Java Moss: Amazing Low Light Beginner Plant

If you are looking for a great plant in your aquarium which requires low light and is easy to take care of, the Java Moss is the one for you. Majorly, these plants are best for tetra and shrimps.

Java Moss is an amazing low light plant that requires very little amount of care. If you are looking for the breeding of your fish, Java moss could be your dream plant. It not only provides oxygen in your tank, but it also enhances the beauty of the aquarium. Moreover, they are preferred by fish that require low light and similar water conditions.

Let us learn much more about Java Moss, its advantages, and fish that do well with the plant from the article below.

Java Moss Habitat

Java moss is a plant from Southeast Asia which stays in slow-flowing waters or stagnant pools. Besides, Java Moss does not grow in blackwater habitats.

In fact, it is even invasive in some places, as said by people on the internet. These places are still in ambiguity.

Although some sites may consider Java moss invasive, it lacks proper scientific research to prove the exact location.

You can get Greenpro Java Moss Live Freshwater Aquarium Plants, which is Easy Ready to Grow.

How To Care For Java Moss In Your Aquarium?

Java Moss is an easy plant to care for. Some problems may occur while its plantation, but it is rare that a commoner cannot solve such problems.

Likewise, it does not have specific lighting systems or CO2 injection requirements. So, it is best for aquascaping.

Here are some things that you can consider about Java Moss while caring for it in your aquarium.

Difficulty Easy (some problems might occur, but it is easy to care for)
Size of Plant 4″+ or 10 cm
Propagation Cuttings
Type of Fertilizer Liquid
Speed of growth Moderate
Temperature of Water 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C)
pH of Water 5.0 to 8.0 or higher
Hardness of Water 3 to 12 dKH
Placement in aquarium Floating or attached
Natural Habitat Southeast Asia
Aquascaping Foreground or attached
Availability of Java Moss Very common

Water Parameters

Java moss is a plant that can tolerate up to 60° F to 86° F (15° C to 30° C). On the other hand, if you want to make it grow better, use cooler waters from 72° F to 76° F (22° C to 24° C).

Moreover, Java moss is a beginner plant for a reason as it can grow in various water parameters. For water pH, 5.0 to 8.0 is favorable. Likewise, the alkalinity of water must be soft from 2 to 12 dKH.


Java Moss grows in low light best. The low lighting assists in preventing algae issues. If you are able to tell from the start, you can add shrimp to the aquarium.

However, higher algae issues will make it difficult for you to remove them. In such a case, you can start over instead.

That is why you should start by getting a dimmer light to avoid algae growth.

Substrate And Fertilizers

Java Moss does not require any kinds of substrates and fertilizers. Mostly Java moss grows even without any care. However, if your java moss is finding it difficult to grow, it is possible that the plant was grown out of water.

Make sure you do not choose too thickly planted java moss. You do not have to worry. Just give the plant some adjustment time. Fertilizers in water will invite algae problems. So, avoiding it is the best way to go.

Anchoring Java Moss

If you anchor or attach Java Moss to something, it grows better in the aquarium. However, if you want it to float, that is also completely okay.

The method of anchoring Java Moss is similar to anchoring any other plants like Java fern. Let us learn about some of the methods in this article.

Moss Tree

An attractive way to decorate your plant is by converting it into a tree. For it, take some wood and attach your moss on top of it. Believe me, and it looks royal and unique.

The structure can again be managed as per your own creative mind. After all, that is what makes your aquarium unique. Some spider wood would help you create ‘The Look.’

Moss Wall

To create a moss wall is easy but time-consuming. If you start from zero, you will find it a little time consuming and clunky looking at first. In contrast, do not lose hope as once you are over that part; the result is gorgeous!

Besides, moss can attach itself to anything, even foam. Your fish will make the plant its favorite place to hide or spawn.

Super glue thin foam blocks such that you leave some space for the growth of Java moss. Moreover, you can use a suction cup or super glue to create a wall by securing the blocks.

If you wanted a mat of moss under the substrate, then this is one of the great options for you.

