Marimo Moss Balls For Fish Tanks

Marimo moss balls are a kind of algae that grows in a very unique and rare way. They’re green algae with a velvety texture. A marimo is a slow-growing, hardy plant. They are a very popular choice for aquarium plants because they help the water environment in many ways.

The Marimo moss ball is one of the most forgiving aquarium “plants,” suitable for aquarists of all skill levels. Since they come from the bottom of lakes, they do well in tanks with low light. They can also live in temperatures from the mid-60s to the mid-80s (Fahrenheit), which makes them great additions to almost any tank.

Here we will discuss all about moss balls, their care and maintenance, and the advantages of keeping moss balls in your fish tank.

What Does A Moss Ball Do?

Algae can be a real pain for aquarium keepers, but when introduced in the form of moss balls, they can really be quite useful. Marimo moss balls, which can be found in nature, are actually spherical clumps of green algae. They can be visually appealing additions to fish tanks that lack sufficient plant life while also fostering a healthier habitat for your aquatic creatures.

Moss balls don’t grow in an uncontrollable way like other types of algae. Instead, they just split into smaller balls. Over time, it will expand as it feeds on the water in its environment. This makes them safe to use in fish tanks, so you don’t have to worry about green algae covering the aquarium’s glass. The moss balls in your tank will develop beneficial bacteria that will boost tank conditions for the benefit of all your aquatic life.

How Much Is A Moss Ball?

A moss ball may be the perfect and easy way to add some greenery to your home. These small, round balls of moss are relatively simple to care for and can provide a touch of nature indoors. You may have wondered how much one of these verdant spheres actually costs. Depending on the size and type of moss ball, they can range in price from a few dollars upwards.

Prices can vary depending on the size and type of moss ball, but they typically range from $5 to $20. For example, a small moss ball that is perfect for placing in a terrarium may cost around $5, while a large one that is suitable for use as a centerpiece could cost $20 or more. With such a wide range in prices, it is easy to find a moss ball that fits both your budget and your decorating style.

Moss ball isolated on white background

Benefits of A Moss Ball In Aquarium

The presence of live plants in an aquarium helps to provide a healthy habitat for the fish and other aquatic animals living there. Unfortunately, most of these plants are difficult to care for, and they only last a relatively short time before dying. Yet, if you’re set on marimo moss balls, you won’t have to worry about any of these things. This moss is not only low maintenance, but it also serves a number of important functions in a fish tank.

The benefits of having a Marimo moss ball in your aquarium are as follows.

They Soak up Nitrates

Moss balls in an aquarium can actually cut down on the amount of nitrates in your tank. Nitrates help them grow and stay alive, so they are basically sucking them out of the water in your tank. This makes the water a little cleaner, but cleaning the tank regularly is still the best way to keep it clean.

Moss Balls Are a Source of Oxygen

The carbon dioxide given off by fish is absorbed by aquarium moss balls, which then release oxygen back into the water. This is exactly the same process as photosynthesis in plants. Not a lot of oxygen, but enough to keep your fish healthy.

Moss Balls Do Not Increase Organic Material

All plants that are alive eventually die, and their leaves fall off to be replaced by new ones. This necessitates the unavoidable task of removing the fallen leaves from the tank before their decomposition taints the water.

When it comes to shedding, the Marimo is completely safe! The moss balls will remain fluffy, bright green, and undamaged as long as they are healthy.

They Require Almost No Maintenance

All a moss ball really wants is a steady supply of fresh water, some dappled light, and some waste to eat. Your moss balls will thrive on the waste products of your fish and other livestock, so there’s no need to offer any additional fertilizers. Since moss balls grow so slowly and consistently, they don’t require trimming to preserve their fluffy, velvety appearance even as they expand in size over the years.

They Bounce Back Quickly.

Moss balls are extremely resilient aquarium plants. To prevent your moss balls from dying, all you have to do is let them dry up entirely. Depending on how well you take care of your tank, your moss ball could live for more than a hundred years.

They Prevent Excessive Algae Growth.

When algae grow to cover the tank’s glass and spread to your ornaments and other plants, it can be an eyesore. Marimo moss balls feed on the same nutrients as other algae, starving them to death. Not all algae can be eliminated by adding a few moss balls to your tank, but the unwanted species will have a far more difficult time establishing themselves.

Moss Balls Keep Good Bacteria Alive

Beneficial bacteria found only in moss balls can have a significant impact on tank cycles. Because they are alive, they help clean the water in your aquarium even more than the filter does on its own. They can be a big help when getting a new tank ready.

