Is Java Moss Easy to Grow? (Guide for Beginners)

Java moss is one of the underwater plants that are easy to grow. It comes in handy and doesn’t require maintenance to care. There are many ways you can grow the plant in the aquarium. Also, various species of java moss are found all over the world. The ubiquitous nature of the plant made it popular among the aquarist.

Is java moss easy to grow? Yes. The java moss is a plant that doesn’t require special care or fertilizer to grow. The moderated water condition is sufficient enough to make the plant grow and spread in the aquarium. The java moss is found in different water conditions. The plant adopts the surrounding environment and changes its growth pattern to survive longer.

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Therefore, you find the java moss grows quickly when the water condition is right.

Is Java Moss Easy to Grow
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Growing problems of Java Moss

Like any other plant, java moss also faces several problems while growing. Most of them are an external problem that causes the plant to die early. Following is the list of the problem that occurs during the growth period.


The Algae attack on the java moss is most common when you have dirty water. Also, the too-bright light makes the algae grow faster on the top of the leaves. You need the help of the freshwater Shrimp to get rid of the java moss. Cherry Shrimp and snails could help you in removing the algae from the java moss.

The Shrimp and snails eat the algae and keep them in control. Remove the java moss plant, clean it under the running water, or put them in the freshwater bucket and clean them until all the algae are removed. You may have to repeat the process to clean the java moss properly.


Snail likes to eat the java moss. Even if you offer them regular food, the snail will eat the java moss. You should keep the snail away from the java moss. They generally trim down the top layer of the java moss plant and make it look not pleasant.

Leaves turning Brown Color:

The java moss plant requires a sufficient amount of light or nutrients to keep the leaves healthy. If a nitrogen cycle runs flawlessly, it will have plenty of food for the java moss. When the java moss does not get the nutrition, the plant leaves turn a brown color. Trim down the leaves so sufficient light will reach the bottom layer of the java moss.


The common problem with the java moss is slowly turning the leaves brown or black. The change in the color indicates the plant is having trouble getting the right amount of nutrition. When the plant gets sufficient nutrition from the water, it thrives. The plant will start dying when the water condition drops when they cannot get the light and essential nutrition.

Enemies’ fish:

Some of the fish like to eat the java moss leaves. Cichlid and Siamese algae eater would eat the java moss plant and stop their growth. So if you have the java moss plant in the aquarium, then do not place the unsuitable tank mate.

How to turn Java Moss leaves green again?

If the java moss is turning brown, it is indicating there is a problem with the water. The java moss will not survive if the water condition in the tank is not suitable. Therefore, you should first have to clean the water. The following guide will help you to reset the process and make java moss green again.

  • Limit the Fertilizer:

Every plant requires nutrition to grow. The fertilizer enables the plant to consume an adequate amount of nutrition. However, some aquarist provides more than what is required which leads to the problem. The excess amount of fertilizer could damage the leaves and make them turn brown.

The java moss can protect itself from external impacts, such as gases released by the fish and sunlight exposure, but the fertilizer in the aquarium could make it slow down the growth process.

  • Control the Algae Growth:

The algae are found in every aquarium. The direct sunlight or bright light exposure of the LED could create a perfect condition in the aquarium, which leads to the fast growth of the algae. It will lower the number of minerals receives by the java moss.

As a result, the moss growth will be limited, and over time the plant will die. Cleaning the java moss frequently will remove the algae and keep the leaves healthy. Use the pressurized water to wash the algae.

  • Carbon Levels:

An excess amount of carbon in the water also causes damage to the java moss. The carbon is good for the growth of the java moss plant, but in some conditions, the fish may produce more than what the java moss plant can handle. Consequently, the plant’s ability to consume the carbon reduces, and the plant starts dying due to bad water conditions.

Keep the water condition moderated. Change the water frequently to avoid the carbon minerals take place in the tank. Add fresh water to reduce the carbon level.

Growing methods of Java Moss

There are different ways to grow the java moss in the home. Mostly java moss is grown in the freshwater tank. Leave them in the water floating—no need to have a special arrangement. The java moss adapts to the environment quickly and starts growing the leaves.