Sewing into mesh is also another option, but it will consume time. It is also flimsy. However, I must say it is a great DIY.

You can get Craft Foam Blocks – 36-Piece Polystyrene Foam Blocks for Crafts and Modeling, 2 x 2 x 2 Inches Blank Craft Foam to create your own moss wall.

Anchoring With Thread

It is a simple method of taking your moss and binding it to an object with a thread, rock, or driftwood. Most people find it works well only with driftwood.

The best driftwood I have ever purchased is PIVBY Natural Aquarium Driftwood Assorted Branches Reptile Ornament for Fish Tank Decoration, which comes in a pack of 3.

The idea is that the thread will degrade, and the moss will be anchored after it. However, if your fish is curious and looks after the moss, the moss will wiggle free.

To be honest, it will not look that good when the moss wiggles free. So, if you are perfect with the thread and have the experience, you might use it. Otherwise, other methods are more preferable, according to me.

Anchoring With Fishing Line

A fishing line and a thread method of anchoring are almost the same. Firstly, wrap your fishing line around the moss to hold the plant in place. However, do not wrap it too tightly as it may damage the plant.

So, you might be thinking I could do the same with a thread. Then, why spend it on a fishing line? But, a fishing line will not degrade when kept in water, and that is what you need.

The fishing line method is only good with thin pieces of driftwood. Anything else would be too loose to hold the moss together. If you have a better method of tying by fishing rod, please let me know in the comment section below!

Besides, a fishing line is also more helpful than thread if your moss grows slowly because thread gets loose faster than a fishing line.

I would recommend Berkley Trilene Big Game, Clear, 8 Pound Test-1700 Yard as a fishing line.

Anchoring With Superglue

I saved the best for the last. Anchoring Java moss with superglue is the easiest version of anchoring. Especially if you get a gel version of superglue, it is easy and fast.

Make sure you choose a reliable one so that you avoid any mishaps. Besides, some brands may create problems of algae growth as well as the separation of plants after they meet with water. I would recommend Gorilla 7700108 20 Gram 2-pack Super Glue Gel, Clear personally.

Anchoring with superglue is a fun DIY. You can experiment with your own shape using your moss and some objects. Just take an object that you want to shape your moss with, and paste it with the superglue. It is as simple as that.

A quick tip here is to spread the moss in a thin layer so that it is easy to paste it. Additionally, to paste it, you need to press until the grip is there. Besides, you can put it in the tank once it looks white.

You might find the white color from the superglue a little unattractive, but do not worry. It will be covered soon in mulm without many problems.

Why Should You Use Java Moss In Your Aquarium?

Java Moss is a low light aquarium plant that is very beginner-friendly. It is hardy and has many benefits associated with it. Moreover, you can easily find Java Moss in any store, and once in a lifetime purchase is enough for your aquarium.

Let us check the benefits of using Java Moss in your aquarium:

Durable Plant

As said earlier, Java Moss is a durable plant. The moss does not require much lighting and care to make it grow.

So, if you are a little carefree and busy in your own tight schedules, other plants can ruin the beauty of your aquarium instead of making it better. On the other hand, Java Moss will live as well as grow through even the darkest times.

You can leave it in a bucket, and it will survive for two months. Besides, you can check if it is growing by checking if it has a light green color on its ends.

One Of A Kind Design

Can you believe there is a plant that does not root? Imagine how good it would look in your aquarium and how easy it would be to clean.

Java Moss will attach itself to things in your aquarium. However, you do not have to worry about it being attached to your gravel. Neither will you have to worry about planting Java Moss.

A Java Moss will float in one spot that it has chosen to anchor. Moreover, the green wisps of the plant will rest just above the gravel in your aquarium.

Best For Breeders

If you are thinking of breeding your fish, Java Moss is the correct choice for you. These plants are the best for babies and shrimps. The Java Moss will work as a perfect hiding spot for small babies. Moreover, it is also safe and comfortable as it is soft.

Most fish, especially shrimp, will find it safe to spawn and nest in the Java Moss. Java Moss is best for Shrimp as they will cleanse the moss gently and keep the moss healthy.

