Marimo moss ball - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Marimo moss ball

I ordered and received a marimo moss ball about a month ago. When it arrived, it was green-ish but not as dark green as the ones in the pictures all over the internet. Since I got it, it has turned more and more of a brown-ish color. Now, it is light brown, almost white. When I got it, it was approximately 4 or 5 inches in diameter and quite clumpy. In an attempt to revive it, I tore the clumps apart into smaller moss balls. This didn't help.

I've read that marimo balls can survive in ambient room lighting with no water current and that all they need is to be turned regularly. I turn mine every week when I do a water change. I have two 10W "mini" flourescent bulbs on my 10g tank. I dose twice weekly with Seachem Flourish. The other plants (anubias nana, brazilian pennywort, aponogeton rigidifolius, dwarf water lilies, rotala rotundifolia, narrow leaf java fern) are all doing well.

What am I doing wrong? Is there something I can do to save them or should I just throw them out? I can post pics later, if you think they'd help identify the problem. One person suggested that the Seachem Flourish (NOT Seachem Flourish Excel) might be killing it. Do you agree?
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 05:31 PM
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Sounds like it was in a downward spiral from the moment you got it. They should be a rich dark green when healthy.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Any suggestions on what I could do to revive it?
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 05:38 PM
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I'm not sure if it can be saved. I'd prolly pitch it to prevent it from breaking down in your tank and pick up a new one from a LFS or other vendor.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Sadly, I don't have an LFS close by. Thanks for the input!
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 11:59 PM
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Its not just turning, they need to be kept CLEAN. Take them out of the tank wring them out like a sponge under a running fawcet. If any silt build up on them it can cause dead spots which may spread. It is possible this had already started to happen to it before you purchased it. Best you can do is keep cleaning it on a weekly basis. This helps to give it oxygen. It may recover.

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 12:41 AM
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I'll heard but never tried myself, that if you put it in a jar and place it by a window where it gets direct sunlight, it'll help bring it back. It IS algae after all.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 03:20 AM
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According to the article "Global Decline of and Threats to Aegagropila linnaei, with Special Reference to the Lake Ball Habit", the decline of what we call moss balls has been correlated with eutrophication.

Eutrophication is "the movement of a water body's trophic status in the direction of more plant biomass, by the addition of artificial or natural substances, such as nitrates and phosphates, through fertilizers or sewage, to an aquatic system."
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-11-2011, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the input everyone! I've moved the majority of the moss ball pieces to a separate bucket where they won't cause problems with my tank but where I can still try to revive them. I left one small piece in my big tank. I've also ordered a couple small marimo balls as replacements for the one large one that I isn't doing so well.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 11:41 PM
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Thats an interesting article, but its in relation to their decline in the natural habitat, not in the aquarium. The lake "ball" form is found in fairly shallow cold water lakes in northern europe, easter europe, Japan, and Iceland. They roll across the lake bottom by the waves coming into shore. They do not grow well in still water. The movement helps them to keep their shape, recieve oxygen, and keep silt from building up. This article will explain it more.

They can grow under very low light, but they still need some light, even in a bucket of water

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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-13-2011, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert H View Post
Thats an interesting article, but its in relation to their decline in the natural habitat, not in the aquarium.
My take away from that article is that too much fertilization such as nitrate or phosphate can kill a marimo ball.
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zdnet View Post
My take away from that article is that too much fertilization such as nitrate or phosphate can kill a marimo ball.
Excess ferts don't kill marimos. Lack of light does. In overfertilized water, algae blooms or suspended sediment typically reduce light. If there's excess ferts yet the water is still clear, marimos grow well; the article makes that distinction in pages 194-195:

"Generally, most eutrophic lakes are turbid and have
a poor underwater light climate, but eutrophic clear-water
lakes also exist... Biological interactions in clear-water lakes differ markedly
from “regular” eutrophic lakes (e.g., Jeppesen et al. 1999).
The eutrophic clear-water lake Mývatn (Iceland) is well
known for its population of A. linnaei balls"


I can vouch that marimos do very well in aquariums up to double EI dosing.
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 08:41 PM
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I bought a Moss Ball a couple months ago and it was light green... I put it in the tank and a couple weeks later, it was a rich, dark green! Dunno what I did :S I wish I could help...


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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkCobra View Post
Excess ferts don't kill marimos. Lack of light does.

I can vouch that marimos do very well in aquariums up to double EI dosing.
Well, I had rescued a marimo ball that was almost killed by EI dosing in clear water with good lighting. I moved that ball to a tank with no dosing at all. Months later, the ball recovered.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkCobra View Post
In overfertilized water, algae blooms or suspended sediment typically reduce light. If there's excess ferts yet the water is still clear, marimos grow well; the article makes that distinction in pages 194-195:

"Generally, most eutrophic lakes are turbid and have
a poor underwater light climate, but eutrophic clear-water
lakes also exist... Biological interactions in clear-water lakes differ markedly
from “regular” eutrophic lakes (e.g., Jeppesen et al. 1999).
The eutrophic clear-water lake Mývatn (Iceland) is well
known for its population of A. linnaei balls"

Further down in that very same paragraph, the article said:

"these numbers strongly suggest that A. linnaei occurs mainly in oligomesotrophic habitats but can persist in eutrophic, clear-water lakes, and that indirect effects of eutrophication caused the observed loss of A. linnaei populations."

As to exactly what those indirect effects were, the article did not elaborate.
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 02:36 AM
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Quote:
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As to exactly what those indirect effects were, the article did not elaborate.
There's a section titled "Which effects of eutrophiction might cause the observed decline?" which elaborates perfectly well.
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