The Marimo moss balls are made of Aegagropila Linnaei, filamentous green algae.
The algae growths can only be found in two lakes around the globe which are Lake Akan, in Japan and Lake Myvatn located in Iceland. They are found in specific areas of the lakes, and can only survive in very clean and extremely cold water.
Inside the green moss balls are cell walls and chitin mostly found in plants, the center, however, doesn’t have a core. The algal filaments don’t have a specific pattern of growth but they constantly branch out and stick to itself.
The spherical form of the Marimo moss ball is due to the currents on the floor of the sea; as they branch out bits of the ball accumulate on each other while rolling over thus forming the balls.
Importance of the Marimo moss ball to your aquarium
As you aim to provide the most natural environment for the dwellers of your aquarium, you must have experienced challenges with vegetation, some of which die prematurely or require some special attention.
Others do have a short lifespan and demand a lot when it comes to maintenance, the Marimo moss balls, and the java fern, turn out to be the easiest to maintain live aquarium plants.
1. Helps in creating oxygen
Green plants are known for the process of photosynthesis to create food, the Marimo moss balls also photosynthesize and during the process, they release oxygen into the water and absorb carbon dioxide.
Given their structure, the amount of oxygen released is barely enough and might be important if you included another plant in your aquarium.
2. Absorbs pollutants
Solid waste debris in water is easily absorbed by the Marimo moss balls, pollutants such as nitrates, phosphates, and ammonia are also cleared by the moss ball.
However, don’t burden it with the process of filtering your water because you actually have to change the water. Remember that the Marimo balls do well in clean water.
3. Contributes to the addition of helpful bacteria
Aquariums need to have a good balance of phosphate and nitrogen, and what better way to achieve this other than using the Marimo moss balls, they also don’t harbor harmful parasites and even shield your aquatic animals from danger.
4. Great company
Apart from acting as a food reservoir for the shrimps and snails, the moss ball does come through as a toy, some species of fish love to push them around during play and this is especially easy because the balls tend to float freely in water.
How to best care for the Marimo Moss ball
For starters, the moss ball is not going to eat up your valuable time because with minimal maintenance in the aquarium they will do well. Installing them into your aquarium is quite easy as you don’t have to provide support as is the case with most aquatic plants. The Marimo is free-floating, so you only need to drop it inside the tank.
Ever heard of immortality, and how human beings are crazily searching for ways and means to remain immortal. Well, the Marimo moss balls do enjoy this gift for free, most plants and animals at some point die to give space to something new or just as a process of life. Marimo balls, on the other hand, do not waste away; they remain rich green just via photosynthesis.
The moss balls also do exhibit high tolerance when immersed in salty water and you don’t have to worry about the effects of high or low water PH, because the Marimo balls can comfortably thrive in both PH Levels.
The weight of the Marimo balls only allows them to thrive at the bottom of the lake, and they have thus developed adaptive features that contribute to their shelf life.
Too much light is an enemy to your moss ball and high temperatures of up to 76degrees Fahrenheit cannot be tolerated by the plant. When you first get them, don’t be alarmed if they don’t sink immediately as they usually take some time.
The balls cannot single-handedly offer the best conditions for your tank dwellers, so you might want to add some other aquarium plants just to take the burden off and to enhance the functionality of your aquarium.
Moss balls are very resilient and they don’t lack knock offs in the market, so as you purchase your Marimo ball, check on resiliency to avoid using ineffective substitutes in your tank that may end up polluting the water.
Cleaning the Aquarium
You might not know this but the moss balls do suffer from various sicknesses, and you most definitely don’t want to buy one that has blemishes. The most common problem associated with the moss ball is that you will find things like worms or black and brown patches. If you notice the above while purchasing a moss ball from the store, just avoid it.
In the process of changing water or cleaning the aquarium, clear the Marimo moss balls of dirt, as they tend to collect a lot of debris and waste. Squeeze the dirt out and rinse them under running water, since the moss balls make their own food by using sunlight, don’t be deceived to expose them to direct sunlight.
Caring for the moss ball
And in case the aquarium lacks activity, it might help if you gave it some little push because they tend to discolor and form brown patches on the area that sits on gravel for extended times in the aquarium.
If the browning condition persists, just get rid of that specific area and it will grow back. Table salt can also be used to help enhance the color of your Marimo moss ball.
The inner part of your Marimo moss plant is mostly dormant and should thus be stimulated, cut the moss ball into two halves to expose the dormant region and stimulate some activity. You will then tie the cut pieces into round shapes and let them develop.
Important to note is that your Marimo ball should not be exposed to warm temperatures or direct light.