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Thread: Tying Moss

  1. #1
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    Tying Moss

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    Hi, folks,

    Before, tying mosses to driftwoods or rocks was a simple matter. Then, there was only one aquarium moss - Java Moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri). To tie it to a piece of rock, simply spread the moss on the rock and wind a string around it. Any fool can do that

    Then we had Christmas Moss (Vesicularia montagnei). Not long after, Erect Moss (Vesicularia reticulata) was introduced to the aquaria scene. Then came the discovery that a moss which looked very much like Christmas was actually Singapore Moss (Vesicularia dubyana). Taiwan Moss (Taxiphyllum alternans) made its appearance not long later. A short after that, Oriental Plant Farm introduced Weeping Moss (Vesicularia ferriei) to us.

    With all these mosses, tying them to driftwoods or rocks was never a problem as their fronds were relatively large. But now, in the aquaria scene, we have some bryophytes with fronds that are so small tying them to a rock is no easy task.

    I asked Bioplast fish shop if they were willing to show us how they tie their bryophytes to rocks and driftwoods and Mr Tan, the owner consented. So here's a photo essay to show how they do it.

    First and foremost, you need the proper tools.


    Bioplast uses either string or fishing line. With rocks that have flat surfaces, fishing line is preferred.


    The moss used in this instance is Fissidens fontanus.


    Before tying the moss to the rock, Mr Tan transfers the fronds to a water basin. You can see from the picture that the leaves stand out clearly when the background is opaque.


    Mr Tan uses a tweezer to pick up the frond.


    He uses his other hand to lift the moss from the water.


    As you can see from the picture, the moss is well spreaded out when it's lifted in this manner.


    If the moss is simply picked up by the tweezer, it clamps into a bunch.


    Mr Tan uses the tweezer to spread the moss on to the surface of the rock. Take note that the tweezer is now holding the frond at the middle of the stems and not at the end of it.


    The fronds are laid side by side close together and pointing in the same direction. A dead knot is made somewhere in the middle of the rock.
    You can't see it in the picture but Mr Tan keeps a good length with the loose end of the knot. This is so he can use this loose end to make another knot later.


    Every now and then, some water is sprayed on to the moss to keep it wet.


    The fishing line is wound around the rock.


    After the fishing line has been wound around the whole rock, Mr Tan makes another knot by tying the line to the loose end of the earlier knot.


    The fishing line is then cut. Mr Tan said it's not advisable to cut the line too close to the knot. This is because, over time, the knot may untangle itself.


    On completion, this is what it looks like:


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The second example is to tie Mini-Pellia (Riccardia sp) to a volcanic rock.


    Some volcanic rocks have uneven surfaces. With such rocks, Mr Tan uses string instead of fishing line.


    Mini-Pellia is a liverwort with very brittle leaves. They come apart easily. A fishing line is likely to cut the leaves into small pieces, another good reason why a string is a better alternative.


    A dead knot is tied somewhere in the middle of the rock. Take note the length of the loose end.


    Mr Tan spreads out the Mini-Pellia on to the surface of the rock using a tweezer.


    He keeps the Mini-Pellia wet.


    After the surface of the rock has been completely covered, the string is wound around the rock.


    With Mini-Pellia, the string is wound close together as the leaves of the plant are very small.


    The knot is made at the back of the rock and the string is cut.


    Here's what the rock looks like on completion.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Instead of tying with a string, a simpler method of getting the Mini-Pellia to grow on a rock is to cover the leaves with a piece of netting. This method works best if the surface of the rock is even.


    Just cover the rock with the netting.


    And wrap it around the rock. Tie the netting at the base of the rock and the job's done. This method, however, is for the amateurs With the professionals, they do it differently.


    First, the netting is cut to a size that fits the rock.


    A fishing line is threaded through one of the holes on the side of the netting and a knot is made.


    The surface of the rock is then covered with Mini-Pellia.


    The netting is then used to covered the rock and the fishing line is threaded through a hole on the other side.


    The line is pulled tight and threaded through several more holes at various parts of the netting.


    After the netting has securely covered the rock, a knot is made at the bottom of the rock.


    On completion, this is what it looks like. Isn't it more professional with this method?


    Loh K L

  2. #2
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    Wonderful How-to-do-it article! Especially the way how the professional wrap the netting to the rock--very invaluable; I used to just wrap the net on the rock and tie it, making a knot on the bottom, which makes a bumpy bottom. It will be even more prominent when it is done to a smaller rock.

    Great tips!

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    Thanks for the step-by-step guide. Great for anyone trying to tie their plants!

