Moss ball with baby convict -- and lots of debris. We found you
could clean moss balls by squeezing them like a sponge filter. That's where all
this debris came from. Squeeze them to clean them in a bucket
outside of their tank -- not
in their tank. The debris settles down, of course, but it settles on the moss
Botanical Name Note. Evidently, you can find moss balls under two names.
Americans use the name Chladophora and the rest of the world uses
Cladophora. Seems we're decades late catching on to these intriguing
specimens. (We'll, at least some of us were late.)
Some sources consider them "difficult." Others say very
easy. Seems their only serious requirement is good light. Most of
the German pictures showed bright green specimens. We need more light.
Actually, these moss balls are greener than they look here. The
light blue background throws off the camera's light meter.
Plenty of debris to go around. Moss balls are better known in Europe. The Germans sell
moss balls on the
internet for € 3,50 to € 6,00 (Euro Dollars). Some Germans call them
In Lake Akan in Japan, these what they call Marimos rise and fall during the
day. The oxygen they produce makes them lighter so they rise to the
top. Lake Akan abounds with these spherical algae growths which are
considered a national treasure. They are protected by law, so, people
steal them, of course.
We'll clean up their water and fertilize them also. We'll need to
change that background. It throws off the camera's light meter
and makes them look nearly black.
Here's a little closer to their real color.
Moss balls really look like this out of the water. Now we have to see if Americans can
adjust to adding algae to their aquaria.
So we ripped one into 10 pieces. Outside of the ball on left. Inside
right. The inside was full of mud -- mostly clay -- which explains all the
debris in the water when you squish them to clean them.
In a moosballen breeding tank they look like this. We'll see what happens
to these baby moosballen over time.
I'm the king of the world! As you can see, moosballens are debris
magnets. In this case, the ghost shrimp came up here looking for the
food on this moss ball.
Lots more kings, queens, princes, and princesses of the world. When you
look behind their eyes, you can see the food in their stomachs.
Five days later we're seeing some growth (we think) in the baby
Seven days later, we can tell they're growing (02-11-04).
We sacrifice two more moosballen for science (02-14-04).
Top view of some baby moosballen and baby convicts. These are the first
one sacrificed to science. They're already looking more spherical.
Up close, they look more spherical with lots of variation.
Another pretender to the throne.
It's like those evolution pictures in your science text books.
Meanwhile, the dismembered moosballen continue to grow (without
fertilizer). 02-17-04 We keep forgetting to add the fertilizer.
Looks a bit like Cousin It.
In case you're wondering, the fish are baby convicts.
They're trying their best to grow into baby moosballen.
Starting to look like a real moss ball. (02-29-04) Still attracting
debris. Outside power filters clean this out of the water.
The other side of the same moss ball.
Same baby moss ball 03-06-04 looking like a smaller and shaggier version of its "parent." The
entire process took about six weeks. We never did add the
fertilizer. The only nutrition they received was from the water
changes we made to get rid of all the debris we made when we squeezed the
moss balls. We'd have to rate these guys "fairly easy" on
the basis of these three moss balls that now number 30 moss ballets --
smaller of course. And if we did not mention this earlier, moss
balls grow wild in Iowa creeks.
Baby moss balls now appear on the market. The smaller guys are
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of Sixth & Euclid Avenues
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