How to Make a Moss Ball Grow Faster

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Moss balls are soft, green balls of algae which grows wild in some parts of Europe and Asia, but is frequently cultivated for the aquarium industry. Moss balls (often called Marimo balls, after the variety of algae) are a common addition to many freshwater aquariums, and typically grow up to 3 inches in diameter with proper care. A larger moss ball can provide more cover and environmental interest for fish and help oxygenate and filter the tank.

Things You'll Need

  • Aquarium plant fertilizer
  • Small plastic dish
  • CO2 injector

Begin by moving your moss ball into an area with strong circular currents; often, this is near the center of the bottom of your tank. These currents not only help shape your moss ball, but evenly distribute nutrients to all sides.

Apply slightly elevated levels of aquarium plant fertilizer to your tank. Make these increased doses very gradual, to prevent an algal bloom, and reduce the amount of direct light available to your Marimo ball during this time.

Apply additional CO2 to your moss ball; this is often done by moving your Marimo ball into a small plastic container filled with water from its original habitat. Inject the water with more CO2 for 1-3 minutes, and let the water rest for several hours before transferring the ball back to the tank.

Allow your moss ball to have extended hours of daylight; this will encourage the algae to undertake photosynthesis for longer periods, facilitating more nutrient usage and growth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always handle your Marimo ball gently; some balls are apt to break apart if handled too roughly.

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