and the substrate carefully and completely before attaching.
  • Do make sure the glue is fully dried and if any excess pieces of thread are cut before inserting the substrate and moss into the tank.


  • Don’t use chemicals in cleaning your substrate as it can harm the fish in your aquarium.
  • Don’t use every glue to attach your moss to the substrate.
  • Don’t ignore the steps of cleaning and maintenance with either your moss, the substrate or the aquarium tank.


Attaching Spiky moss to a substrate is a simple and easy task, hardly taking much time to get the hang of it!

So do gather the substrates of your choice, clean them up and begin aqua scaping and creating that scenic Spiky moss environment that you’ve always dreamt of for your aquarium today!

By Uswatta Liyanage

Hello. I'm Uswatta Liyanage from Galle, Sri Lanka. I am the founder of this website. Since my childhood I'm an aqua plant lover and I have professionally learned more about aqua plants. So I created this site for share my knowledge and experience with all of you. Now you can refer my site and feel free to contact me if any inquiry.