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What is your ground cover of choice?

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Man, I'm sick of my green moss turning brown/black. What are the rest of you guys using as ground cover and how do you keep it looking great (i.e. changing leaf litter X times a year, using X brand lights for X type of moss, using X brand green spray paint, etc.)?
 

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do you have a photo of your setups? What kind of lighting are you using? Type of moss?

Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I use cheap walmart grow lights on for 12 hours. On some setups the moss is right on LECA, and on another it is right on a Peat Brick/orchid mix substrate. I seem to get the best green color on black jungle moss right on top of LECA in tank that gets sprayed nearly everyday by hand. Here is a pic of that moss that has been green since September:


Also, my moss that I got from my uncle's place is nice looking and has stayed green since July. Here is a pic showing that moss:


P.S. what am I doing wrong with the img thing?
 

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Leaf Litter all the way!

I've had kinda of half and half success with tropical moss (native mosses go dormant so they don't do as well year around). I've had some tanks (mostly froglet tanks) that have gone wild with the stuff. Other tanks its rotted right off. I kinda gave up and just did sphagnum moss and leaf litter for all and found more benifits with leaf litter that completely overrode any reason I had for having moss.

I love having springtails in my tanks, espeically in tanks where froglets are being raised or are likely to occur. I've had some luck with them in mossed tanks, but they go NUTS in leaf litter (especially if you treat the froglet tank as a culture).

Makes more nervous frogs and froglets (like those slow to color up like tricolor) a bit bolder. These guys know they have a hiding place a hop away and can come out a bit more than in a bare tank which they'd be nervous in anyways. Less stressed froglets grow faster and do better.

Many frogs prefer to lay eggs in leaf litter... well I guess that could be a good thing or a bad thing. It can make it hell to find eggs, but if you have water sources you can usually get most of the tads, then again you have a great mini springtail population in there so you don't need to worry about the random froglet that slips by. :lol:

After spending a month traveling across costa rica and hitting every main ecosystem PDFs are found in there, I have yet to see one that qualifies as a moss covered garden like our tanks. The typical ground cover was leaf litter. The only moss covered ecosystem I came across was tree branches (mostly in cloud forests) in a speck of sunlight.

They are also just less work lol. I just stick a handful of new leaves in when the old ones start to break down and no longer act as hiding places. This varies by what type of leaf you use.
 

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I have great success with florida moss, i am guessing sheetmoss. It grows and looks great in all my vivs. I also love java because it makes such a thick carpet. I realy want to do a combo of both leaf litter and moss in my next viv, i have seen it done and it looks more like how moss grows in patches then in large carpets.

Ryan
 

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I was a moss person before, but I used leaf litter in my newest tank and I am really happy with the results. I get messy when I feed dusted fruit flies and tend to kill my moss. I was taking my son for a walk and found prefect leaves for leaf litter, I amnot sure what the tree is, I think it is a willow tree of some kind. The leaves are only 1.5-2.5" and long and narrow. I will have to take some pictures of the new tank. Plus my frogs seem to like hiding in the leaf litter.
 

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I'm a big fan of Java Moss. It grows rampantly under sufficient light, will throw spores to cover all areas, and you can sterilize clumps in bleach/water mixture to keep from spreading who knows what that can come in on leaf litter or collected moss.

In different areas it will take on different forms, all dependent on humidity and moisture levels. Just my thoughts.
 

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We use leaf litter in most of our tanks now. You don't ever have to change the leaves. They break down and then you just add more. It depends on what kind of leaves you use, but they should last at least 6 months.
 
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sounds like leaf litter is the way to go. any leaves that work the best, or you should stay away from? I'd be a tad nervous with leaf litter since I know some woods can be toxic to amphibians.
 

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I'm a big fan of Java Moss. It grows rampantly under sufficient light, will throw spores to cover all areas, and you can sterilize clumps in bleach/water mixture to keep from spreading who knows what that can come in on leaf litter or collected moss.

In different areas it will take on different forms, all dependent on humidity and moisture levels. Just my thoughts.
what exactly is java moss? and bleaching prevents spreading? can you grow small clumps of it in random spots?
 

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what exactly is java moss? and bleaching prevents spreading? can you grow small clumps of it in random spots?

I think he meant to say you can treat your java moss from one tank before replanting it into another tank. It will prevent spreading germs...it wont stop java moss from spreading...java moss spreads and spreads and spreads.

RICCIA RICCIA RICCIA!!!

I have also found great luck with riccia flautians. It is not technically a moss but sure looks like moss to me. It grows a little more compact than java. It is also an aquatic plant you can pick up on ebay. People charge a lot for a golf ball size clump but within a few months you will have more riccia than you know what to do with. It likes to stay moist and thrives off daily misting and direct light.
 

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I also use leaf litter in half my tank. In the other side I use java moss and I love them both. The Java moss works for me when it has a really good water source. It grows really fast next to my river and gets so over grown I have to pick it and move it to a new spot. Good luck!
 

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I have 3 or more types growing. The spores just make it into the tanks and it takes 6-9 months for it to grow in. I sometimes transfer one piece of coco chip to another tank. Part of the problem is soft vs. hard plants. Same thing happens w/ broms. It`s very different between outside and inside. Most of my mosses were never sheets. Sheets grown somewhere else are going to acclimate or die. WHen they die there is still spores in there. Under good light and distilled water they will overtake the tank. Mine are growing right up the sides w/ no substrate. Every tank I have is in some stage of filling in w/ java, tropical or local mosses, very green and vibrant, almost flourescent on one type.
 

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Leaf Litter, its the most natural choice. If you research where most of these frogs originate from there isn't enough sunlight on the forest floor to sustain most species of moss. Also if you look at images of the rain forest you'll see the ground covered with leaf litter.

Besides this the leaf litter acts as coverage and hiding spots for the frogs, nutirents for the plants and potentially egg laying sites for some species.

I do use java moss, riccia and christmas moss on the driftwood and am going to try to get it to grow on the tree fern panels I use as my background.
 

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Riccia is fantastic but hard to find at times. Once established the coloration and density is by far a better choice than Java because of the uncontrollability of Java moss.
I Vote Riccia.
 
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