Introduction: Marimo Moss Ball

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Marimo Moss Balls are these nifty little balls of algae that have started popping up in pet stores and garden shops. In the U.S. they've become popular additions to freshwater tanks and ornamental water gardens. In Japan, these little balls are a protected species as they are only naturally found in a few places around the world.

Marimo Moss Balls are inexpensive to buy, maintain, and propagate. Because they are so slow growing, your moss ball can live for decades with the right care. If you put an airtight lid on your moss ball container, you'll rarely have to add water. Some Marimo Moss Ball enthusiasts claim these balls can live in a self-contained environment for years without needing water added.

This is also a very inexpensive project, everything cost under $10.

Step 1: Materials

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Marimo Moss Ball

Container with lid



Step 2: Clean Everything

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The first thing to do when setting up your moss ball's new home is to clean everything. Wash it all, even if it just came out of the package. I used some leftover fish tank gravel and a couple pieces of Apatite stone my wife had leftover.

Step 3: Decorate

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Add your marbles, tank gravel, pebbles etc. whatever you want to make your moss ball's home cozy and more decorative.

Step 4: Add Water

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Add room temperature water to the container. You don't want your moss ball too hot or too cold. If you live in an area with not so great water, use bottled water---you can get a jug at most stores for like $.50.

Step 5: Add Moss!

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Now you are ready to add your moss ball! My wife ordered this tiny moss ball from an Etsy supplier, it actually ended up coming from China but you can get them from more local suppliers as well.

I consider this low water gardening as you don't have to change the moss's water or add water to the container all that often. Some people are more particular and recommend changing the water every couple of weeks, but we haven't found this to be necessary.

Step 6: Care & Maintenance

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We've been baby sitting our friends' plants for a few months, one of which is a Marimo Moss Ball--Randy Moss. This is how we were introduced to moss balls. We haven't had to add any water to Randy's canning jar or do anything special. Our moss ball is about 6mm, Randy is much bigger.

Add water (if) when needed and keep out of direct sunlight. If your moss starts turning brown it means it's getting too direct light and needs to be moved. Also make sure to gently rock the container every so often to help the moss ball change sides.

When the moss ball starts to outgrow it's container, move it to a bigger one.


Deneva (author)2016-08-10

Unable to view the content, something went wrong. Too bad, it's something I would have liked to learn about.

tangotut (author)Deneva2016-08-10

I had the same problem. I waited an hour or two and now it is fine.

morganhillchris (author)2016-08-09

Many municipal water supplies are chlorinated (in the U.S.). It's it correct to assume that these moss balls will need bottled water in these instances?

If chlorine is an issue where you live then yes, I'd probably use bottled water.

Jobar007 (author)morganhillchris2016-08-09

Or a treatment to remove the chlorene, yes.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a Mental Health Clinician. I currently work doing community based therapy with kids and community crisis work with kids and families. I am ... More »
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