If you face the problem of hair algae growth on your moss, you can add some shrimp to your aquarium. Shrimp love to eat the algae, eventually making you and the shrimp happy about the clean aquarium.

For breeders, learn about:

Looks Attractive

Not only does Java Moss have a unique design, but it also looks good in most aquariums. You can add them to branches or drape them to make your aquarium look royal.

Besides, these plants will easily aquascape your tank. The Java Moss looks better, both high or low, in your tank.

You can even give it a quick trim to make the aquarium look lively. Just like our hair, a slight trim will keep the plant healthy and help it grow more abundantly.

What Are The Common Problems Of Using Java Moss In Your Aquarium?

Nothing in this world is problem-free. However, Java moss’s benefits outweigh its problems. Besides melting, you can solve other problems easily.

Plant Debris

Debris is a common problem in an aquarium. The plant is also a contributing factor to it. Especially, breeders will find a common problem.

Fry and shrimplets might pick off the infusoria. Moreover, they might munch on decomposed plant matters. It might not be a problem if you would not want your aquarium water crystal clear.

Snails will not create any problems in such a case. A fry tank is also not a long-lasting one. Hence, the issue is not very huge. If you are thinking of changing your fry tank into an aquarium later, then the problem might be huge. Besides, water quality issues might occur if you do not clean the tank often.

Learn more about how to clean and maintain tanks from here.

Clogging Your Filter

It might come out as a shock because plant debris is so small. However, many small particles of plants will clog your filter, while large particles also do the trick.

Clogging is inevitable when your plant sheds and decomposes as it grows.

Mostly it will not consider which filter type you use. Though, you can simply solve the problem by regularly maintaining your filter, which you would have to do anyway.


Aquatic plants that are also terrestrial or grown out of the water are most common to melting. Aquarium has a heater, which creates such a problem.

To solve this problem, all you have to do is pluck off the dying parts before they rot, and you are good to go. New growth will soon occur without much time.


Where there is a plant in water, there is also a risk of algae growth. It becomes a problem when it stops the growth of plants by choking them out.

Moreover, algae growth is common in Java Moss if you provide it with too much light or too many nutrients.

You can keep the best algae eaters in the aquarium to solve this problem!

Debris Collection

Mosses collect debris within the leafy clutches as they settle. If such problems occur, it becomes a little hard to clean up the tank. It gives the plant a dirty and brownish appearance.

This is when the snails, shrimps, and corydoras you have in your aquarium come in handy. They work as a cleaning team in your tank.

If not, such debris will block out lights and make your fish sick or, in the worst cases, kill them.

How To Maintain Java Moss?

The maintenance of java moss depends on your creativity. Confused? Don’t be. Java Moss just requires low light and some water, and off it grows itself.

However, if you want it to be shaped well into a mat, wall, or tree, there are some things you need to do. This includes trimming and shaping it to make it look like your dream plant in your aquarium.

Similarly, you might also need to trim or thin it out if it starts overgrowing. This is all you need to do.

How To Propagate Java Moss?

You can propagate Java moss through trimmings and clippings. It is quite simple as you can just leave it to float. Just make sure you clean the filter from time to time.

Moreover, you can anchor the plant by using the ideas I mentioned above. The size of the moss can be a problem, but make sure you use a thin sheet when you anchor the plant, and you are good to go.

12 Fish That Will Love Java Moss

Java moss is the perfect plant for a newbie, as it is almost impossible to kill and is fast growing. Moreover, it is absolutely loved by fry and shrimp. They feed on the debris that moss collects and the abundance of infusoria that grows on it.

It is also the best for breeding as it gives the perfect place for hiding and spawning. Moreover, you can keep Java moss floating, which is appreciable by pea puffers and corydoras while spawning.

Most species of fish will enjoy java moss in its tank as it is good with non-breeding tanks as well. The fish that need calmer water and low temperature are more comfortable with the plant.

Why do you ask? Most problems of java moss are fully eradicated just by choice of the right fish. Let us see which fish will enjoy java moss in its tank.

