Marimo moss balls are small balls of green algae that have the velvety texture of moss. They are a very popular choice as aquarium plants due to the numerous benefits that they provide to their aquatic environment. So, what exactly does a marimo moss ball plant do? Let’s find out…
Lake Akan in Japan and Lake Mývatn in Iceland have been declared as a national park and nature reserve respectively, to conserve marimo moss, which is a protected species in both countries.
Marimo moss is a filamentous species of wild algae which is native to Japan and some parts of northern Europe. Its name comes from the Japanese terms ‘mari’ which means bouncy ball, and ‘mo’ which means aquatic plant. Strands of this algae are known to float around in freshwater bodies where there is enough nutrition for them to propagate. Marimo moss can be found growing on rocks, and floating on water as strands or spongy, velvety balls that are found on the beds of lakes and rivers. The moss propagates by division, where each individual strand is capable of gradually creating a new ball all by itself.
Live plants are an important part of an aquarium, as they create a conducive environment for aquatic animals to grow in. However, most of these plants are hard to maintain, and they have short lifespans, making it quite a bother. Still, none of these issues will trouble you if you choose to go in for marimo moss balls. Besides being easy to care for, this moss has many other benefits and uses in a fish tank.
Marimo Moss Ball Benefits in Aquariums
- For marimo moss to thrive, the tank should be kept in a cool place, out of the reach of direct sunlight, and the temperature of the water should not be too warm.
- A singular ball is nowhere enough to make a considerable difference in the conditions of a tank. Make sure you have enough or a mix of other plants to support the functions of the moss effectively.
- Marimo moss grows very slowly, and takes a few years to grow to a large-sized ball. However, if you find that the size of the ball has become too big, cut it into smaller pieces and roll them into small balls.
- Be vary of cheaper substitutes, such as java moss rolled over a ball of foam. They are not as resilient or effective.
- There is no need to put any specific food or fertilizers for the moss, as it absorbs all the nutrition it needs from the waste of the fish and fish food.
- They tend to absorb a lot more waste and debris than they can consume, the remainder of which is stored inside them. So, when you clean the tank or change the water, take out the balls and squeeze out the waste from them in a sink or bucket. You can then put them back in the tank. Performing this process regularly will keep the algae healthy.
- The lower side of a marimo moss ball may turn yellow or brown over time. To avoid this, move the ball and turn its position once in a while.
- Goldfish are chronic destroyers of plants placed in fish tanks. So, keeping a marimo ball in a goldfish tank is a waste of time and money.
Marimo moss balls are a great overall option for those aquarium enthusiasts who find it difficult to maintain aquatic plants. These plants can be used for decorative purposes or to add plant life into your tank. In short, getting this plant has no negatives, and will only be beneficial for your aquarium.