How to Grow Aquatic Moss Wall

Monday, March 28, 2011
The following is a series of photographs by that clearly illustrate how to create an aquatic moss wall as aquarium backdrop. A very simple technique could be employed to create a backdrop using aquatic moss for the nature aquarium. The stuffs needed to create the moss wall are commonly available, and the following simple steps will show you how to get it done with a little effort.

Picture on the left are what you would need to create the moss wall:

- Plastic Mesh
- Scissors
- Suction Cups
- Tying Wire
- Aquatic Moss

The plastic mesh is commonly available in most hardware stores, plant nuseries, and large supermarkets. It's main use is to be mounted on windows to prevent mosquitoes and other insects from entering the house. Well, we have different use for it. The meshes come in different colours and sizes, but for our moss wall, we would need one that is about 7mm to 8mm in size, and black colour is more appropriate for the backdrop.

The mesh is cut to 2 times the size of the tank that you want the moss wall to be in. You would need to fold the mesh in half and stuff the moss in-between. Cut some holes on the perimeter of the mesh so as to stick in the suction cups.

For my demonstration, it's for a small 1 ft tank, hence one suction cup is sufficient. If you are doing a large wall, you will need to put in more suction cups especially on the 4 corners, and also some suction cups around the centre of the mesh to prevent warping when the mesh is in the tank.

Next, you would need sufficient quantity of moss. Open up the mesh, and spread out the moss evenly onto half of the mesh. Try not to leave any space uncovered, else you might have gaps in your moss wall later when the wall has been erected in your tank and the moss starts to grow out.

Fold back the other half of the mesh, and tie up the 2 halves together. I'm using some tying wire here, since it's simple and I have it available on hand. You could also use fishing line or nylon thread to tie it up. Do not use any cotton thread since it will disintegrate after a short while in the tank. Remember to insert in the suction cups.

The above diagrams illustrate the final product.

Next, insert the mess against the back panel of your tank. Try to leave as little gap between the mesh and the glass as possible to prevent small fish from entering and stuck inside. One tip to prevent fish from entering the gap is to cut the height of the mesh to be slightly taller so that you can tuck the bottom of the mesh slightly into the substrate, and the top slightly above the highest water line. As for the length, try to measure it accurately so that both sides of the mesh fit closely to both sides of the tank.

The final step, wait for the moss to grow out of the mesh, and thou shall be rewarded.

Growing aquatic moss in the aquarium is not very difficult. Aquatic mosses can be considered to be the easiest aquatic plants to grow in the tank. In general, if you can keep Java Fern alive, you should have no problem keeping Java Moss and most of the aquatic moss. Most of the moss are not very demanding in their requirements. They can tolerate lower light levels than the higher plants, and they can grow well even without the supplement of Carbon Dioxide to the aquarium. They can also grow with minimum nutrients. However, with proper lightings (about 2 watt/gallon), CO2 supplement, and some macro-nurtients and micro-nutrients, one would really be able to see the true beauty of these aquatic moss wall in the aquarium.