Preparing Land Moss to Grow Underwater Update

Michael Langerman
9 min readMay 23, 2020


This is one of my first aquarium gardens built purposely to prepare terrestrial mosses and plants for growing underwater.

Let’s make a new nursery.
I like to put all my aquarium nurseries on wooden bases for easier mobility.

Add gravel.

Add dechlorinated water.

Two liters fit in this tank.

Let it sit overnight.

Add some aquatic plants.

I like to have fast growing Elodea in all my aquariums.
Here I take 3 cuttings of Elodea from different nurseries.

Anchor cuttings with a seashell.

Put it in the new nursery.

Now I add slow growing Hairgrass.
A combination of slow and fast growing plants works best for my aquariums.

Anchor hairgrass with seashell as well.

Let’s add a dwarf lily.
My dwarf lilies grow from very small size bulbs.
This one is less than a centimeter.

Sink it down with a seashell.

Let the nursery sit for couple weeks or more before adding any fish.

Cover aquarium to reduce evaporation.

March 17th, 2019
I take some samples of land mosses in Central park NYC.
I have the same moss already growing underwater in my aquariums.
But this one grows on the bark of a tree.

Here is a different moss.
This land moss grows slower underwater than the first sample.

Make a base for an aquarium garden.
Cut a hole of desirable shape.

Also, I poke smaller holes all over the base just to see if it helps anyhow.

This base goes on top of the aquarium.

I add pond snails in this nursery.

Also, I added some java moss tied to driftwood and a seashell.

A pinch of homemade fish food for snails to get by.

It is a fully functional aquarium.

I cut the collected moss to give it a desirable shape.

Put the moss with all the dirt at the base of the garden.

Here it is.

And the same goes with the moss on the bark.
Cut the bark to desirable shapes.

Put the moss on the bark in the garden.
There is no need to wash anything — it is the beauty of this technique.

Here I add a rock just for decor.

Spray the moss with dechlorinated water.

Cover the garden with another jar to reduce evaporation.
All set!

In the following weeks, I added some other plants into my garden.
More about them in separate videos.

I spray my garden every other day.
And keep it covered all the time.
That is very important.
Keep it covered!

About one month later on April 21st, 2019
The moss has grown more than one centimeter high.
It’s long enough to trim it.

I use scissors to trim the newly grown parts of the moss.

In the past month, I added guppy fry into this nursery.
And there are more plants in the garden.
I put the trimmed moss on the plate for now.

The old moss looks good and healthy.

The moss grows continuously.
Just remember to spray it every other day or so and keep it covered.

Here is the newly grown trimmed moss.
This moss grows slowly underwater.
I want to use it in an aquarium that I am setting up for cherry shrimp.

I just dropped the moss in and let it sink.

More about this aquarium and shrimp in future videos ;)

May 5th, 2019
Let’s take a look at the moss.

The moss on the bark grows nicely.

The whole garden looks…fresh green :)
The previously trimmed moss keeps growing as it should.

A new sample of moss is on the back.

Here I have a fern growing for experiments that I promised to do with it.

This time I want to trim the moss growing on the bark to use it in another new nursery I am setting up.

This moss grows fast underwater.
And all mosses shown in this video grow underwater in long strands.

I trim only the fresh grown moss that comes without any dirt and bark in this example.
Uncured bark makes water brownish.
And the dirt is full of bacteria and such may spoil water.

Using only fresh grown in the aquarium garden moss allows me to avoid all those complications.
Here I tie freshly grown trimmed moss to a lava rock using fishing line.

The old moss on the bark goes back into the garden where it will keep growing.

And the freshly grown moss on the rock goes into a new aquarium where it will grow underwater.

Cover your aquarium garden.

Two weeks later on May 21st, 2019
All moss in the aquarium garden has grown and is ready for a new trim.

And my aquarium dwellers seem to like this land moss growing underwater too :)

Have fun and happy aquariums :)