How to Plant Aquatic Moss


Aquatic mosses such as Java moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri) are some of the easiest aquarium plants to grow and care for. It is also one of the most readily available. Almost anyone with a growing clumps of moss will have extras for sale or trade with other fish keepers. Planting it is easy too. The trick is to keep it stationary long enough to attach itself to something. It can also grow free floating.

Step 1

Wet the surface of the wood so that the moss will not dry out and will stick to it easier when working.

Step 2

Lay the moss flat across the wood. It is okay if the moss does not cover all of the wood and there are some gaps. Try to get as much of the moss in contact with the wood as possible.

Step 3

Tie the cotton thread around one end of the wood. Be sure to leave extra thread on the end of the knot for later.

Step 4

Slowly wrap the thread tightly around the wood holding the moss securely against it. It does not have to be perfect. As long as the moss does not fall off it is fine.

Step 5

Continue wrapping the thread around the wood until all the moss is held down, then tie it off using the extra thread on the first knot. If you can shake the wood and the moss stays in place it will be okay.

Step 6

Place the wood and moss in your aquarium or pond. The cotton thread will naturally dissolve after a few weeks and the moss should attach itself and grow along the wood.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch the moss carefully while the thread is attached. Fish that chew wood or eat algae like Plecostomus have been known to get tangled up in the thread if it is not tight enough. Do not use any metal except stainless steel to secure the moss. It corrodes in water and may kill the fish.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 piece of bogwood
  • Water
  • Moss
  • Cotton sewing thread


  • How to grow Java moss in pictures
  • Aqua Daily: How to grow plants on bogwood

Who Can Help

  • Tropica: Taxiphyllum barbieri (Vesicularia)
Keywords: java moss, bogwood, planted aquarium

About this Author

Brian Albert has been in the publishing industry since 1999. He is an expert in horticulture, with a focus on aquatics and tropical plants like orchids. He has successfully run an aquatic plant business for the last five years. Albert's writing experience includes the Greater Portland Aquarium Society newsletter and politics coverage for a variety of online journals.