Marimo Factory - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Marimo Factory

I wanted to make a Marimo Factory, where I can put baby Marimo balls and have them grow as fast as possible. The idea is that the pump will keep the water moving around the circle, pushing the moss ball and keeping it nice and round. The container is an 11" diameter by 5" deep glass cylinder from Target, and I removed the pump from a desktop water fountain. The substrate is just plain gravel, coarse enough to stay out of the pump, but fine enough that it doesn't impede movement of the moss ball. I needed something in the center to keep the ball from settling there so I added a house plant; a Single Maid Fern which likes low light and moist soil. The soil it is growing in is raised above the water level with more gravel in the center container.


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And of course an action shot:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QrqmnOdYnk

I am hoping the water will clear up soon. In the next few days I will probably start breaking up this ball to encourage more rapid growth.


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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 07:44 PM
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Keep updating this as you go because I really want to see the final result!
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 07:45 PM
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lol, unique idea! Are Marimo balls formed in nature by rolling down streams or is it a man made shape?


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 07:48 PM
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did it work? this would be an awesome center piece somewhere in the house.

EDIT: My mistake I missed the Video.

AWESOME...
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toofazt View Post
lol, unique idea! Are Marimo balls formed in nature by rolling down streams or is it a man made shape?
Yes, they are naturally round in shape in the wild.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 08:08 PM
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LOL! This made me laugh, but it's ingenuous at the same time. I've never had a Marimo ball before, but I remember reading you're suppose to turn them regularly. Will it be ok with a constant motion? It won't cause it to come apart will it?


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 08:48 PM
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Cool idea! Hey, I may have thought up a cooler one LOL

How about a . . . (Drum Roll) . . . CUBIC MARIMO! I take it and place it in a tight plastic/acrylic cube, and then let it grow! Would this work? Thanks, PS your tank is pretty cool.

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." -- Steve Jobs

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 10:37 PM
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I may have to set one of these up - grow some algae - and entertain my cat
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Well....

After tearing the moosballen into smaller pieces I couldn't keep them moving around the "tribble track" so I started over with a more powerful pump. I mounted the pump inside the lid to a spindle of CDs:

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Then I drilled a bunch of holes for the water to get in and covered them foam to keep small rocks out.

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Finally I connected the pump and the nozzle with a small piece of hose, placed the entire assembly in the glass cylinder and filled around it with gravel. The flow is much better now :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN_F6tRcdWU




Quote:
Originally Posted by Granny View Post
Keep updating this as you go because I really want to see the final result!
I will. There doesn't seem to be a lot of info around about Marimo "breeding". This website mentions discernible growth in 6 weeks after forced mitosis.

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Originally Posted by toofazt View Post
lol, unique idea! Are Marimo balls formed in nature by rolling down streams or is it a man made shape?
According to Wikipedia: "The round shape of the marimo is maintained by gentle wave action that occasionally turns it." I don't know if this will be too much action for them in the long run.

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Originally Posted by Loop View Post
I remember reading you're suppose to turn them regularly. Will it be ok with a constant motion? It won't cause it to come apart will it?
Well, right after tearing my original moss ball into smaller pieces, they are much flimsier. When I let the pump run overnight, I couls see they were falling apart. I plan to let them sit for a week or two, turning the pump on occasionally. Then when I think they've firmed up a bit I'll see if I can turn it on full time.


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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 01:58 AM
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For outdoor or garage growing, cutting one side out of an old tire would leave a nice sized Marimo grow track. Putting in baffles like they use to keep the flow going in the mill race streams at a water park would help keep the flow agitated instead of continuous flow.

A large tractor tire or a tire from a very large earth mover and a decent pump would make an interesting hill stream loach environment.
post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 03:11 AM
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If you would have told me when I woke up this morning that I would spend 1:15 of my life watching moss balls twirl in a circle, I would have called you crazy.

If you would have told me that I would also want a similar setup, I would have laughed.

Guess the joke is on me.

This is awesome!

J


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 03:47 AM
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lol that is amazing!


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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 03:50 AM
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keep us updated, this is really interesting because personally hundreds of moss balls would make me the happiest boy alive
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 04:05 AM
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wooww.. very creative..!!
but I can't imagine hong long you have to wait until those marimo grows lot bigger, because their growth rate only 5mm/year CMIIW


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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
For outdoor or garage growing, cutting one side out of an old tire would leave a nice sized Marimo grow track. Putting in baffles like they use to keep the flow going in the mill race streams at a water park would help keep the flow agitated instead of continuous flow.

A large tractor tire or a tire from a very large earth mover and a decent pump would make an interesting hill stream loach environment.
I hadn't considered larger installation as I was shooting for a desktop version, but that sounds neat! I do have another idea for a square "Escher stair" version using a bubble pump...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCoxRocks View Post
I would have called you crazy.
Many have, my friend, many have... Glad you liked it, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IWANNAGOFAST View Post
lol that is amazing!
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben. View Post
keep us updated, this is really interesting because personally hundreds of moss balls would make me the happiest boy alive
Me too! They have got to be the "cutest" aquatic plant around. The little teeny ones actually got a "Squee" from my teenage daughters. It would be really awesome If I cold find a way to keep basketball sized ones in my pool...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperWen View Post
wooww.. very creative..!!
but I can't imagine hong long you have to wait until those marimo grows lot bigger, because their growth rate only 5mm/year CMIIW
Thanks! I have read that the growth rate is very slow on these, so I am doing what I can to try to give it a kick start. I do plan to start weighing them and recording growth rates with different ferts and environments, just need to get a gram scale. Last night I pulled several out and placed them in different containers in different conditions. As of right now I have:

1) 4X in glass spheres in a window (afternoon sun)
2) 1X in an erlenmyer flask, outside (afternoon sun)
3) 1X in a cylindrical vase with Hornwort, outside (afternoon sun)
4) 1X in a cylindrical vase with Hornwort, inside (indirect afternoon sun)
5) ~12 in the tribble-track, standard room lighting (I'll probably move these...)

These were all ripped from a single 1.5" diameter ball I got from Petco. I plan to buy another 4 from AquariumPlants. I had some plant fertilizer stakes laying around, so I dissolved them in some water and poured a bit in each container. I'm not worried about livestock because I don't have any. Several places have suggested adding salt, so I'll need to grab some aquarium salt on my next trip to the LFS.

More info:
Quote:
At first it was thought that Marimo was extremely slow growing. Recent studies, however, suggest that the slow growth rate in more recent time is due to poor water conditions. It has also been found that the growth rate can be improved by mixing sea water with the lake water (I would avoid doing this in my tanks) or by providing more nutrients.


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