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The Mystery Marimo Moss Ball Information Guide

Updated on January 30, 2015

Floating Marimo Moss

What is a Marimo Moss Ball

A Marimo Moss Ball is a type of algae that comes from Lake Akan in Japan. It's just known as Marimo in Japan, it gets it's name from Mari meaning "ball" in Japanese and "mo" refers to algae in Japanese. The scientific name for the Marimo Moss Ball is Cladophora aegagropila. They are also known as "Tribbles" also because of the Star Trek episode. Check out Aquarium Backgrounds for a huge selection of aquarium backgrounds for sale.

The Algae grows in a weird pattern which causes it to become tangled up, which ten creates a ball. The tangling starts from the inside and grows out. Marimo balls are considered a treasure in Japan and that's why it's featured on many items in Japan. The Marimo Moss Ball is so popular because it's simple to raise and keep in a pond or aquarium. You can keep these in little table aquariums all the way up to the biggest fish tank you can get. There is no special way to care for the moss balls or a tank requirement. You don't need fertilizer which is great and any light will do for them unlike most plants that require special lighting requirements. The third thing that makes Marimo Moss Ball so interesting is the ability to float and sink freely.

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What Makes The Marimo A Mystery?

The Marimo Moss Ball is a free floating algae ball that displays behaviors unlike other plants according to it's change in habitats. What is great about this plant is that it floats up to the top of the water during the day for the sunlight and sinks back down at nighttime. Photosynthetics causes the moss ball to float because of lighting which helps it make food for the moss. Also in their native water in the lake the Marimo Moss Ball are also known to catch under currents to get to more lighted areas. Also some Marimo Balls are reaching 100 years old and they grow up to 10-12 inches in diameter which is huge.

How to Care for Marimo Moss Ball

With Marimo Moss Balls all types of fish are able to live with the moss and not bother with it. Even your algae eaters are able to be with the moss because it's plant material is tough and tangled it is hard for the algae eaters to get to causing them to leave it only. Remember you don't need special lighting or fertilizer to keep this aquarium plant healthy.

Marimo Moss Balls is also great for getting rid of pond algae and algae in the aquarium because the moss ball out competes the algae for nutrients since they have similar diets. Also in your pond drop a couple in and let them remove nutrients that cause that ugly green water. This will also let you get rid of algae the natural way

Invertabrates for the Marimo Moss Ball

Invertebrates that can go with the marimo moss ball. Red Shrimp, Ghost Shrimp, Red Claw Crab, Fiddler Crab, Crayfish all sorts of snails, wood shrimp or the bamboo shrimp, rock shrimp and many more. Their isn't really a shrimp that can't be with the marimo moss ball. Shrimp can usually be bought at your local pet stores for cheap.

You can use the marimo moss ball for your pleco tank when you are breeding plecostomus. The moss ball is a great food source for micro bacteria for your babies to eat.

Would you get a marimo moss ball?

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    • caninecrtitics profile image

      caninecrtitics 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Try Enfield CT for the marimo moss ball at Petsmart

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      Jessica 5 years ago

      Where can I purchase one in Connecticut?

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      Wendiland 5 years ago

      Hi there,

      A real Marimo ball is green and fuzzy. It feels like a sponge when you squeeze it. It also makes bubbles and floats to the top when there's enough light for it. There's 2 types of 'green balls' some pet stores carry inside their aquariums. One is the true Marimo, and the other is made with another type of moss they use to wrap over something else to form a ball shape. These fake Marimos are always floating up on the top, and they don't have the fuzziness like a true Marimo. You can find out how to identify a true / real Marimo on Youtube. Just type in "What is a Marimo" in the search. Good luck when you're out there getting a real Marimo! :)

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      aaron 6 years ago

      It may not be a real marimo moss ball

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      Barb 6 years ago

      I purchased one at the pet store, but mine has never floated to the top?

    • caninecrtitics profile image

      caninecrtitics 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      it can be hard to tell if it is. but hopefully the store has it labeled right and usually they do.

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      ajl 6 years ago

      how do you tell if it is a real marimo ball

    • caninecrtitics profile image

      caninecrtitics 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you for that insider. I'll have to try that. Do you see a large growth in them. I'll have to run a test with the moss balls in the jars and in the tanks to see what does better.

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      Jay 7 years ago

      I have some marimos that I keep in large glass biscuit jars in the kitchen. I put them in regular mineral water, and closed the lids. There was no need to aerate the water, I swirled them every few weeks to give them a turn. After more than a year the water had a small amount of debris so I rinsed the marimos, cleaned the jars, and gave them fresh mineral water. They are very happy a year later. I love these marimos.

    • caninecrtitics profile image

      caninecrtitics 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      I love these marimo moss balls i have one in each tank.