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    Great!

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    Nice. But can anyone teach me how to make that first initial knot? Or any knot with nylon string? They keep coming out!

    joanne

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    Joanne, you don't need to make an initial first knot. It is easier to tie knots if the fishing line is of a very fine grade size.
    Fish.. Simply Irresistable
    Dawkinsia assimilis, Heros efasciatus - Looking for Pelvicachromis taeniatus
    -back to old school fish-

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    Great how to! Thanks
    ----------------------
    Craig

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    Max thanks cubed! :P
    Gustavo
    Do not meddle in affairs of cichlids 4 they r subtle & quick 2 anger

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    Nice Article! I have to say it is always interesting to see how the well known go about with mosses. I have the same process with mosses when I get mine, I'll eventually have to become un-lazy and write an article how I've been making my moss walls, that are turning out great.

    Thanks!

    -Andrew

  10. #10
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    I have seen Mr. Tan tying moss. I don't know if I have that kind of patients. Is really delicate job and n need a pair of surgeons hand.

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    Thanks for the guide!

    Hi timenomb, Thank you for the step by step guide. i was at a total lost at first and ur guide really reveal the correct method Good day!

  12. #12

    Vietnam

    Hi Loh,

    I wanted to tell you that I am going to Vietnam in just about 3-4 weeks. I am unfamiliar with the area, its my first time, don't know much of the language(hope to learn some), and whether or not there is any aquaria scene over there. I'm not sure if I'm allotted to go into the naturist areas but will see. I was wondering if I can try and help you out with anything while I am there. I remember you were trying to get that java moss with capsules. I will try and get whatever I can.

    Let me know, best regards,

    Dennis Singh

  13. #13
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    Dennis,

    I don't know how things are like in Vietnam but I would imagine there should be an aquaria scene there. It will probably be kind of backward though.

    The professor said the only Java Moss he saw that came with sporophytes was a specimen which came from Vietnam many years ago. If you can find Java Moss with sporophytes there, I'm sure the professor will be delighted to get a sample of it. Just be careful you don't step on any landmines while you're there, okay?

    Loh K L

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by timebomb
    Dennis,

    I don't know how things are like in Vietnam but I would imagine there should be an aquaria scene there. It will probably be kind of backward though.

    The professor said the only Java Moss he saw that came with sporophytes was a specimen which came from Vietnam many years ago. If you can find Java Moss with sporophytes there, I'm sure the professor will be delighted to get a sample of it. Just be careful you don't step on any landmines while you're there, okay?

    Loh K L
    That is so odd, I meant to private message you. I guess I was checking out this post because I was going to show how my entire moss got uplifted off the driftwood with pictures. First I've got to get them together.

    Well, yeah, I am going hopefully, I'll see somewhat of a scene there, and as well collect new species. Thanks for the landmine tip, I am more and more scared to go now .

    Dennis Singh

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    Re: Tying Moss

    Very good read for a newbie like me

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    Re: Tying Moss

    I had just tie christmas moss to a driftwood..a very challenging task for a beginner like me....took nearly 2 hours because of the odd shape. will try tying them to pebbles and using the net...looks way simpler. Thanks for the great step by step pictures.

  17. #17
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    Re: Tying Moss

    any more interesting ways

  18. #18

    Re: Tying Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by waynechan_79 View Post
    any more interesting ways
    I like using the netting method shown but for wood my preferred method is to gather up clumps of moss then staple them in place with a staple gun using short staples. The distances between the stapled clumps varies depending on the type of Moss, size of clump and how patient you are about allowing the clumps to grow to fill in the open areas between the clumps.

    I shy away form using lines to attach moss to wood because I have lost a few expensive plecos which worked their way underneath a loose thread wrapping then subsequently entangled themselves as they rolled and the line became badly tangled up in their spiky odontodes. This does and has happened so it is something to consider when using tied mosses in tanks with Hypancistrus and Peckoltia species. Stapled Moss does not let such accidents happen.
    Old fish breeder. SA Dwarf Cichlids, Hypancistrus sp L260, L333 and Peckoltia L134 breeder. Also Sturisoma, Dwarf Corydoras spp, wild Discus and Killiefish. Like breeding Characins and wild Betta spp too.

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    Re: Tying Moss

    Bravo to TIMEBOMB for showing such a great article. I'm a starter to MOss and think will be visiting this Moss Club very often to learn the tips and tricks. Way to go!

  20. #20
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    Re: Tying Moss

    Hope this thread becomes a sticky^^ It will be great for beginners

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