Are Marimo Moss Balls Safe for Bettas?

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If you are a proud betta fish owner, you certainly know already how enthusiastic your pet gets when it comes to aquatic plants. From high greenery which acts as a refuge to floating ones that can be used as a playground- betta fish love them all!

Marimo moss balls are becoming one of the trendiest aquatic plants out there, many betta owners are asking themselves whether marimo moss balls are safe for bettas.

Yes, marimo moss balls are absolutely safe for betta fish. These amazing plants will not just add a cool factor to your aquarium, but they will additionally act beneficially for your pet’s wellbeing. However, there is one thing to consider before buying marimo moss balls. I wrote about this concern at the end of the article.

Marimo Moss Ball Benefits for Betta Tanks

To start, let us initiate with the most obvious benefit above all. Betta fish will simply love having these adorable plants around. As their name suggests, they really do resemble to balls.

They have a sphere shape and do not have any roots, meaning that they can either fluctuate on the surface or sink to the bottom of the tank. This makes an amazing toy for your pet, as it can literally push them around the tank and enjoy such fun playtime.

On top of that, they are extremely soft and comfy, so your betta will most likely use them as its new favorite resting spot, too.

Adding to that, marimo moss balls are highly beneficial to the aquarium itself. Although their name implies they are moss, they are in fact a particular type of algae, but not one of those which are to be avoided.

Indeed, these cool plants can retain the good type of tank bacteria, making it easier for betta waste to be dissolved. At the same time, they produce no waste of their own.

Furthermore, they emit additional oxygen into tank water and also reduce its nitrate particles. Therefore, stating that these cute fuzzy plants act as a natural filter to betta aquariums is certainly correct.

To conclude, we simply must mention once again how cool marimo moss balls look. So soft and velvety, but at the same time providing such a clean and neat touch, these plants make an amazingly decorative green addition to any tank.

Marimo Moss Ball Care

These velvety balls are hardy plants and are super-easy to care about. The only thing they require is some basic, occasional maintenance.

Other than that, they are basically indestructible and can endure for many years. Marimo moss balls can live for over 100 years.

– Light Requirement

Since these plants are naturally found in deeper lakes, they do not require lots of light. However, they still need some, either natural or artificial, to being able of conducting the photosynthesis process.

Direct sunlight can only harm them, so try keeping them under moderate conditions, just as you do with your betta fish.

– Maintenance

This is probably the best part about marimo moss plants, as they require such low care. Being extremely slow-growing plants, they only need occasional cleaning and nothing else.

Therefore, whenever you perform partial water changes to your tank, use the opportunity to take your marimo balls outside the tank as well. Gently squeeze them and rinse them in aquarium water.

At the same time, you can also look for any brownish spots and simply remove them. Once you place them back in the tank, they will slowly fill with water again and start sinking back to the bottom.

Additionally, marimo moss balls can flatten if spending extended periods of time without being moved. Your betta fish will probably do the job itself and move them around.

However, if you sometimes notice the plants flattening, simply turn them around onto the other side.

– Fertilizer

These rounded plants require no food or fertilizer. Indeed, they are able of creating their own through the process of photosynthesis. How amazing is that?

Do You Plant Moss Balls in Substrate?

No, moss balls do not have to (and should not) be planted. Instead, they should be left either floating on the water surface or sinking to the bottom of the tank.

Simply place your fluffy balls inside the tank and watch them entertain your lovely betta fish.

Can You Propagate Moss Balls?

You can propagate moss balls by division, which is quite simple to perform. Take the plant outside of the tank, gently squeeze it to remove water, and cut it in half with the help of scissors.

Next, tie each newly obtained part with a thread, surrounding it from all sides, and gently place them back into the water.

After a week or so, turn your plants around to encourage equal growth from all sides, and cut the thread off once they start developing further on their own.

Where to Buy Marimo Moss Balls?

These round plants are becoming so popular during the last few months that are now really easy to find non depending on the area or country where you live in. Mostly, you may see them in local pet stores, but they are also available at specialized plant stores and even online.

Ordering them from another location is perfectly safe, as marimo moss balls are resilient and there is basically no concern for them getting ruined during transport. On top of that, they will certainly not break your wallet.

Moss Balls Infested with Zebra Mussel

Although marimo moss balls are absolutely safe for bettas, they might be infested with zebra mussel, which is a highly invasive species according to the University of Minnesota Sea Grant program. In March 2021, pet stores found that that the moss balls they received from their suppliers are infested with this invasive small freshwater mussel.

The zebra mussel is native to freshwater lakes of Ukraine and Russia, but they have been accidentally spread all over the world, becoming invasive in other locations.

So, if you recently have purchased moss balls, or you are planning to do so, please make sure that there is no mussel infestation. These are very small creatures and hard to detect, so take a very close look to each plant you buy.

It is important to note, that you should never release zebra mussels, or other non-native species into the wild because you can ruin an entire ecosystem with such invasive species.

Wrapping Up

With betta fish being such spectacular little beings and with marimo moss balls being one of the coolest green additions to aquariums these days, the ˝wow factor˝ of keeping them together will certainly be there.

But putting the looks aside, there are several beneficial reasons both for your fish and for your fluffy plants. Indeed, with betta being carnivorous, there is no concern for your pet deciding to eat your marimo balls out. Indeed, they will mostly use them as play tools as well as soft resting spots.

Moreover, having such plants in your betta tank means that there will be more oxygen and beneficial bacteria but less nitrate and fish waste. A win-win situation for everyone. So, why not order your first moss balls right away?

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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