Thursday, July 12, 2012

Moss Carpet

Lately, there's been a lot of people asking me to show them how to grow moss on stainless steel sheets like I have growing inside a few of my tanks.  I've decided that I'm going to make a little guide for people to follow and have a better shrimp keeping experience.

I've explained in an earlier post that having moss is really important for anyone trying to keep and breed shrimps.  Keeping and growing moss will help increased biological functions, absorb harmful nitrates, increase water oxygenation, and also make for a more aesthetically pleasing aquarium.  Micro-organisms growing on moss will provide excellent food for adult shrimps and baby shrimps and it will also act as a shelter for baby shrimps to hide in while they grow.  Shrimps depend on moss during all stages of life.  Adults love grazing on the moss between feedings, so it's a good idea to have moss inside shrimp tanks.  Moss have very minimum requirements so its the perfect plant for low tech tanks or beginners looking for a plant that won't easily die.

We'll need a couple of things before we can start making our moss carpet.

Mini xmas moss is an excellent carpet moss because it has very thick and dense growth.  I use fishing line because once it's added to the aquarium it the thread becomes nearly invisible.  If you don't have fishing line, you can use cotton thread.  The main reason we use stainless steel mesh is because it's corrosive resistant and because it sinks when its underwater.

Ideally, you separate the moss into thin fronds and spread it evenly across the SS Mesh.  Do not compact the moss because this will cause the moss on the bottom to die because its shaded.  Thinly spread fronds results in healthier new growth.  Mini xmas moss will grow in a upward direction, filling in within a couple of weeks.  Try to get a nice piece similar to the one pictured.  Tying a corner of the mesh will help you tie the moss down easier once you have it spread on top.  Once the moss is evenly spread, I tie in a horizontal and then vertical direction.  I dip the completed moss in a bucket of water, shaking it around to free up the loose moss that didn't get tied down.

The final results should be a new sheet of moss that's evenly spread.  It should look similar to this.  Initially, I started off with enough mini xmas moss to make 3 sheets.  After 2 months, I was able to cultivate enough moss to turn 1 sheet into 6 sheets of moss.  I haven't touch the other 2 fully grown sheets because making the moss sheets is very time consuming.  I hope this guide was helpful for those wanting to grow moss and scape it into something nice.

Good lucky shrimp keeping!


  1. Great post! I love Christmas moss and my shrimp do too.

    I normally use plastic canvas designed for needle point - are there any advantages to using metal mesh?

    Home of the shrimp t-shirt!

  2. No real advantages besides the weight of the metal mesh keeping itself anchored down. It helps to have the metal mesh when you want to retie the moss and propagate more moss because it's firm and easier to cut the fishing line, but besides that, I can't think of any other benefits of having metal vs plastic.