Java Moss Care Guide

Java Moss Care Guide

Quick Overview





Growth Rate




CO2 Injection

Not Needed

In Depth Overview

Java Moss Care Guide
Cherry shrimp love to pick through moss.

Java moss, scientifically known as Taxiphyllum Barbieri, is one of the most commonly found aquarium mosses in the hobby today. You can visit practically any pet store, or most online retailers, and find some attached to a mat, a piece of driftwood, or even floating on a ball in the middle of the tank. Thankfully, its availability is matched equally with its ease of care.


Java Moss Lighting Requirements

Java moss is very easy when it comes to lighting requirements. Most basic aquarium lights will do the job just fine. If you notice that the moss is stretching for more light by growing stringy or it is starting to brown, it may be time to upgrade your light.

Java Moss Growth Rate

Java moss will grow relatively slowly for most people, even in optimal conditions. However, with the injection of CO2, it can grow a little faster as with all plants. However, CO2 is not needed. Some would see its slow growth as a negative, but it can be nice not to have to trim it all of the time.

fish, aquarium, dreamy image-1007314.jpg
A healthy aquarium will have some algae.

Java Moss Water Parameters

If you keep your aquarium parameters in a range for any fish or other plant to live, your water parameters should be fine. Most aquarium temperatures will work for java moss. The key is to avoid extreme parameters and wild fluctuations. I do not doubt that you could keep java moss in parameters outside of what is listed in the basic care guide above, however, the plant would have to properly acclimate.

Java Moss Placement

One of the greatest perks to keeping Java Moss is its ability to be placed anywhere in the aquarium. Since Java Moss has no roots system, it can be tied or glued (super glue) to items in the tank such as driftwood or rocks. Java moss could even be left to float around the tank for breeding fish in a bare bottom tank

Another fun way to plant Java Moss is to blend it in a blender with a little water lightly. You can then add the paste to any item you want to place in the aquarium. If attempting this, it would be best to grow it out of the water while keeping it damp. This will allow the moss to grow and attach itself to the item.

Java moss will grow well out of the water, as long as it is kept humid. Some enjoy having driftwood or rocks coming out of the aquarium with plants on them and java moss can be a good choice for this setup, however, you will still need to keep it moist. Java moss will attach itself to practically anything over time. I have had some moss growing on the back wall of my aquarium, and on a thermometer I had hanging on the inside of the tank.

Java Moss Browning Leaves

Two common problems that may come about with your java moss are brown leaves and algae growth. The browning leaf problem is usually caused by insufficient nutrients or poor lighting.

Nutrients can be added via an all-in-one fertilizer or even more fish food (depending on the nutrient that is lacking), and lighting can be improved by upgrading your light. Also note that if the plant is being shaded out by another plant, or even its growth, you may just need to trim it back to allow the light through.

Algae growth is a common problem with java moss because of its slow growth. However, I find that most of the time java moss can handle a decent amount of algae coverage without dying but it will start to choke out the light it receives.

Removing the algae by hand is generally my go-to solution for algae. If the algae is growing out of control, I would recommend reading more on how to maintain algae growth.

Freshwater Aquarium Moss
Healthy java moss will be bright green and bushy.

Where to Purchase Java Moss

All in all, if you have an aquarium and do not own some java moss, you should make the investment. There are many places to buy java moss. If you happen to not have a pet store near you, I recommend purchasing from the Aquarium Coop but there are many other online retailers as well. The button below will take you to their website, if interested. I would also like to note that I am not an affiliate. I have ordered from the company before and have enjoyed their products and service.