Moss Balls

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Cladophora aegagropila - (Rabenhorst, 1868)
Moss Balls

Also known as "Marimo," these naturally formed orbs soak up nutrients. Aqua Spot World

[edit] Overview

Marimo are velvety soft spheres of algae that have only recently been introduced to the aquarium hobby though they were described in 1823 from a lake in Austria. By 1920, the Marimo in Japan were protected because of their popularity with tourists (among other reasons.) They are ideal aquarium specimens, hardy and unusual, with great color and eye appeal. Marimo outcompete other alga for nutrients, helping to reduce algae in the tank.

Family: Cladophoraceae

Other common name(s):

  • Marimo
  • Tribbles

Native range:

Habitat: Shallow lacustrine waters. They sometimes rise in the water to meet the light.

Maximum length: 20 cm (8 in)

Maximum height: 30 cm (12 in)

Lighting: Variable, tolerates moderate light as well as high. Maintain a 12-hour cycle.

Placement: Free-floating in the aquarium.

Water: Freshwater 18 °C (291 K, 64 °F) - 28 °C (301 K, 82 °F)

[edit] Feeding

Regular fertilization of the water column.

[edit] Special Care

Avoid allowing a heavy build-up of detritus on the Marimo, which could block light needed for photosynthesis. Squeeze the moss ball into a bucket occasionally to help remove detritus.

[edit] Breeding/Propagation


[edit] Notes

Marimo are nothing if not versatile. They are super easy to incorporate into the aquarium landscape: just toss them into the tank, and the currents will determine their lodging place. Tufts teased off the main ball can be attached to bark, driftwood, rocks, etc. or attached to netting to fashion a mossy looking lawn for your aquascape.

Reference: 101 Best Aquarium Plants
Image credit: ASW
Text credit: MES
Facts about Moss BallsRDF feed
Common name Moss Balls  +, Marimo  +, and Tribbles  +
Family Cladophoraceae  +
Genus Cladophora  +
Image credit ASW  +
Lighting Variable, tolerates moderate light as well as high. Maintain a 12-hour cycle.  +
Maximum height 12 in  +
Maximum length 8 in  +
Native range Japan  +, Europe  +, and United States  +
Placement Free-floating in the aquarium.  +
Reference 101 Best Aquarium Plants  +
Specific name aegagropila  +
Text credit MES  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 291 K (18 °C, 64 °F)  +
Water type Freshwater  +