They Have a Good Salt Tolerance

A lot of the most common aquarium plants can’t handle salt water. Since moss balls usually grow in brackish water, they are one of the best plants to put in your tank. In the tank, salt is frequently used as a remedy for parasites and infections. Salt can also help moss balls that are starting to turn brown.

Moss Balls Can Be Used Without Anchors

There’s no need to attach or sow moss balls. You can just put them in the tank, and they will be fine. There is no requirement to secure the moss ball in any way. To clean the tank and substrate, all you have to do is move the moss ball out of the way and vacuum under and around it.

The Balls Aren’t Growing Fast

Unless they are trimmed or thinned out on a regular basis, most aquatic plants will eventually take over the tank through spreading or self-propagation. But the Marimo moss ball is about the slowest-growing aquatic plant there is. Moss balls only increase in size by about 5 mm per year, even when housed in ideal conditions and constantly fed.

Moss Balls Are Easy to Clean

Even though moss balls don’t need much care, they do need to be cleaned every so often. If your moss balls live with fish or other animals, you will need to clean them every time you clean your tank. Since they soak up all the things you don’t want, they can get pretty dirty.

Press your moss balls a few times in a bowl of clean water. Since it’s made of algae, you’ll need to keep a tight grip on it, or it could break. If this happens, you can put it back together by rolling and shaping it in your hands.

You Can Also Use Them as Decorations

Aside from all the benefits we’ve talked about, they also look great in your aquarium tank. They blend nicely with the natural aesthetic of your tank without drawing too much attention to themselves.

Is Hardly Possible to Kill

Only exposure to chlorinated water, such as that found in untreated tap water, sea water, or a cesspool will cause a Marimo to die (where there are no nutrients in the waste). It means that the moss ball will flourish so long as you keep up with tank maintenance and feed your tank inhabitants properly. Just keep in mind that they are more comfortable in low light. Overexposure to light is indicated by white spots on them. They are not getting enough light if they have brown spots.

All in all, it’s a fantastic replacement for those of us who struggle with aquatic plants. For the benefits that plants bring, it is recommended to have more than one in a tank. Moss balls are safe, foolproof creatures that can only benefit your tank if you want them for decoration or as an addition to plant life.

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How To Put A Moss Ball In A Fish Tank

Moss balls are a popular addition to fish tanks because they add a splash of color and can help to filter the water. Although they are relatively low-maintenance, there are a few things to keep in mind when adding moss balls to your fish tank.

  • First, rinse the moss ball thoroughly. This will help to remove any dirt or debris that could contaminate the water.
  • Then, gently place the moss ball in the water. If possible, place it on top of some rocks or gravel. Be sure to give the moss ball plenty of space to grow. It is important to choose the right size moss ball for your tank.
  • Finally, be sure to place the fish tank in an area of moderate light. Too much light can cause algae growth, while too little light will prevent the moss ball from photosynthesizing properly.

You will be able to enjoy the advantages of adding a moss ball to your fish tank if you follow these straightforward instructions.

How To Care For Moss Ball In Fish Tank

Under the right conditions, moss ball algae can form into soft, green balls. Marimo moss balls are a common aesthetic addition to aquariums due to their charm as tank decorations and their versatility as aquatic plants for aquariums.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about taking care of Marimo moss balls in your fish tank.


Naturally occurring moss balls can be found forming at the water’s base and can thrive on moderate light. When kept indoors, their vibrant green color can be preserved by avoiding direct sunlight while still providing adequate lighting. If you leave your moss balls out in the sun, they could dry out and turn brown.


It’s possible that a tropical fish tank wouldn’t be the best environment for Marimo moss balls, which thrive at temperatures not higher than 76° F. Ice cubes are a great solution for when the temperature rises above acceptable levels.


The accumulation of filth and trash on your Marimo can be avoided with regular water changes. How often and how much you change the water will depend on the aquarium or container where you keep your Marimo. If you keep the Marimo in a tank with living creatures and other plants, you may need to change the water more often.


Moss balls do better when they are kept clean. From time to time, you should take up your marimo moss ball and give it a gentle washing by squishing it a few times in a container filled with clean water. If it starts to fall apart from the squishing, you can carefully roll it in your hands to restore its shape. It helps the marimo moss ball keep its nice round shape.

Tank Mates

Moss balls can share fish tank space with a wide variety of freshwater fish. Bettas are known to enjoy playing with Marimos and will often beat them about the tank. Some species, however, should be avoided, like the Plecostomus, the Goldfish, and the Dwarf Crayfish. It’s possible that these algae-loving fish will think your Marimo makes for a tasty snack. If you want to protect your moss ball from being eaten by bottom-feeding aquatic animals, you should keep it away from these species.

