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Moss Balls


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#1 migthegreek

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 02:32 PM

Are there any benefits to using moss balls? What are they for? I see them a lot in LFS and they are often in the tanks with shrimp.

#2 aly_starh

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 02:35 PM

Moss balls(marimo balls) are a very good addition to any tank, some fish love to nibble at them they help absorb excess nutriments in the water that algae love, they are more like free floating plants and move around so not fixed the dont float and block out light.


:good:

#3 KittyKat

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 02:39 PM

Just another type of plant which looks a bit unusual :) ..there are some aquatic animals who will eat them.

#4 loraxchick

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 02:44 PM

just another plant to add to a tank. it is actually a type of algae and gets it shape from wave action rolling them around as they grow. if you dont continue to do this they flatten out over time as they grow.
they offer the same benefits as any other plant in that they use up some of the nitrogen in the tank (ammonia.nitrites/nitrates) and are VERY easy to grow. need no special lighting or ferts or the like. will do just fine in virtually any lighting condition.
you often se them in shrimp tanks as the balls trap debris/have biofilm and the shrimp will sit and pick this off to eat. same as any other type of moss.
truly a great addition to any aquarium!
cheers

#5 Jarcave

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 02:45 PM

As above. Many shrimp species appear to like to graze on them. Make sure you turn them every so often otherwise the underside can die off.

#6 ian

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 03:24 PM

i love my moss balls, theyre a great addition to any tank.

#7 migthegreek

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 01:44 PM

Sounds good, thanks. I thought they seemed very convenient and a quirky addition to the tank; was wondering if they are a bad idea, but it seems to be a thumbs up all round. Especially as the shrimp will enjoy it :nod:

#8 loraxchick

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 02:43 PM

one more quick comment-
be sure to squeeze them out in old tank water during a water change every once in a while...all the stuff that accumulates sometimes starts to make them smell funky. other than that, easiest "plant" going.
cheers!

#9 migthegreek

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 10:11 PM

This might be a stupid question, but if they're algae, isn't that... bad?

#10 three-fingers

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 01:38 AM

Not really, it's not a particularly easy to grow algae, though it it very hard to kill. It doesnt thrive under the poor conditions other algaes do.

Be warned though, my moss ball in my high-tech tank it doubled in size after a couple of months and actually spread. It never grow on the plants, but a bit got stuck at the top and ended up forming a matt of the algae, which plants started to root in and grow above water, which was actually pretty cool but it blocked out the light for the other plants and reduced circulation...and along came staghorn algae.

So even though it's a very slow growing algae, treat it like a fast growing weedy plant if you keep it in a proper planted tank.

#11 loraxchick

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 04:07 AM

i agree with three-fingers. in my 2 low tech tank it is no problem...im my high light very demanding tank (with way less than adequite flow i will admit as there is a betta in there) i have it growing on my heater wires. it is an algae and can/does spread in the right conditions.
cheers

#12 migthegreek

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 04:30 PM

My tank is low-tech, so should be OK hopefully. Is there any way to keep it in check, by regularly rolling it into a good ball again, or can you sort of rip parts off to reduce the size and roll it back into a ball?

#13 ian

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 06:19 PM

one of mine grew a lump on the side (about the size of a 20p), i ripped it off and left it in the tank and it seems to be coming on nicely. I always role mine when water changing and they have kept there shape. My tank is lo tech and they have grown, but not much over the last 4/5 months. Though i have got a bba problem at the mo but i'm not blaming the moss balls.

#14 loraxchick

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 07:35 PM

in a low-light tank, they do grow rather slowly. high light and it is hard to keep their shape...mine in my high light tank has split twice in the last year.
super easy hardy plant!
cheers

#15 snowflake311

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:18 AM

What about growing it on wood or rocks??? How would you go about doing that?

#16 Phage

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 05:26 AM

I flattened mine out to form a 'lawn' type effect. My shrimp love it. You can kind of see it, its in a pic in my 55 gallon journal.

#17 loraxchick

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:06 PM

What about growing it on wood or rocks??? How would you go about doing that?

just tie it on with some cotton thread! simple.
cheers

#18 G_Thing

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 05:20 PM

I have just acquired a moss ball and was wandering what would happen if i was too rip it in half to make 2 balls??

#19 snowflake311

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 05:16 AM


What about growing it on wood or rocks??? How would you go about doing that?

just tie it on with some cotton thread! simple.
cheers


do you cut it to flatten out. I'm talking about useing it to make a carpet on rocks.

#20 loraxchick

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 03:13 PM

it is totally possible to just pull a moss ball apart. although it may lose it rounded shape but it doesnt hurt the plants.
to flatten them out, just pull them apart into the desired shape. again wont hurt the plant. for a carpet you may find its better to tie it to a flat rock/slate for desired effect. it is a bit tricky from experience to make one nice "sheet" of it out of a ball...usually just ends up as an amorphous blob that doesnt look very carpet-y.
cheers

#21 mini_matt

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 12:59 AM

I cant get moss balls in my local LFS but I do have several cold water streams near me with nice rocks covered in moss, I live in the UK so the moss is growing in very cold water! would this moss be okay in a tank?

#22 three-fingers

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 02:28 AM

I cant get moss balls in my local LFS but I do have several cold water streams near me with nice rocks covered in moss, I live in the UK so the moss is growing in very cold water! would this moss be okay in a tank?

Didn't work when I tired it.

Maybe it would work in an unheated tank in a cool room, but even then I'm not sure most of the moss we see in streams is even fully aquatic.

#23 mini_matt

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 07:37 PM


I cant get moss balls in my local LFS but I do have several cold water streams near me with nice rocks covered in moss, I live in the UK so the moss is growing in very cold water! would this moss be okay in a tank?

Didn't work when I tired it.

Maybe it would work in an unheated tank in a cool room, but even then I'm not sure most of the moss we see in streams is even fully aquatic.


sorry didn't see this reply, thanks for that i'll see if I can order some off the net :good:




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