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I've seen pictures of this tank before, but when I found this video on YouTube it really got me thinking.

This tank is beautiful with the simplicity of just the bare rocks, but it seems to me that after any length of time you'd start getting algae problems because of the lack of plants (and lights seem pretty high). So I was trying to think of plants that could be added to a setup inspired by this one without ruining the effect, and then I thought, 'Moss balls!'.

I've never really understood having a moss ball just sitting in the foreground of a planted tank; the marimo doesn't fit the tank, and the tank doesn't fit the marimo. But if you had a tank that utilized the interesting shape a growth habits of the marimo by having a species-only tank, I think it could be really neat.

(stolen from http://www.smh.com.au/news/travel/w...some-japan-ease/2008/10/16/1223750218242.html)

It seems like such a tank would be pretty low-tech, as moss balls don't require much. Something around 1.5 wpg lighting, and no heater (they like temperatures under 25C). Hopefully the low lighting would also discourage other types of algae from growing.

I was thinking a filter would need a decent amount of flow to encourage them to move and roll around a bit and not always be stuck in one place. Although I wouldn't want it too strong, and I might have to rotate them by hand anyway. I was thinking I would do this in a 10 gallon, and my AC 20 would fit the bill nicely.

(Stolen from http://sarcozona.org/2010/03/30/berry-go-round-26/)

For fertilizer, I would have to see, as I've heard that they like 'nutrient-rich' waters, but I've also heard that they don't need to be 'fed' and that they don't seem to be effected one way or the other by ferts.

For fauna I was thinking some RCS and Amanos to help keep the balls clean. This is another reason I wouldn't want to current to be too strong. I also have a school of 8 white clouds that might end up in here when the tank they're in is upgraded and restocked (where they would become yummy snacks).
From what I can tell WCMM are pretty shrimp-safe fish, as they are mainly surface feeders and usually don't venture lower than the middle of the tank. I've never seen them bothering my shrimp (granted, some of my Amanos are bigger than they are).

If any of the balls did happen to coat the rocks, that would be fine with me too, as I like that looks as well. :)

I don't have any plans to start this project in the immediate future, as we'll be moving soon and no new tanks until after that. It's just been an idea kicking around in the back of my head for a while, and I wanted to see what you guys thought. (Especially you moss-ball haters out there. :hihi:) Does anyone see any flaws or problems with my ideas so far?
 

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Just my 2 cents:

-Get two powerheads. place them alittle bit above the substrate and on opposite end of the tank.
-Get a long shallow tank.
-Substrate would be rocks or something that resembles a river's bottom, so no fine particles.
-Get a timer for the power heads.

What do you do? Turn on the power heads at seperate times so the balls will go one way, then when the other power head turns on, it will roll the other way. Just an idea (that I doubt will work).
 

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If you really want a lot of random currents, and money is no object, you could get yourself from 2 to 4 Tunze Turbelle NanoStream Pumps and a Tunze controller. You could then place the pumps at each or each corner, and program the controller to sequence the pumps to create almost any sort of flow you want. As a note, such systems are often used in reef system to do just that)

The downside is that this is a very expensive add on, since your about $70 up for the pumps and about $200 up for one of the controllers.
 
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