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Discussion Starter #1
I've got an issue with my dart frog viv that I can't seem to solve. I have a small pond feature in the center of my 75 gallon tank fed by a waterfall running down the rock background. The pond is situated below grade with a moss covered area sloping down to it on three sides. This is the area that I use for feeding. No matter what type of moss I plant there, it turns black, especially the area closest to the water. I've tried regular sheet moss, Christmas moss, Java moss and it all turns black within a few weeks.

First, I need to figure out whether the black is fungus from excess moisture on the sloping area, or if it has something to do with vitamin/calcium residue from the feeding. Second, I need to figure out what to do about it. Any insights would be appreciated.
 

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Where I dump flies, the moss dies. Often times some fungus will grow there.

Mosses definitely don’t seem to be a fan of alkaline substrates (and water for that matter) or salts.
 

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Yeah try dumping your flies elsewhere. On leaf litter or a petri dish is what I do.
 

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I will try feeding in a petri dish. However, the blackest parts of the moss are the areas closest to the water...I'm thinking the feeding might be a contributing factor, but the moisture is the main culprit. I tried replacing the moss closest to the water with monte carlo (since it's not a moss) but it didn't take. I was thinking of trying riccia there...any opinions?
 

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I don't have much experience with riccia, but that might work. Moss isn't the biggest fan of waterlogged conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It turns out it was the vitamin powder when I dumped in the flies. I replaced the moss with riccia and it also turned black right after I fed the frogs and accidently dumped some of the powder out. I replaced the riccia and came up with a solution that might be helpful to others...

I put the vitamin powders and Super Pig in a fly breeding cup and dump in some flies and shake to coat them. Then I pour the flies and the powder through a strainer over another cup. I use a strainer that I bought from Josh's Frogs that they use to sift Rice Beetle Larvae. Works like a charm...The excess powder goes through the strainer into the cup and the flies can be dumped from the strainer into the enclosure.
 

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I've got an issue with my dart frog viv that I can't seem to solve. I have a small pond feature in the center of my 75 gallon tank fed by a waterfall running down the rock background. The pond is situated below grade with a moss covered area sloping down to it on three sides. This is the area that I use for feeding. No matter what type of moss I plant there, it turns black, especially the area closest to the water. I've tried regular sheet moss, Christmas moss, Java moss and it all turns black within a few weeks.



First, I need to figure out whether the black is fungus from excess moisture on the sloping area, or if it has something to do with vitamin/calcium residue from the feeding. Second, I need to figure out what to do about it. Any insights would be appreciated.


I would suggest that it may be Cyanobacteria algae. It makes the moss look very dark, dunno about black tho.


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Do you have pics of what the moss looks like?

If you look at my back wall it has spots like that. Here is a pic:



I also have a water feature and a water fall. Mine was slime algae as I said. It’s not algae per se, it’s actually bacteria. Usually from an over abundance of waste in the water. If you have no fish you can use erythromycin phosphate. That will completely kill it, if in fact that is what it is.

Good luck!


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Discussion Starter #9
Even though I have been feeding in a petri dish, over time the moss turned black again. I think I have to give up on the idea of growing moss in that area--it's too wet. I was wondering if anybody has any experience with growing Micranthemum Monte Carlo as a foreground plant in a wet area, but above water? I was thinking that tissue cultured plants would take easier to growing in air since they are grown that way.....
 

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Greetings,

The black growth is some kind of microorganism - perhaps a cyanobacterium, a fungus or a multi-species biofilm. I've seen it crop up in wet conditions around eutrophic water and it eventually overwhelms even water-loving mosses like java moss as well as liverworts. I think the issue is long-term saturation with nutrient-rich water. In nature, plants like mosses and liverworts are usually in places where rainwater (directly or indirectly) periodically rinses them of whatever nutrients have accumulated. The drainage pond of a viv is going to be a tea leeched from the substrate that will will encourage the growth of the black death.

If you can drain your viv periodically and water heavily with R/O or distilled water that might help.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
WOW! Thanks for the info--very helpful. I can't drain the tank completely without having to prime the intake line to the canister filter (a serious pain in the butt). However, I have a diverter valve in the intake line for draining purposes, so I can add water to the viv until the drainage layer is almost full and then siphon off the tea, and repeat a few times. Then I will try to one more time with the moss...
 

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Does the mugo get enough light? I give the moss the brightest light I have and in a little over a month, it starts to grow like crazy.
I've generally had bad experiences when the moss is in shadow or too far from light.
Be careful because having it very close to the light can also be harmful and burn it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What is mugo? Anyway, my viv used to be a reef aquarium and I'm using the 2 reef LED fixtures. The moss will be in the area between the lights that gets less light than directly under the fixtures, but if they were bright enough to grow corals, they should be bright enough for moss.

Even though I like the look of Riccia, I was thinking about planting Micranthemum Monte Carlo instead of moss, since this is the area I feed the frogs in. Even though I put the fruit flies in a petri dish, the frogs track the supplements onto the plants and I wind up with black moss anyway.
 

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What is mugo? Anyway, my viv used to be a reef aquarium and I'm using the 2 reef LED fixtures. The moss will be in the area between the lights that gets less light than directly under the fixtures, but if they were bright enough to grow corals, they should be bright enough for moss.

Even though I like the look of Riccia, I was thinking about planting Micranthemum Monte Carlo instead of moss, since this is the area I feed the frogs in. Even though I put the fruit flies in a petri dish, the frogs track the supplements onto the plants and I wind up with black moss anyway.
Sorry, the translator has failed me. I wanted to say moss.

I always had a good growth of moss in different situations as long as it has heat, light and humidity (depends on the species).
With supplement residues, organic residues even with excess fertilizer, I have never had algea problems in a viv. In the aquarium it is much easier to have these problems.

This is my last vivarium. This is the result of before and after (2 months):





 

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Try ChemiClean! It's a aquarium product but rids cyanobacteria very efficiently. I add it to my water feature and it does not harm my liverwort which tends to be more delicate than moss or plants. I must caution that I dont have darts in that particular setup so you should do some research beforehand.
 

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Sorry, the translator has failed me. I wanted to say moss.

I always had a good growth of moss in different situations as long as it has heat, light and humidity (depends on the species).
With supplement residues, organic residues even with excess fertilizer, I have never had algea problems in a viv. In the aquarium it is much easier to have these problems.

This is my last vivarium. This is the result of before and after (2 months):





What kind of moss is that?


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Hi,
It's Christmas moss (Versicularia montagnei). This is how it is now, it's a crazy moss!
View attachment 296296
That is a gorgeous tank. I just put in Java and Christmas moss. What conditions do you keep in the enclosure? Do you spray the moss with fertilizer or something, it’s so thick. Thanks for any info. My moss is growing but slowly and not that dark green.


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That is a gorgeous tank. I just put in Java and Christmas moss. What conditions do you keep in the enclosure? Do you spray the moss with fertilizer or something, it’s so thick. Thanks for any info. My moss is growing but slowly and not that dark green.


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Thank you!:giggle:
Just light and water. A lot of the two things until set.
I didn't use fertilizer in the tank.
Temps between 24-28°. The last summer was very hot, so some parts turned a bit yellow. When the temperatures dropped it turned green again!
Once established! the moss appreciates more light than water. But you must hydrate regularly (especially in summer)
 
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