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Answers to Christmas Moss questions

At 9:53 PM +0800 8/31/01, someone wrote:

>BTW, what conditions do you think would be best to cultivate the moss
>emersed so as to increase the mass quicker?  I had lost a lot of the
>original amount to fish and general moving around of plants, etc.  I placed
>the remainder in a small clear plastic cup filled with water, on a rock in
>my windo sill earlier this year. It seemed to increase some.  I was
>wondering though, if there were some other way to increase growth amount,
>possibly emersed???  I have it growing now on the top of a piece of
>driftwood, partially out of the water, and it really looks nice.  I will
>have to take a picture of it soon and let everyne see it!

Hi, folks,

Someone emailed me the above question.  I'm answering it here because
I believe that there may be others who want to know the answers to his
question too.  But that's just one reason.  There's another which I will talk
about later.

As far as I know, the moss grows fastest if you tie them down to
driftwood or rocks.  I can't explain why but that's what I have noticed
over the years.  Unlike most other plants, the moss sinks if you just
chuck them into your tanks.  So if you are too busy to tie them down,
you can also simply drape them over any driftwood, just like a woman
draping a fur coat over her shoulders.  Not that I have seen any females
wearing fur coats in sunny Singapore but that's the only analogy I can
think of.
One thing to remember though, is not to heap the moss on top of one another.
Those at the bottom will turn brown and die.  Spread them out and you will
get more moss faster.

When grown emmersed, the moss grows even slower.  Not only that but
the triangular shapes will disappear altogether.  So don't go emmersed
if you want more moss.

I have grown the moss in tanks that do not have CO2.  But that's not to say
it doesn't need it.  I do believe it will grow better and faster with CO2
What I can't stress enough is low temperature.  The colder your tank, the
better the moss will grow.  I never succeeded growing them in my indoor tanks
until I fixed up my cooling fans system.  I would consider anything above 28
degrees Centigrade to be too high for growing the Christmas moss.

As for lighting conditions, I have seen the moss growing beautifully in the
display tanks of fish shops which uses very high lighting.  But I have also
seen them growing very well in my own balcony tanks in the darkest corners.
What I think is important is that you must have soft water.  As for Ph and Kh,
I don't think it will make any big difference.  But if you want to know, the Ph
of my tanks is about 7 and Kh is 0.

Okay, that's all for the moss.  Now for the other reason why I wanted to answer
the question on the mailing list.  It's because everytime the moss is mentioned
here, I get another few requests.  I got another 3 today after Cameron Case
about her mysterious mosses.  So, if you want to help the defense fund, a
good way
would be to keep talking about the moss on this mailing list.  I don't have
all the
answers but I will try my best to tell you what I know.  Thank you.

Loh K L