Some may prefer putting the plant at the bottom of the fish tank. It will be attached to the heavy object, so the plant will not float to the top. Cut the plant into two pieces if it becomes larger and put them in another tank or bucket of water to grow.

Java moss grows from the small piece of the plant, so there is not special stem requirement to make the plant flourish.

  • Java moss carpet:

The java moss carpet is another stunning idea to grow the plant in the aquarium. The carpet is laid on the ground properly attached to the heavy object at the bottom. The plant grows underneath and starts spreading the leaves.

  • Java Moss Wall:

In this structure, the java moss is placed at the back of the tank. A special vertical attachment is used to fix the java moss on the wall. The background comes with a suction clip that holds the structure in place. Aquarium will look awesome when the java moss is fixed at the back of the tank.

  • Java Moss Trees:

Making a java moss tree is also easy with the driftwood structure. Find the large size driftwood with sufficient weight. Place the driftwood at the bottom and fix them at a place it will not move or float in the water.

Now fix the java moss on the tree. No need to stick the entire plant to the tree. Just cover an adequate area of the branches. As the java moss grows, it will soon cover the entire driftwood and make it look great.

Growing surfaces of Java Moss:

  • Gravel: The gravel would allow you to make the natural-looking plant in the aquarium. Use the pieces of the java moss to grow on the gravel surface. The gravel will provide sufficient space to grow. It will cover the bottom of the surface with java moss, similar to the java carpet.
  • Driftwood / Rocks: Using driftwood and rocks is common when it comes to growing the java moss in the aquarium. Both are used as the holding object that keeps the java moss plant at the place. The java moss will slowly cover the entire driftwood and rocks, which gives a stunning appearance.

Tank Requirements for Java Moss

The java moss needs sufficient space to grow in the tank. Therefore, the proper tank size is essential for healthy growth. With the plant size of 10 cm, you may have to put the plant in the tank with the 5 gallons capacity.

The java moss plant growth will be slow and steady. So do not worry if you have not experienced growth after few weeks. Once it starts growing, it covers the entire tank in few weeks.

Is Java Moss Growing Fast?

Java moss is a slow grower plant. It may take time to achieve significant growth. So be patient and do not hurry. Keep the water and lighting condition perfect for experiencing fast growth.

Is Java Moss need CO2 for fast-growing?

Yes. Java moss consumes the CO2 from the water, which helps the plant to increase the growth speed. However, a controlled CO2 environment is essential to avoid damage to the plant. If your aquarium has an excess amount of CO2, it will damage the leaves, and the plant will turn brown.

Is Java Moss need light?

The light will help the java moss to grow faster. However, it would help if you controlled the lighting condition in the tank. The bright light may allow the algae to grow on the java moss plant and damage them. The controlled lighting condition will keep the plant healthy.

How long Java Moss takes to grow?

Once the plant is underwater, it will start growing. It takes around 3 to 4 weeks for the plant to show significant growth. Remember to perform casual pruning sessions to keep the leaves even. Else, the light will not reach the bottom of the plant, and it may start dying.

Fertilizers for Java Moss:

Java moss plants can grow without fertilizer. It doesn’t require special care or additional nutrition. The fertilizer helps the plant to grow faster. Comparatively, the java moss plant grows quickly, so you do not need to put the fertilizer. Java moss does not have roots. Hence you should use liquid additives to feed the plant through the water.

Maintaining Java Moss:

Java moss plant does not require maintenance. However, it is recommended to keep an eye on the changing leaves’ color and the growth rate. If the plant is changing color and turning brown, it is a sign that its health is compromised.

Change the water, watch the leaves to remove the algae, and trim it down to let the light reach the bottom of the plant. Occasionally use the fertilizer to offer nutrition to the plant.

Do not touch the plant regularly. It may slow down growth. Also, change the water every two weeks to keep the water nutrition-rich.


The java moss is an easy-growing plant. No maintenance or care is needed, which makes the plant great for the aquarium. Once the plant starts growing, it will cover the entire tank in few days.

Also, the plant helps keep the water condition healthy for the fish. It can also become food for the fish in an emergency condition. Overall the java moss looks stunning in the aquarium and serves the purpose.

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.