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The Power of Marimo to Heal a Broken Heart

The beauty of Marimo Moss Balls, sometimes called Moss Balls or Japanese Moss Balls, is captivating the world over. Owning these adorable balls has become quite popular, especially in America and Asia. These green algae spheres are found in lakes or on the shaded side of rocks, being capable of growing very slowly to a maximum of 10 inches in diameter. Much sought after, the algae are associated with a romantically tragic legend in Japan, involving the tale of a...

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Adding Tank Bubblers to Increase the Air Exchange for Marimo

Tank bubblers are small, inexpensive, electricity-powered devices that can be purchased inexpensively at any aquarium or pet store. They are very good for Marimo because increase the rate of air exchange in an otherwise still water environment. If your Marimo is housed in an aquarium setting with filtration equipment, adding an additional bubbler always helps, because the air movement will help to rotate the Marimo, ensuring that it grows evenly on all sides. Adding tank bubblers will help keep the...

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Using Club Soda (CO2) to Help Boost Marimo Photosynthesis

The Marimo Moss Ball, can be a fun and exciting addition to your fresh water aquarium. These balls of velvety green algae are a rare form of the Chlorophyta species. These spherical balls of algae are popular in Japan as pets, and, if cared for properly, are said to bring good fortune. They can either be kept in jars or cultivated in a community tank. They are known to form naturally in large colonies in Japan, Iceland, Scotland and...

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Water Aeration and Filtration for Marimo

Marimo balls are a type of spherical fresh water algae from Lake Akan in Japan but are also found in Europe, USA and Russia. The spherical shape occurs in nature by water currents flowing over the Marimo and causing it to tumble on lake beds. Marimo (meaning ball seaweed), have become a kind of national treasure to the Japanese who are known to appreciate form and function of which the Marimo ball has in abundance. Beautiful to look at, these...

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The Unique Biology of Cladophora

The bottom of Lake Akan is inhabited by miraculously spherical algae called "marimo." These are the National Treasure of Japan.  Although marimo and its related species are observed in the lakes of several European countries and in some other lakes in Japan, only in Lake Akan marimo grow 20 to 30 centimeters (8 to 12 inches) in diameter and have a spherical surface that is beautifully soft and smooth like velvet. These "moss balls" are the latest craze to hit...

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The Origins of the “Marimo” Name of Cladophora Aegagropila

Legend has it that long ago the daughter of a chief from a tribe living near Lake Akan in Japan fell in love with a commoner.  When her parents opposed the union, the couple ran away but tragically fell into the lake and sunk to the bottom.  According to the myth, it was here that they turned into Marimo moss balls and why this plant is now known as a token of love, affection and good luck. The Meaning of...

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PH, Water, and Temperature Conditions for Optimal Marimo Growth

The most important aspect of caring for your marimo is the water you give it to live in. Tap water of pH 6.0-8.0 is fine but should remain between 60 and 80°F. A glass tank or fish bowl is ideal and old water should be changed about twice per month. Unwanted invasions by other algae or bacteria can be deterred without use of chemicals by changing the tank water on a regular basis. Lighting: Typical indoor artificial lighting is adequate for...

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Marimo Balls: Keeping a Rare Good Luck Treasure

The Marimo ball is native to Akan Lake in Japan and is also found in a number of lakes in the northern hemisphere including in the United Kingdom, Russia, Iceland, Scotland and Estonia.  A rare growth form of algae called filamentous green algae (Chlorophyta), “Mari” means bouncy ball and “Mo” is a term for plants that grow in water. So, marimo literally means bouncy plant. Marimo balls develop their characteristically round shape because water currents push them around the bottom...

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Marimo Buying Guide and Specimen Selection

There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the keeping of marimo over the years, as the hobby of growing marimo has developed and evolved since they were discovered in Lake Akan in 1898. The marimo collecting hobby can be traced back to Japan, where discerning collectors are known to use the following metrics when rating prize specimens for purchase. As such, prices vary accordingly depending on the grade of each criteria. This guide will attempt to outline the...

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Raising Marimo as “Pets”

Marimo Balls or Moss Balls as they are sometimes called, are cute little algae that are said to bring good luck and are considered a Japanese national treasure. Marimo can be raised as pets by themselves, or can be put into aquariums to help ward off unwanted algae blooms. They grow in freshwater, although putting them in club soda has been shown to make them grow faster. (Caution! Make sure you squeeze out any of the club soda, and...

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