Originally Posted by celine18
is there a difference between marimo balls and moss balls? cause i bought a marimo moss ball from petsmart a week or so ago, now i'm confused, haha.
Some people call them moss balls, and it makes things really confusing when you are trying to locate real marimo because there are also things called "moss balls' which are just moss sheets wrapped around a cork or other object to make them look like marimo. Most people assume marimo are made of moss and so call them mos balls, when in actuallity they are a species of algea called Cladophora, not a moss at all. A lot of times what you get at petsmart, if it is advertised as a "moss ball", is these Jave moss balls, not marimo. Marimo means "algea ball" in Japanese.
If you squeeze a marimo is should be soft and spongy like...well, like a sponge and water and crud will come out. After you squeeze one out and put it back in the tank it will float for a while and then sink to the bottom of the tank. If you squeeze these "moss balls" that you buy at petsmart, unless they are mislabeled marimo (which I have never seen at a petsmart in Canada), then you would feel the round thing inside it and probably wouldn't be able to squeeze it much, if at all and the moss might break off. Also the moss balls you buy at petsmart always float, or require weights and fishingline to keep them at the bottom of the tank. Marimo, if you bought them at petsmart, would be purchased off the bottom of the tank, not floating around at the top because they really only float when they have too much oxygen inside them from photosynthesis, (you often see it leak out and collect like dew drops on the surface of the marimo before the floating takes place, this is called "pearling".) but most of the time they stay sunken at the bottom of the tank.
Which one sounds more like the one you bought? I hope you didn't get swindled into paying a lot of money for a moss ball when you thought it was a marimo. I have heard that some petsmarts and petcos charge 10 dollars for a single moss ball! This is rape, considering the 3 marimo I bought on ebay cost me 10 dollars US total, and that included shipping. The marimo themselves were only about 1.20 each and they are good sized ones too 3-5cm. The bigger marimo are very old, since they only grow an average of 5 millimeters a year and get more expensive as the bigger and older they get. Moss balls do not grow in this way, the java moss just get's longer.