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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been trying to get some moss growing in my tree frog tank and Ive decided to try a moss milkshake of sorts plus direct planting on some moss into the tank..I was hoping to use the milkshake to really get things started on the walls.

Previously I have tried a moss+yogurt mixture, with mixed results. It took a long time for any growth to start, and it wasn't too impressive.

This time, I tried a buttermilk+moss+sphagnum mixture, and spread it on. I promptly got some fuzzy mold. For anyone who has tried this type of buttermilk or beer mixture, did the mold go away or did you have to start over? Its been about a week of yucky mold. Most of the posts here don't really address the success, only ideas and recipes. Wondering if anyone put any of the ideas to the test.

The other idea i have looked into is moss+clay+ substrate (perhaps sphagnum to help adhere). I haven't come across any clay in my yard if i dig, so is there a type of clay I could buy somewhere that would work? I have read this post and it was helpful:

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/plants/45908-moss-milkshake.html
 

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Good question. I have been reading the various posts with yogurt, beer, clay and even other oddities and wondered if the additives are actually beneficial and needed or just an idea that anecdotally worked before. It would seem that adding an organic would help....but why yogurt? Why not grape jelly? I wonder how just moss and water would work compared to the others?
 

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I've done the milkshake in two different tanks. For both I used as many kinds of mosses as I could find, including java. I think one has 5 and one has 6-7 types. I blended it with lfs and peat plus a very malty, low hops beer. I think this is important, as hops can actually inhibit bacterial growth. Next I add a high quality microrhizal blend, I got from the local hydroponics store. I don't remember the brand, but it contains like 36 microrhizals and beneficial bacteria and costs about $25. I then mix in just enough bentonite to give it the texture of school paste. This has worked really well, showing the first signs of growing within a few weeks, and filling out in a few months. I hand mist them once a day to get started, and then only when they seem dry.
 

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I used GRIMM's method just a few weeks ago. It was just long fiber sphag, water (so it would blend and turn to paste), and two types of moss (Java and Christmas moss, both were aquatic). My mixture had very little live moss in it because i just didnt have that much to spare and i wanted to save some clumps just incase the shake turned out to be a dud. It was sort of difficult to get to stay on surfaces over 45 degree angle because it was just mush but in under 2 weeks i started to see new bright green specs. 3ish, maybe more, weeks in and i have solid growth on the surfaces closest to my lighting and sparcer growth the further away i got. It really helps to be under intense lighting to get the spores to kick off.

I would definitely recommend using as many live moss varieties as mentioned above to get a good shake, i wouldnt say you need anything else to make it work, but i have not tried adding beer/yogurt/bentonite.
 

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I've done the milkshake in two different tanks. For both I used as many kinds of mosses as I could find, including java. I think one has 5 and one has 6-7 types. I blended it with lfs and peat plus a very malty, low hops beer. I think this is important, as hops can actually inhibit bacterial growth. Next I add a high quality microrhizal blend, I got from the local hydroponics store. I don't remember the brand, but it contains like 36 microrhizals and beneficial bacteria and costs about $25. I then mix in just enough bentonite to give it the texture of school paste. This has worked really well, showing the first signs of growing within a few weeks, and filling out in a few months. I hand mist them once a day to get started, and then only when they seem dry.

Any chances of pictures?
 

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Here is a thread that I found to be informative:

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/be...ned-into-fuzzy-white-mold.html?highlight=milk

Mainly because of the following post by Ed's (emphasis is mine):

You just provided a perfect food source for the mold so it should be expected, whether or not it affects the moss is still to be seen..
You could have probably gotten away with just water in a terrarium as usually the limiting factor for mosses is light intensity. Unless it gets covered by leaf litter I see mosses in my enclosures as long as there is enough light.
I had already done a moss milkshake sans milk using this stuff:



I threw the most of the bag (sans bag :D ) in a blender - with lots of water and sphagnum (long) then put it along the top of my bg and on one of my "roots" - it took off a couple of weeks later. Here are my pics:







Most seem not to recommend this moss as it rarely comes back - but I had great luck. Running 2 T5HOs and it seems to be happy. It stays constantly moist with hand misting.

- ryan
 

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I make a moss shake. I used tropical moss from my botanical center, java, , liverworts, slagenella and some "live frog moss". I blended it with LFS in a coffee grinder. Then I add water to make it pastey. I use my fingers to smear it on. It seems to grow different moss depending on where I place it. The tropical stuff comes out with lots of light and the riccia comes out in wetter places.
You can see the one style of moss reaching out. Theres also some orchids and p. prostrata that all blend well.


On this photo, on the branch, you can see it grew a bit different.


This photo was 3 weeks after I made it. Daily mist and 4 48" t8 tubes over a 55.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good question. I have been reading the various posts with yogurt, beer, clay and even other oddities and wondered if the additives are actually beneficial and needed or just an idea that anecdotally worked before. It would seem that adding an organic would help....but why yogurt? Why not grape jelly? I wonder how just moss and water would work compared to the others?
It seems like the buttermilk/beer mixture provides the perfect conditions for mold inside a terrarium. When spread outside, i haven't really heard of people having mold issues. I guess i am going to have to scrape it off and try something else, i don't want to run the risks of weeks of mold with no moss growth.

Ive heard that beer and/or buttermilk provide the right acidity for the moss, as they both raise the surface acidity. A lot of websites claim this but I am not sure how truthful it is.

My next step will be just making a moss slurry of different moss types from outside, maybe with a bit of sphagnum. If i can track down so clay to mix in i will. Not sure where to get clay though, digging will be tough due to frozen ground.
 

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I would just recommend using various mosses( live ) long fiber sphagnum (dried ) and distilled water to make the slurry. If you want it to take off sooner just up the light. As Ed already said, light is the limiting reagent in good terrarium moss growth. I'd use a few tropical mosses, some aquatics, and a liverwort for a good mix. Toss in some seeds from peperomias or Huperzia or other fern spores and you're set
 

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I believe the beer/ yogurt/ butter milk are used to provide a source of sugar for the developing moss. I forgot to mention that mold is normal. Both of my tanks had it for several days, afterwards it subsided. I recommend you not scrape it off and start over. Just be patient.
 

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I made a minimalist shake with just java moss, lfs, and some excel in the water. I'm getting slow growth but it looks like the java moss is a slow grower when emersed (compared to riccia).
 
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