Clown Killi (Epiplatys Annulatus)

Swimming Mid to top
Temperament Active


Size 1.3″ (3 cm)
Temperature of water 68° to 79°F (20° to 26°C)
Hardness of water 1 to 8 dKH
pH 4.0 to 7.0

These fish are small colored fish which come from Southern Guinea. Clown Killis is also found as rocket Killis in the market.

Their colorful body is the reason why these fish are so gorgeous. These fish are schooling fish, so at least eight of them would help them to feel secure in the tank. You may add two more if you want.

Bettas (Betta Splendens)

Swimming Everywhere
Temperament Different

Aggressive to other Bettas

Size 2.5″ (6 cm)
Temperature of water 75° to 82°F (24° to 27°C)
Hardness of water 1 to 15 dKH
pH 6 to 8

Bettas are peaceful fish but aggressive to their own kind. They are mid-sized and come in many colors, patterns, and shapes. They have different personalities, which makes them fascinating creatures.

Bettas live in slow-flowing waters of a minimum 5 gallons tank.

Related articles on Bettas:

Norman’s Lampeye Killifish (Poropanchax Normani)

Swimming Mid to top
Temperament Peaceful,

Generally active

Size 1.6″ (4 cm)
Temperature of water 73° to 78° F (23° to 26° C)
Hardness of water 4 to 15 dKH
pH 6 to 7

Norami Killis is also known as Norman’s Lampeye killifish. These killifish live more than a year and are originally from Central and West Africa. These are schooling fish. So you might want nine or more of them in your tank. Moreover, a unique character about these fish is their blue eyes that glow in the dark.

Corydoras (Corydoras sp.)

Swimming Bottom
Temperament Peaceful

Boisterous for less active species

Size 1 to 3.5″ (2.5 to 9 cm) – dependant on species
Temperature of water 72° to 80° F (22° to 26° C) – dependant on species
Hardness of water 3 to 10 dKH
pH 5.5 to 7.0 (dependant on species)

Corydoras are fish that need substrates or bare bottoms. Moreover, they are schooling fish that require groups of six or more. You can mix different species of corydoras like bronze, emerald, Sterbai’s, and peppered cories.

Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina Davidi)

Swimming Anywhere near food, but generally in the bottom
Temperament Peaceful
Size 1.6″ (4 cm)
Temperature of water 70° – 79° F (21° – 26° C)
Hardness of water 8 to 20 dKH
pH 6.5 to 8.0

Cherry Shrimp are best suited for the Java Moss aquarium. It is their peaceful nature and love for the decomposing plant matter or algae that makes the two a perfect pair for each other. Likewise, it even eats up the sunken wood pieces and keeps the tank clean. Moreover, they come in various colors, which is a visual treat for you.

Amano Shrimp (Caridina Multidentata)

Swimming Bottom and structured surfaces
Temperament Peaceful


Size 3″+ or 7.5+ cm
Temperature of water 65° to 76° F (18° to 24° C)
Hardness of water 1 to 6 dKH
pH 6.5 to 7.9

The Amano Shrimp is a peaceful and active shrimp that is a wild-caught bottom dweller. Like most shrimps, these shrimps also make perfect algae control pairs in your tank. Just make sure you quarantine the fish properly before you add these shrimp to your tank. A school of six or more is the best amount.

Crystal Red Shrimp (Caridina Cantonensis)

Swimming Surfaces
Temperament Peaceful
Size 1.25″ (3 cm)
Temperature of water 62° – 76°F (16° – 24°C)
Hardness of water 0 to 4 dKH
pH 5.8 to 7.4

Crystal red shrimp are more expensive than other species of shrimp. They come in a variety of colors even though their names suggest otherwise. The crystal red shrimp are popular and challenging pets to keep in a tank, which you might love to experiment with.

Black Neon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon Herbertaxelrodi)

Swimming Mid to top
Temperament Peaceful shoaling fish
Size 1.5″ (3 cm)
Temperature of water 73° to 81°F (23° to 27°C)
Hardness of water 4 to 9 dKH
pH 5.5 to 7.5

Black neon tetras are separate species from the black skirt neon tetras or neon tetras alone. Like neon tetras, these fish are also shoaling fish. In your aquarium, a group of eight or more is best. Moreover, they are peaceful kind!

