I noticed recently that some of my java moss seems to have very bright red spiky things growing from some main stems. Most of it is near the top of the tank (and therefore, the light). Is it an algae of some sort? Should I leave it be or pluck it all out?
I've recently got into mosses after receiving small portions of about 14 varieties from a friend as a bonus from a purchase. When they arrived I wasn't exactly sure what to do with them as before this I had only ever grown the basics (eg. Java Moss, Peacock Moss, Flame Moss, etc.) and all of a sudden I have rare mosses like F. splachnobryoides and F. zippelianus just sitting in clip-seal bags on my dining room table. Suffice to say I had a little problem as my tanks were full to the brim with other stuff, and as a stickler for quarantine I wasn't going to have them sharing the same tank. A lot of the mosses also needed high light, low temperatures and CO2. So I began thinking... and thinking... and thinking. And eventually I came up with an ingenious idea to give them high light, easy access to CO2, low temperatures and all the other things they needed, all while keeping them separate from one-another.
I decided on growing them emerse (as I have had luck with Echinodorus and Cryptocorynes that way in the past). However, I wasn't too keen on using the soil mixes I had used before as they always absorbed too much water and ended up covering the medium in algae, so knowing this I decided on perlite instead and I would be mindful to keep the liquid level a lot lower than the top of the perlite to avoid algae potentially covering the mosses. Be mindful your perlite cannot fall out of the pot, however, as the pot I used had large holes on the bottom of it (I used filter wool to plug them). For extra growing help I decided to switch out water (which I had used when growing plants emerse in the past) for BioJuice (a seaweed mix for hydroponic use which promotes vegetative growth, not flowering or root growth like most) to use as the liquid, and for each pot which a moss to be contained inside a bag for humidity which I then put onto my verandah in a place where it would not be too hot, but would also get a decent amount of sunlight with the moss laid out on top of the perlite.
This'll be a work in progress. It's not too clear now but I'll work on that later today and into the future. Better photos will come, don't worry!
The location of the bags on my verandah.
A close view of the set-up (excuse the fog).
This one is already growing after about a week.
I recently acquired a couple of 3D moss ledges from @newbreed Aquatics (https://newbreedaquatics.com.au/planted-tanks/aquascaping-tools) with the thought of trialing them and organising my moss collection neatly.
When I received them, I was impressed with the quality of the mesh and didn't want to use them for the 'common' moss like java, peacock, flame, etc. so I kept them aside and told myself to look for a 'worthy' moss for it when I get a chance.
Fast forward to this week, I was fortunate enough to be offered some rare cameroon moss from a generous SKF member. That's right... you can see where this is leading to.
The mesh is made of a thick plastic material and feels really sturdy, unlike typical stainless steel mesh which is flimsy and bends easily. This makes holding and working with it easy and comfortable, especially with my big clumsy fingers.
The mesh can be detached from the suction cup by twisting it 90 degrees and pulling it out. This means the suction cup could be left on the glass if you want to only remove the mesh for trimming/propagating the moss. Perhaps this would prolong the lifespan of the suction cup. Only time will tell.
The edge of the mesh has notches which makes tying the mesh extremely easy and neat. I really like it.
I generally do not trust suction cups... e.g. heater suction cups, metacube suction cups, etc. and this is no exception. While the suction cup is of a typical size (wish it is larger), it is soft, supple and feels quality, unlike some hard rubbery suction cups that come with cheap heaters. The suction cup stuck on to the glass without any issue, and time will tell if it will hold up well. I am reserving my verdict for the suction cup at this stage.
Overall, I am quite pleased with this moss ledge, especially how easy it is to hold, work with it, and tie it guided by those notches. Aesthetically, I would have preferred a white or transparent suction cup. ￼
A suggestion perhaps is to sell replacement suction cups separately should they are required to be replaced, especially since the suction cup is designed to fit the rectangular groove of the mesh.
A well thought out product, quality made and well priced.