True Marimo vs Fake Marimo

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Junne, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Junne Fishlore Legend Member

    Mine are certainly green but they still look matted up - like they are made of felt or something. I got these in July and they have not grown at all.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2012
  2. monkeypie102 Well Known Member Member

    I also bought the mini marimo balls from aquamagic and they don't look like marimo balls... though they have sunk so I am not sure :/ I think they could be felt...

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2012
  3. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    I've seen a couple of you mentioning felt.
    Like the material?

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  4. Junne Fishlore Legend Member

    Yes, like the material...... Mine don't even "look" real much less grow ( only the 5 marble sized ones I got from Aquamagic )
    My others from Petsmart have doubled in size with no additional prompting from me :)
  5. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Have you cut it?
    Just a guess but if it was material you'd get a straight cut.
    It if was moss it maybe it wouldn't cut uniformly.
  6. monkeypie102 Well Known Member Member

    I pulled mine apart... definatly not moss if you ask me... came apart easily and rolled into a ball without me needing to tie it together... I think aquamagic is selling fake moss balls and selling them as real ones...
  7. oscarsbud Well Known Member Member

    I just took one out of the 10 gallon tank. It is starting to grow, but not circular. It is sending out little mossy shoots. So I think it is some kind of moss, just not a moss ball.
  8. Junne Fishlore Legend Member

    No not yet but I foresee some "dissection" in the very near future ;)
  9. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    To be fair to the lfs I bought mine from they were labeled as moss ball not marimo balls.
    So if mine are not true marimo they were not sold as such. :)

    True Marimo is not moss. It's a type of algae.

    oscarsbud, you might find the images on the right interesting


    Another interesting read:
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  10. oscarsbud Well Known Member Member

    That is exactly what mine looks like. I think I will leave them alone and see what (if anything) happens.
  11. Junne Fishlore Legend Member

    I don't know if mine are a true Marimo but they were sold as Marimo's
  12. jetajockey Fishlore VIP Member

    True marimo moss balls as in, the ones that are created by wave action? I don't think they've harvested many of these in recent years.

    Marimo is clado algae. Most of the balls you will find are shaped that way. I had one literally cover my tank, i don't know what spurred it on.

    The fake marimo balls I've heard reports of are java moss wrapped around a styrofoam ball.

    I highly doubt a big time plant seller would go to all the effort to make felt look like a marimo ball, it's not like this is a high price high demand with a limited supply.
  13. Junne Fishlore Legend Member

    Here are the pictures of my "Marimo's"
    The first two are the ones that look like "felt" that I got from Aquamagic
    The third one is one that I got from Petsmart
    Sorry about the picture quality - I didn't have the flash on and its kinda dark in here ( didn't want to disturb my boy )

    What do you think? Real or fake?



    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  14. jetajockey Fishlore VIP Member

    Looks like marimo moss balls to me. You could pull it apart, it's just a rolled up ball of filamentous algae, it's not going to hurt it. It'd actually help it grow faster pulled apart so that the inner portion can get more light and nutrients.

    The 'mini' ones are just what happens when you take one like that larger one and tear it into smaller pieces.
  15. Junne Fishlore Legend Member

    I will try that but I might add, I have another one in my main tank that I split into 4 pieces and it did NOT look anything like the small ones I have. In fact, they weren't all matted up and looked more like strands of hair and fluffy, if that makes sense.
  16. jetajockey Fishlore VIP Member

    As they grow they can puff out like that, and if conditions are right, it can literally take over your tank just like any other algae outbreak. With mine I've had some that only crept along the substrate, or stayed in ball form and dense, but others that kinda went wild and spread in thin strands rather than a dense mat.
    The wild marimo moss balls are created by wave action rocking them back and forth on the substrate.
  17. oscarsbud Well Known Member Member

    Mine are all perfectly round right now - although I seem to have lost track of 2 of them and don't know what happened to them. I will wait and see if they try a takeover. At least if it's mossy looking rather than algae-like, I might have my green carpet I wanted on the bottom of the tank.
  18. Eienna Fishlore VIP Member

    So if I were to buy a couple and lay them out in my tank...maybe my future pleco would like it :)
  19. FoulFishes Valued Member Member

    I have seen false Marimos that have a plastic center then cover with think hair-like material that felt just like the real thing in water. Squish the moss ball in your hands while its in a container of tank water, they can be easily squished and a natural Marimo obviously wouldn't have any plastic in it.
  20. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Good morning,

    A Japanese Marimo Ball is algae through and through.

    A Moss Ball is either Java Moss or Christmas Moss wrapped around a piece of foam with fishing line and an anchor attached. These Moss Balls will not sink, thus the reason for the fishing line and anchor.

    I have the Marimo's now and I've had Moss Balls in the past.

    This is an old photo of a tank that I no longer have set up. Note the true Marimo resting on the substrate. There are 2 Moss Balls that appear to be suspended in mid water, look closely. They were covered with Java Moss.:

    One more photo for comparison:

    You should be able to click on the photo after you click on the link, to enlarge it.