Maintaining Moss Ball’s Round Form

Natural environments for Marimo balls include lakes where waves and currents twist and roll the balls down the lake floor. To prevent your Marimo balls from becoming flattened, you should gently circulate the water in their enclosure. This will cause the balls to settle on a different side of the bottom each time. Create some soft waves as you’d find in a lake.

Care and maintenance for moss balls is minimal and straightforward. In addition, they are a great space-saving option as compared to other types of live plants that could potentially crowd a restricted aquarium. Unlike most plants, they also make a unique toy for bettas and other fish that like to play.

What Kind Of Water Is Needed For A Marimo Moss Ball?

When you grow this plant indoors, it doesn’t care where you put it in terms of containers. What really matters is that the water is clean enough to let the light through. Marimo balls can be grown in any empty freshwater fish tank. This plant doesn’t require soil to thrive, only a container filled with water, thus, it doesn’t matter if you have imported or locally produced marimo moss balls.

Distilled or filtered water is ideal for your marimo ball because it has less impurities and will help it thrive. The water should be changed every two weeks, which is another crucial point. Wash the container first before adding fresh water if you observe an accumulation of algae stains at the water line.

It is not advisable to use any chemical fluids when cleaning glass containers. You can get rid of any stains instead by using a fresh brush or sponge and then rinsing them with water. You can then fill the container with cool or cold water. Adding beautiful pebbles or smooth stones to the bottom of the container is another fantastic idea.

How Do I Pick Out A Healthy Marimo Ball?

Marimo balls are a type of algae that is commonly used in aquariums. They are relatively easy to care for and can provide a number of benefits, such as improving water quality and providing shelter for other aquatic creatures. When choosing a marimo ball, it is important to select one that is healthy and free of pests. 

Here are some tips:

  • You should search for a ball that is fuzzy and green. Avoid choosing balls that are brown or that have black stains on them.
  • The ball should have some give to it but not be overly difficult. Stay away from balls that are too soft or that have holes in them. A marimo moss ball that is healthy should feel solid to the touch and should not be overly spongy.
  • The size of a Marimo ball can vary anywhere from a few centimeters up to several inches. Additionally, it should have a decent amount of weight for its dimensions. Pick a dimension that enables you to move about freely within the confines of your aquarium.

By following these tips, you can be sure to choose a healthy marimo ball for your aquarium. Once you have selected a healthy ball, it is important to keep it in a clean aquarium with plenty of fresh water. Marimo moss balls are gentle creatures that make for peaceful and relaxing companions.

How to Grow More Moss Balls

Marimo moss ball is well-known in the hobby world. This species can’t be classified as a moss. However, because it looks like a typical moss, aquarists call it a “moss ball.”

This species is a breeze to care for in every way, and planting is no exception. Purchase some moss balls from your local fish store, and then give them a quick rinse in some aquarium water before adding them to the tank. There’s nothing simpler than this.

The same may be said about propagating it. The greatest way to reproduce your moss ball is to divide it. The sphere is maintained in a manner distinct from the natural process of rolling marimo on the sediment of lake beds.

Check out the simple steps on how to propagate your moss balls.

  1. Take the moss ball out of the aquarium or whatever else it is in. Squeeze the moss ball gently to remove any excess water.
  2. Split the ball of moss in half. The moss ball should be cut in half. If the pieces you get are more than 2 to 3 inches long, cut each one in half. This lets you make between four and eight more moss balls. Since moss balls don’t have a kernel or central structure, you can cut them in any direction, even through the middle.
  3. Wrap a thread around each moss ball in two strands. Like you would with ribbon on a gift box, wrap the thread around the moss once, then twist it and wrap it the other way. Tie a knot and cut off the extra thread.
  4. Put the moss ball cuttings in your aquarium or another place where plants can grow in freshwater. The ideal conditions for a moss ball are a dim outdoor setting or a bright aquarium with water between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. At least once a week, turn the moss balls so that they can grow on all sides. The side of a marimo moss ball that doesn’t get any light will eventually die if the ball is left in one place. They need light on all sides to grow round; therefore, neglecting to turn them often will prevent them from ever becoming spherical.


Marimo is excellent for beginners in the hobby because of its hardy nature and easy care. This algae species can tolerate a wide range of water temperature and hardness conditions, it is extremely durable and almost indestructible! Another interesting quality is that they can thrive for a long time, 50 – 100 years in the wild and up to 10 years in a tank set-up if they are properly cared for.