Two Ways to Grow Land Moss Underwater

Michael Langerman
10 min readJun 8, 2020


Many types of land mosses grow underwater.

It is necessary to clean land moss from any and all dirt before submerging it underwater in your main aquariums.

I do it in two different ways.

Moss does not have roots.
So, probably the cleanest samples grow on rocks and walls to begin with ;)
Take a healthy looking green sample.

Or choose moss growing on a couple days dry ground to get less dirt with it ;)

It’s easy to clean and to grow a small amount of moss.

Any small amount will do.

Here is the first way to clean the moss of dirt.

Put the moss in a jar.
Fill it up with tap water.

Close the jar and shake it.

Change the water in the jar as many times as it takes to get the moss clean.
The dry samples generally have much less dirt in them.

Nevertheless, some dirt remains in any washed moss regardless of how long and how well you may think you washed it.
Any tiny rotten piece of spoiled organic matter trapped in the moss may spoil your sample in the first weeks.

Put the washed moss in a jar.
Any clear jar will do!
Fill it up with water.

It takes time for moss soak before it sinks.

In the mean time, let me show you the other way of preparing the moss for growing underwater.
I have prepared a base with holes.

Put the base on the jar filled with water.

Put unwashed moss with whatever dirt in it on the base.

Spray the moss with dechlorinated water.

Cover the moss with another jar to reduce evaporation.

June 7th, 2019
We have made the simplest aquarium garden.

Spray the moss on top every other day.

I keep it on a windowsill exposed to direct sunlight to speed up growth.
Let the moss grow for a couple weeks or more, regardless of if you wash it or not.

Wash your sample again if you notice bad odor!
Bad odor is the first sign of spoil!!
Check links in the description for details.

June 14th, 2019
I pick a sample of moss from slightly wet ground.

Avoid picking moss near lakes and ponds infected with filamentous algae.
It’s very difficult to remove filamentous algae from aquariums.

Anyway, here I split the sample into two parts.

As in the first example, I will prepare each part in a different way.
I encourage you to try both ways to see which is better for you.

Let’s wash one part in the jar.

You can see how dirtier is the moss this time because it was collected with wet soil.

Change the water as necessary until the moss is all clean.

Okay. now it looks better, cleaner.

Here is a closeup view.

That is a single string of this moss.

Put the clean washed moss in the jar.

Fill it with dechlorinated water.

Now let’s make the base for the dirty moss.
Poke holes in the cover.

Put the cover on the jar filled with water.

Put the dirty moss on the cover.

Spray the moss with dechlorinated water.

Cover the moss with another jar.

Remember to spray the moss on top every other day or so

The moss on the bottom gets covered with bubbles of air trapped in the water.

The moss may float up and down as those bubbles are replaced by bubbles of oxygen.

Generally land moss in water responds very well to direct sunlight.
Bubbles of oxygen are products of photosynthesis.

I like to add pond snails and seed shrimp into the bottom part in the first days.

About one month later on July 11th, 2019 the mosses look healthy.

The dirty samples on the tops have grown.

Use scissors to trim off the newly grown parts of the moss.

The newly grown parts are clean.
I anchor them with a seashell.

I like the sample on the left.
It has a nicer green color.

I also anchor it with a seashell.

Now let’s get the washed moss from the bottom parts.

Oh look, this moss is already growing out of the water :)

Let’s move the moss into aquariums.

The aquarium on the right is populated with Cherry shrimp.

This one is curious about the new moss :)

3 days later…the shrimp likes that spot!

Here is the moss one month later, on August 7th.

The moss grows the same underwater regardless how I prepare it.
And here is the moss in the other aquarium.

August 25th.
Both mosses in this example grow slowly underwater.
Check my previous videos for other types of land mosses that grow underwater.
Some of them grow very fast!

Here is the moss on September 22nd, 2019

Keep in mind that slow or fast growing underwater land moss grow all year around

Trim it as necessary and use it in other aquariums, to feed your fish and to share with friends ;)

Have fun and happy aquariums :)