How do you grow moss in a terrarium

tigersalamander

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I wanted to Know how to grow forest and other kinds of moss in a terrarium any photos, info, or tips would be apreciated
 

bewilderbeast

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wet/ dry cycles are important as well as species specific uv light requirements... high humidity is good but soggy conditions with poor ventilation can allow mold and other things to grow.
 

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It also depends, if it's a tropical set up or not. Most mosses don't like warm temperatures, they rather stay in a cool moist environment.
 

Greatwtehunter

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I should also point out that depending on the location of where the moss was collected it will need a winter dormancy period to really thrive.
 

Decount062

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Growing moss in a terrarium is not as easy as outdoors,the easiest/best way to grow green moss is to collect some moss,put it in a blender with some yogurt, and paint rocks and dead wood with the mixture.Next you find a spot in the yard that is out of direct sunlight and stays damp,just leave them, and wait.Moss usually grows slowly, so it may take a few months.If you don't see any green after a month repeat the yogurt painting and try a different spot,porous surfaces seem to work best,cinder blocks,if kept damp, can grow beautiful carpets of moss that can be cut to shape and transplanted(given the right substrate),moist and well aerated(porous) works best.Dried moss looks good in a dry tank too!
 

stablefly

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The best mosses to grow in a terrarium are tropical. believe it or not they can tolerate very low temperatures. the most common problems with growing moss is enough light and humidity. I propagate a few species of tropical moss for the terrarium and would consider them all very hardy. Obtaining these might be tricky as well, I hand collected some of mine in the mountains in indonesia and got some off a friend who imports tropical aquarium plants. as such they require no cooling.

here is a pic of some in a tank. (the little grassy things are baby bromeliads I propagated as well)
 

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KevinS

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No offense to anyone else, but I think I've got the easiest method. Buy "Better-Gro Orchid Moss" at Lowe's, keep it damp and well lit and you'll have green stuff in no time. I picked up this tip on another forum and it's worked like a charm for me. I've heard of other types of moss coming back to life, but this particular brand is very cheap and readily available, and it looks great when it starts taking off. I'm attaching a cruddy old picture of a dart frog tank to show the results. With the exception of the brownish clumps (moss collected outside that never grew for me indoors) and a little java moss on the backdrop, all of the moss you see here came back to life from a dry bag of Better-Gro.
 

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SludgeMunkey

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For some detailed conversation of the propagation of moss, search the forums with the keyword "Caudate Bar".

We had quite a useful discussion going about the different ways to get moss going wild in your enclosures in the thread. I swear by the Buttermilk baking mix method I describe there.


As for tropical mosses being the best for vivaria use (a terrarium has only plants, no animals in it...) this is partially true. Darn shame they do not thrive well in caudate friendly conditions. With very, very few exceptions, a temperate moss is best to use for terrestrial caudates. Tropicals need temperatures far too warm for a salamander or newt to remain healthy.
 

Coastal Groovin

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Ive heard of useing beer and moss in a blender and useing buttermilk and moss in a blender and painting stones and wood with the mixture . You just have to try and see what works for you. All of these take 3 months to a year to get going.
 

SludgeMunkey

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Ive heard of useing beer and moss in a blender and useing buttermilk and moss in a blender and painting stones and wood with the mixture . You just have to try and see what works for you. All of these take 3 months to a year to get going.
Aye, growing moss is not for those with short attention spans. It takes months, even years.:p
 

JM29

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I agrre with Joost.

A tropical moss like Vesicularia dubyana (alias Java moss) can thrive on damp soil in a moist terrarium.
Conversely, some forest most like Polytrichum need a lot of natural light in an indoor terrarium, is spite of the fact you can find it in shady places ; and they don't like too high temperatures.
Even with a strong electric light, a terrarium may be very dark, compared to a floor under a real forest.
 

SludgeMunkey

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I agrre with Joost.

A tropical moss like Vesicularia dubyana (alias Java moss) can thrive on damp soil in a moist terrarium.
Conversely, some forest most like Polytrichum need a lot of natural light in an indoor terrarium, is spite of the fact you can find it in shady places ; and they don't like too high temperatures.
Even with a strong electric light, a terrarium may be very dark, compared to a floor under a real forest.

Agreed.

Java moss Vesicularia dubyana requires an extreme amount of moisture to thrive on land. In most terrestrial enclosures it merely dries out and dies. This species is best used aquatic. In palaudria (semi-aquatic vivaria) however, it will grow over any surface that is constantly wet, like a waterfall.
As it needs so much water, it is really unsuitable for terrestrial use. You would have to keep the substrate so wet that it would rot resulting in fungus and pH issues.
 

stablefly

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Tropicals need temperatures far too warm for a salamander or newt to remain healthy.

This may just be my experience but I have personally found this to be untrue. I have a large enclosure for a group of Salamandra that has been running for just about 8 months. the whole unit is air cooled and has a large sump. ( I almost purchased a chiller but realized it was unnecessary)
All the mosses in this habitat are tropical and I would consider this to be the lowest temperature tank in the house. Some of the other Terraria and Vivaria I have are now running for years with the moss doing very well. As I said before these are tropical species from mountainous areas, they require no cooling or drying. As long as they remain humid and in good light they seem to thrive for me. I am now propagating two species from spore and another four from cuttings. all of these seem to do well in captivity.

here is a picture of my Salamandra one month after set up and now. the animals have only been in there for 5 months.
 

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Joost

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looks like the mosses, which grow out of tree-fern plates. These will do fine indeed, if the humidity and light are high. Java moss will do fine under most surcomstances, as long they stay moist.
A few tropical mosses like Selaginella sp. will do quite well, if you increase the light. Most mosses from European and N-American forests, will die soon in Terraria

Pic: Java moss on a piece of fake wood after 8 years
 

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JM29

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To complete, (and not to be too off-topic), the mosses growing on the floor of a garden, on a north exposure, may thrive well in a newly created outdoors enclosure.
I've not personally tried forest mosses in outdoors enclosures, but I think they could be sensitive to soil conditions.

Very interinsting topic. Thanks to all for exchanging your experiences.
 

Alejandro

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There is this tropical moss from Hawai'i that does very well in vivaria containing caudates, as it doesn't require high temperatures at all It is sold by Black Jungle here in the U.S.
 

JWERNER

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I have at least 3 different types of moss growing for over 2 years now that have been collected locally. It does not spread very quickly but on the contrary to what most people believe it does not need to be chilled over the winter. It also does not die off during the winter months either as some believe.

Moss is a prolific plant, it can easily acclimate to types of environments if given the chance. I have also set moss outside in a Tupperware and forgot all bout it. When I remembered it I found that as long as it stayed moist despite the little or no light its had stayed alive.

Java moss can also tolerate lots of conditions from low light to higher light. Of course it will thrive under higher wattage but I have had Java grow in aquariums with no light except the ambient lights furnished in the room.

I also agree by all my experiences that its the tropical mosses that are very needy and not so forgiving.

Black Jungle has some good info on moss.

I keep my moss on a bed of peat with a layer of sphagnum between it and the moss pads.I think that is the most easiest and most common way, but, I know of people with a good healthy system to grow moss on a substrate of top soil only a half inch thick and even then it had started to spread onto other objects and in one example, on the glass.

The mothed of using butter milk or beer is what they call a moss milk shake. You can actually find places that sell bottles of the stuff premixed and as far as getting the moss to spread this is probably the best method.

All in all I find that as long as moss is kept moist or even wet it is very forgiving.
 
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