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Old 03-28-2019, 07:35 PM
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Default best moss growing techniques

Hey all. Heading to the boards for advice on the most effective moss growing techniques.

Iíve seen online that applying water absorbing gel from diapers creates a thicker coating and keeps everything from drying out. It appears to be non toxic to humans and dogs but anyone hear anything about that gel in uses in vivariums?

Patience is a virtue when it comes to this stuff so I realize it takes a while. Just want healthy and plush moss while maintaining safety for the frogs.


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Old 03-28-2019, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: best moss growing techniques

Well, flip the problem on its head for a sec. With adequate light and humidity, moss can be pesky. Not hard to grow, but truly pesky, if you don't want it. Ask a greenhouse manager. They mostly hate the stuff.

So really all you need to ensure is enough light, and no drying out. Not until it's going strong anyway. That's it. No gels, no buttermilk (gross), no tricks. Moss doesn't like alkalinity or salinity for the most part, and it grows better on organic surfaces than synthetic or mineral ones. But with good light and high humidity, you'd be harder-pressed to keep moss from growing, than having it survive.

That said I think, if you can, you'd be better off starting with an "'establishment phase" without frogs, and then after you've got a good stand established (yeah, it takes a while - give it 6 months at least), you can stop the moss-babying and dial back to a more frog-friendly regime (regular afternoon drops in humidity for example). Or even better, just set up some plant grow-out tanks that are never gonna have frogs in them. Once you've got some solid "moss blobs" going, pull them from the growouts and put them in with some frogs. They may sulk a little, and you may have to move them a few times to find the best location for them, but it'll work.

I've got a decent variety (12-15 spp???) of mosses in my various tanks. Some do best on soil, some do best on branches, some just love life atop sphagnum that's packed between cork pieces, some even do well on wet LECA that's barely sticking out of water. Some of it is happy to spread onto Hygrolon or cork bark. Of all this diversity, I bought starter clumps of about 1/3 of them, the rest are either wild-collected (e.g. I just brought back 2 kinds, plus some little ferns, from a work trip to coastal SC - I scraped them from brick walls and palm trunks) or "gleaned" from nursery pots or greenhouse benches & floors. Put a little of each kind you find, in a variety of settings in your tanks (darker/lighter, wetter/drier, etc) and you will soon see who likes what. Then you're off to the races.

Just some general advice, take it or leave it, all the same to me. Good luck!
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: best moss growing techniques

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Originally Posted by jgragg View Post
Well, flip the problem on its head for a sec. With adequate light and humidity, moss can be pesky. Not hard to grow, but truly pesky, if you don't want it. Ask a greenhouse manager. They mostly hate the stuff.



So really all you need to ensure is enough light, and no drying out. Not until it's going strong anyway. That's it. No gels, no buttermilk (gross), no tricks. Moss doesn't like alkalinity or salinity for the most part, and it grows better on organic surfaces than synthetic or mineral ones. But with good light and high humidity, you'd be harder-pressed to keep moss from growing, than having it survive.



That said I think, if you can, you'd be better off starting with an "'establishment phase" without frogs, and then after you've got a good stand established (yeah, it takes a while - give it 6 months at least), you can stop the moss-babying and dial back to a more frog-friendly regime (regular afternoon drops in humidity for example). Or even better, just set up some plant grow-out tanks that are never gonna have frogs in them. Once you've got some solid "moss blobs" going, pull them from the growouts and put them in with some frogs. They may sulk a little, and you may have to move them a few times to find the best location for them, but it'll work.



I've got a decent variety (12-15 spp???) of mosses in my various tanks. Some do best on soil, some do best on branches, some just love life atop sphagnum that's packed between cork pieces, some even do well on wet LECA that's barely sticking out of water. Some of it is happy to spread onto Hygrolon or cork bark. Of all this diversity, I bought starter clumps of about 1/3 of them, the rest are either wild-collected (e.g. I just brought back 2 kinds, plus some little ferns, from a work trip to coastal SC - I scraped them from brick walls and palm trunks) or "gleaned" from nursery pots or greenhouse benches & floors. Put a little of each kind you find, in a variety of settings in your tanks (darker/lighter, wetter/drier, etc) and you will soon see who likes what. Then you're off to the races.



Just some general advice, take it or leave it, all the same to me. Good luck!


Thanks a lot! I donít have much in my current set up but love the way a mostly green tank looks with bright frog patterns. Was thinking of putting heavy moss in my new setup. Always wary of gimmicks so its good to hear someone that has had success naturally.




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Old 04-01-2019, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: best moss growing techniques

Sure thing, good luck. Oh, I failed to mention I also have used Dusk moss mix a couple times. The first use gave pretty good results, I got several kinds of mosses, and at least 1 liverwort growing. The second/last use definitely only gave 1 kind of fairly aggressive moss (a sphagnum, I was told - but what do I know?), and no liverwort (sad - I love those!). Both uses also gave a fair amount of fern, all 1 kind though. Kind of a weedy, pesky fern actually, the damn stuff is still popping up all over, ha ha. I've pulled most of it, just kept the clumps best-situated for the visual effect they give.

Next time I think I will try NEHERP's slurry. Dusk comes dry and they said you could store it awhile, but NEHERP's comes wet and they say it must be used right away. Anyway for covering quite a bit of real estate, at "top moss speed" (think "watching grass grow, but without the hurry") a slurry is a very good option. Bought or collected clumps grow pretty slow for the most part (and pillow moss? Jesus, it does nothing), though some kinds can be divided into little quarter-size pieces and set around the tank, and when you place them somewhere they're happy they can actually get to spreading eventually. Patience, patience, patience with mosses. They can't be hurried, apparently, only encouraged. The mules of the plant world, you could say.

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Old 04-02-2019, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: best moss growing techniques

You've received some good advice here. In my experience, assuming you maintain proper humidity and moisture and have something suitable for it to grow on, the intensity and quality of light seems to be the limiting factor to where and how thick the mosses grow. So if you have a lot of plants in there causing dark spots, or marginal lighting, there are no "tricks" that will give you a very dense or uniform carpet. For what it's worth, I have really enjoyed using riccia (typically a floating plant) as a ground cover. In good light it will form a very nice carpet and it looks great. It is also easy to culture in water (I can't seem to stop it from growing in many of my fish tanks).
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