Ghost Shrimp (Palaemonetes Paludosus)

Swimming Bottom and structured surfaces
Temperament Peaceful


Size 1.5″ (4 cm)
Temperature of water 70° to 80° F (22° to 26° C)
Hardness of water 5 to 10 dKH
pH 6.5 to 8.0

If you are an aquarium enthusiast, you might have seen ghost shrimp as feeders in stores. However, they can be a great tank pet too. You can keep a group of 8 or more in your tank to ensure their safety. Besides, you might have to consider the possibility of very small fishes being eaten by these shrimp.

Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon Innesi)

Swimming Mid to top
Temperament Peaceful

Shoaling fish

Size 1.5″ (4 cm)
Temperature of water 70° to 83°F (21° to 28°C)
Hardness of water 1 to 12 dKH
pH 4.0 to 7.5

Neon tetras are hardy fish that do well in a vast range of water parameters. Although the new species that are available in the market are not as hardy as they used to be, it is still a tetra to be excited for. These fish are quite active shoaling fish.

Chili Rasboras (Boraras Brigittae)

Swimming Mid to top
Temperament Peaceful

Shoaling fish

Size 0.5″ (1 cm)
Temperature of water 68° to 83°F (20° to 28°C)
Hardness of water 1 to 10 dKH
pH 4.0 to 7.0

Chili Rasboras are small red-colored fish that look like chili. These fish are shoaling fish that love to be in a group of 10. Again, the more, the merrier. Moreover, they are colorful and beautiful to watch in an aquarium. I absolutely love how lovely they make my tank look.

Pea Puffer (Carinotetraodon Travancoricus)

Swimming Everywhere
Temperament Different from one fish to another
Size 1″ (2.5 cm)
Temperature of water 72° to 82°F (22° to 28°C)
Hardness of water 5 to 25 dKH
pH 6.8 to 8.0

Pea Puffer is an interesting bunch of fish. Moreover, they are smart, tiny, and curious creatures who will give you a great time to look at. The fish are also a little bit challenging if you love to put in some effort! You will have no regrets about having this personable fish in your collection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Java Moss Do?

The Java moss in your aquarium will help you to spawn mop naturally. In addition, it assists in aquascaping.

Not only does it protect your fry from predatory fishes, but it will also help you to maintain the quality of your tank water by filtering out the debris.

Does Java Moss Float?

Java Moss CAN float in your aquarium. However, you have to spread it on a thin sheet so that it can be exposed to light.

Even though the requirements of light are low, without light, Java moss can rot and die. Besides, if you are interested in a Java moss ball, it will not float.

Can Java Moss Grow Out Of Water?

Java Moss is normally a terrestrial plant rather than a water plant. So, it will grow out of the water faster than in your aquarium.

You have to understand that the moss you grow out of water will die if you keep it in the aquarium or water. Make sure you buy a java moss that is grown inside the water.

Aquariums, paludarium, and vivariums best suit the Java moss though it can be grown out of water too.

Are Java Moss And Christmas Moss The Same?

The answer to this would be a big NO. Java moss and Christmas moss are two separate species. Not only Christmas moss, Taiwan moss, willow moss, bladder moss, flame moss, and triangle moss are all different species.

Just because they have moss in their name does not mean that they are Java Moss. So, make sure you have the right species of the plant before you buy them because all of these species of mosses are quite different!

Last Words

Hence, Java moss is the best for your aquarium if you are a beginner. You can keep Java Moss in low light and create a better look for your aquarium effortlessly.

You might face some common problems like algae growth, but if you keep some shrimps in your tank, these problems vanish in no time. Moreover, the breeders will find this plant more helpful than any other plant as the fry and fish find safety in these fluff balls.

Lastly, I hope you have some ideas through this article about Java Moss. Besides, I would be glad to hear your experiences with Java Moss in the comment sections below!

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