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Old 03-25-2019, 10:53 AM
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Default Mosses dying all of a sudden

Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone has had experience with their mosses suddenly browning and dying.
None of the tank parameters have changed. The only thing that is different and Iím thinking this may be it but not positive, is that i am fertilizing the orchids and other plants in the tank with a spray solution (there are no frogs in the tank)
It has affected some java and Xmas moss but not other patches, also some other moss forms are struggling.
Can anyone shed some light, do mosses react strongly to fertilizers? I am using a orchid fertilizer so it is already a weak solution.
Any help would be appreciated






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Old 03-25-2019, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Mosses dying all of a sudden

It could be the fertilizer, but I am not sure. I don't have experience (yet) growing moss with plants that I am fertilizing, but I know in the carnivorous plant world, growers discuss that many fertilizers kill sphagnum moss. The only fertilizer that is very common and widespread in that hobby is Maxsea because growers have found it to not harm sphagnum. CP growers don't tend to use too many other mosses, so I don't know if fertilizer affects other mosses (like yours) in the same way it affects sphagnum, but there could be a connection.
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Mosses dying all of a sudden

I had and still have the same problem but I dont use any fertilizer.

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Old 03-26-2019, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Mosses dying all of a sudden

I was thinking that it looked like they were drying out. Is that possible? Most mosses really don't like to dry out, in my experience.

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Old 03-26-2019, 02:57 PM
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What type of lighting do you use? Might be time to change bulbs? Moss definitely doesn’t like fertilizers, tap water, drying out, or low light...any of these can turn moss brown.
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:33 AM
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Default Re: Mosses dying all of a sudden

Im thinking it may be low light and poss the fertilizers.
Mistking twice a day for 20 sec each.
New 4 x 13 w Jungle dawns but poss not enough.trying to figure that out now.
Strangle thing is the moss down lower is thriving which os strange as it received the same amon t of fert and LESS light

The deduction continues!


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Old 04-05-2019, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: Mosses dying all of a sudden

Out of curiosity, how does everyone fert their orchids that are covered in moss?


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Old 04-05-2019, 12:57 PM
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Default Re: Mosses dying all of a sudden

The low vs. high makes me suspect that they might be drying out, depending on the location of your vents. I have a lot of trouble growing anything up high in tanks with vents at the top, let alone mosses. It doesn't matter how much you mist if you are getting dry air moving past the area where you are having issues. I suppose you might try misting more times a day for a shorter period of time rather than a couple of longer soaks.

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Old 04-05-2019, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: Mosses dying all of a sudden

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Out of curiosity, how does everyone fert their orchids that are covered in moss?


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I don't think its the fertilizer itself that kills the moss, but rather the concentration. I have been to Andy's Orchids greenhouses several times and I have never seen any dead moss anywhere, and they fertilize regularly, but very diluted since orchids don't like a high concentration of fertilizer either.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Mosses dying all of a sudden

Perhaps drying out and if you just changed lights they may be shocked and need time to acclimatize.

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Old 04-05-2019, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Mosses dying all of a sudden

If nothing else has changed I'd guess its the fertilizer. Keep in mind that even if it is not highly concentrated repeated applications of fertilizer will cause fertilizer salts to accumulate over time if not thoroughly flushed (i.e., till runoff).
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Old 04-08-2019, 03:14 AM
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Default Re: Mosses dying all of a sudden

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Originally Posted by salvz View Post
If nothing else has changed I'd guess its the fertilizer. Keep in mind that even if it is not highly concentrated repeated applications of fertilizer will cause fertilizer salts to accumulate over time if not thoroughly flushed (i.e., till runoff).
This is true and something that needs to be considered.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:47 AM
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Default Re: Mosses dying all of a sudden

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This is true and something that needs to be considered.
Yeah, The strange thing is that the ferts have been applied uniform across the tank and on the same moss growing in other spots.
That said I have stopped spraying fert on the mosses all together. I have noticed new growth showing through the dead patches so maybe I close to the tipping point for all mosses regarding the amount of ferts and I went over that point with this patch.
The deduction and education continues.

Thanks for the input everyone
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Mosses dying all of a sudden

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Originally Posted by DTB View Post
Yeah, The strange thing is that the ferts have been applied uniform across the tank and on the same moss growing in other spots.
That said I have stopped spraying fert on the mosses all together. I have noticed new growth showing through the dead patches so maybe I close to the tipping point for all mosses regarding the amount of ferts and I went over that point with this patch.
The deduction and education continues.

Thanks for the input everyone
Glad to hear your moss is bouncing back. I hope that it returns to its former glory.

With that said. Evenly spraying fertilizer water is not going to prevent the accumulation of salts and minerals, particularly if you are fertilizing too frequently, regardless of the fertilizer concentration. You can also run into this problem if you are using hard water to mist/water your tank. Even if you flush thoroughly, the excess salts and minerals will make their way to the false bottom, where they can accumulate to a dangerous level, unless you have the means to drain the false bottom. Just something to consider. But sounds like you are on the road to recovery.
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