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Java moss won’t anchor

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I superglued some Java moss to my driftwood a few months ago. So far, it looks like it’s done exactly 0 anchoring on its own. I thought I just needed to get it started and it would do the rest, but maybe that was wishful thinking. If I tie it down, will it anchor itself on the wood? Or will it need to be tied down for life? Either way is fine, it will just change what thread I use. I originally had Christmas moss in this spot but then read somewhere that Christmas moss doesn’t really anchor, which is why I switched to Java.

This is what it looks like after I just cleaned it. 🙈 Soiled tank + really poor cap + loaches = dirt all the time.


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Your picture looks pretty much like my experience of moss on drift wood. It takes time and not all of what you glued will grab hold. Have patients and eventually one tiny piece will take hold and that can wind up spreading and covering the driftwood.

Also, as @Yannisaid, trim it when it gets stringy like that. That’s how it naturally wants to grow. Trimming will encourage it to thicken by forcing it to branch out.  And as it thickens it tends to grow more laterally and this gives more opportunities for it anchor itself.  To get that carpeted moss covered look, you have to trim on a routine basis, and just wait it out. 

I’ve had moss on this wood in the pic for well over a year and it grew stringy like your pic (I wanted it to grow stringy so I could collect the moss for propagation to other tanks). It wasn’t until I started trimming a month or so ago it that it started to really cover the wood. But I still have some time, growing and trimming ahead of me.


Edited by tolstoy21
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@darkGScoring the wood could help, but honestly, I just scraped java moss off the back glass of my aquarium last week. I guess it was able to grab hold to some micro scratches in the glass. 

@Hobbit And to re-iterate your frustrations with gluing it, it does the same thing to me. I'll glue a clump and like 99% of that clump never really attaches. But if all you get is one piece to catch hold (and more than one will), trust me it will eventually cover the entire piece of wood, if it's encourage to grow laterally via frequent trimming. 

I think the goal is to just get some little bits to attach here-and-there across the wood, and that becomes the foundation for what will come. I rarely have an entire clump adhere to a piece of wood the same way an entire square of sod will attach to dirt in your yard. (That would be amazing if it did!)

Spending the time to tie it down before putting the wood into aquarium probably also helps as the thread creates more possible attachment opportunities for the moss.

On the other hand, if you tie it too densely hoping that a big mat is going to hold, this sometimes has the opposite effect because the moss making contact with the wood gets shaded by the moss on top of it and dies off instead of growing into the wood itself. 

The smaller and thinner the clumps you attach, the greater chance they will succeed.  And, it just takes time. 

Edited by tolstoy21
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