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Old 05-27-2013, 05:04 PM   #1 
candymoon
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Marimo moss ball help?

Hello! First of all I hope this is in the right spot and second of all I hope this question had not been asked recently. I looked around but did not see anything.
So, anyways, I picked up a Marimo moss ball today at petsmart. I was thinking of just making it a terrarium, since I almost got my betta a ball at petco and the guy told me it could cause algae problems. But today, when mom and I were in the store looking up to make sure it was a real Marimo ball (and we determined it was) she said that these balls actually helped prevent algae. So....here are my questions:

My tank is a 3 gal, heated, unfiltered, with no aquarium light (though I do use my overhead light for him and keep it on throughout the day. And I do have an overhead light for it, but I stopped using it sense it caused him to see his own reflection) and I have a bit of an algae problem already (nothing major, just a little at the top of the waterline every time I do my 100% change, and this started happening after I started to used betta spa) so...with all that in mind, would this cute Marimo ball be right for my tank?

Also, will it be fine with me using betta spa? Since my betta is prone to ripped fins I keep it in the tank all the time to keep him safe.

And, finally, if you guys think I should plant it how should I do it? It was in a little cup by itself...so should I wash it out anyways? And then what? Should I just put it in or let it adjust, or wait till the next 100% change?

Thank you! : ]
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:08 PM   #2 
Kytkattin
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Yes, they do help prevent algae. However, how much they will actually help might not really be noticeable. These plants are just about as simple to care for as you can get. They do not get planted like a typical plant (as it is in fact, a form of algae), and maintenance is about as simple as squeezing it out and rolling it around in your hand every water change to maintain the shape. They do pretty well with just regular lighting, nothing special. Some people even keep them alone in just jars and they do fine.

I am not sure what betta spa is. Is it a water conditioner? If so, it should be fine.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:21 PM   #3 
candymoon
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Originally Posted by Kytkattin View Post
Yes, they do help prevent algae. However, how much they will actually help might not really be noticeable. These plants are just about as simple to care for as you can get. They do not get planted like a typical plant (as it is in fact, a form of algae), and maintenance is about as simple as squeezing it out and rolling it around in your hand every water change to maintain the shape. They do pretty well with just regular lighting, nothing special. Some people even keep them alone in just jars and they do fine.

I am not sure what betta spa is. Is it a water conditioner? If so, it should be fine.
Thank you so much! So I can just go on and put it into the tank with no real preparation?
Kind of...betta spa is a special liquid that helps make the tank more like a betta's natural habitat. It has almond leaf extract in it and all that.
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:32 PM   #4 
Kytkattin
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No problem! Just let it set on top of the gravel, or sometimes they float. Sometimes some of mine won't sink no matter what I do! They are literally the best possible plant for someone who has never kept aquatic plants before or are keeping smaller tanks that need frequent water changes.

Many bettas actually love to sit on them or sleep near them, as they are a nice soft plant.

As far as betta spa, I can't imagine it would be a problem. I use Indian almond leaves in all my tanks and they don't seem to have any problems. The biggest problems I have ran into with them is that they can get a little funky if you don't squeeze them out every once in a while. You might not want to squeeze them out every time you do a water change, but you should squeeze and roll them at least once a month so they maintain their shape and you can get all the toxic stuff they have been removing from the tank water out of them. Oh, and they can smell pretty bad when you do this, but if you are keeping clean water then don't worry about it. :)
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:34 PM   #5 
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No problem! Just let it set on top of the gravel, or sometimes they float. Sometimes some of mine won't sink no matter what I do! They are literally the best possible plant for someone who has never kept aquatic plants before or are keeping smaller tanks that need frequent water changes.

Many bettas actually love to sit on them or sleep near them, as they are a nice soft plant.

As far as betta spa, I can't imagine it would be a problem. I use Indian almond leaves in all my tanks and they don't seem to have any problems. The biggest problems I have ran into with them is that they can get a little funky if you don't squeeze them out every once in a while. You might not want to squeeze them out every time you do a water change, but you should squeeze and roll them at least once a month so they maintain their shape and you can get all the toxic stuff they have been removing from the tank water out of them. Oh, and they can smell pretty bad when you do this, but if you are keeping clean water then don't worry about it. :)
Wonderful! Thank you so much! : ]
I will add the little guy to the tank tomorrow then~
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:02 AM   #6 
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Marimo balls are a very slow-growing form of Cladophora algae. They're too slow growing to actually prevent the growth of algae (in fact they are quite infamous for being grown over by other types of algae when conditions are favorable to growth) and need to be turned once a week usually, and squeezed out every 2 weeks or so. If they are not squeezed out they tend to build up detritus on the inside of the ball and become a source of ammonia instead of the other way around. sadly they won't do much for the biology of the tank and are not ammonia sponges like many pet shops will claim. They're cute and hardy though, as long as you roll and squeeze it they make a very easy to care for plant! I've never killed one, even when I've left them out overnight on accident they've always bounced right back.

You can also grow them on driftwood and rocks. They take a long time to grip on and you need to tear the ball apart for it to work but they look quite nice once they get established.
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