Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Marimo Moss Ball

I would like to introduce you to my Marimo moss ball.

Everyone this is Mossy.
Mossy this is everyone.

Marimo moss ball being held

Isn't he cute?
He lives in this vintage Moccona coffee jar, on our kitchen bench. So you can imagine we get to see a lot of each other, especially as the kitchen is an open plan design.
 Every day Mossy and I have a little play. I keep a small bamboo stick with his glass house, and I twirl the water around and around with it. This makes Mossy lift up and spin around, then as I stop he floats back to the stone base and rolls around a bit.
 This keeps him nice and round.
I've read that if they don't get moved around much at all, then Marimo moss balls have a tendency to get flat or fat bottoms!

Marimo moss ball in a jar

My Mossy is very clever, as well as cute.
Occasionally he will make his own fun, and entertain me at the same time.
 When he feels like it he floats up to the top of the water, and hangs out there! 

Close up of marimo moss ball floating in water with bubbles

How does he do it?
Well I'm not exactly sure, but I do notice that he does this when the water is a bit low, and he seems to use air bubbles to float up.He usually does have a few air bubbles hanging onto him, but when he floats to the top I notice he has quite a few.

I don't know where he gets the bubbles from.Id say he does release them himself, as supposedly Marimo,or at least some of them, have a hollow center.
(But I'm sure its not bad gas emissions as some people have suggested!)
Most of the information I've seen, reason the floating is for photosynthesis, and its to do with light streams,which would make sense.
But I have wondered if it has something to do with oxygen.
However he does it, its really cool.

As you can see Mossy receives lots of light, but Marimo definitely don't like direct sun.
I have read a number of times that they don't like much light, but I have found this to be incorrect. 
And not only from my own experience.
Last Christmas we gifted two much larger Marimo to our daughter T and son in law M . They found that after a few months of keeping theirs on the darker side of their living room, that their Marimo weren't looking as healthy as Mossy. And that they had become a very dull dark green. So the moved them closer to the window and after a few weeks they were wonderfully glowing green again. 

Another thing Ive read is that Marimo need cool water.
  Well I'm not saying that they don't, but I don't get to worried about keeping Mossy's water at a constant temperature. Mossy and I live in Queensland Australia, and we get very hot summers, and we do not have air conditioning. 
Mossy lives in a little jar, eleven and a half cm by eight cm. And if we have a run of very hot days in the high thirties or low forties, Celsius that is. Then I will add some fridge water to Mossy's jar or occasionally a little ice block. And he has been just as gorgeous and green as when he first came to live with me.
 (Well actually even greener and more gorgeous, because..well he doesn't like me to remind him of it so I'll have to whisper) ...
 but when I got him he not only had to deal with being shoved in a plastic bag and posted- but by the time I received him, he was squashed flat! He still has a little tuft of hair that sticks up from where he nearly split in half : {

Close up of marimo moss ball terrariam

About once a fortnight or less I give Mossy a change of water.
And a little rinse to get the old water out of him, and keep him fresh and smelling good.
 With filtered water of course.
I have a bowl of fresh water,which I dunk him in, then I give him a gentle little squeeze and dunk again and squeeze. I do this a few times, then I change the water in the bowl again for a last rinse.
 I then roll him between my hands and lightly press any lumpy bits, just to make him nice and round and to make sure I haven't swished him out of shape.
No helping that tuft though!
He really does love all the attention and seems to thrive on it.

A few other interesting little tid bits about Marimo moss balls

I might whisper this bit as well..... ( Because I'm not sure how Mossy will take it, he might be a bit young to know the truth yet.)

(Moss balls aren't actually moss! They are a water plant.In fact they are a rare green algae!)

In Japanese Marimo means - ball seaweed - or some variation of that.

There is a wonderful Japanese legend about Marimo.

Its about two lovers kept apart by their families, that is well worth looking up.

The Japanese believe that Marimo bring you luck.

They are found naturally in a few lakes around the world.

Marimo grow very slowly, about 5mm per year.

And Marimo are great for interior decor!

If you feel inspired to have a Mossy of your own, you might like to visit this link for some really good information by Wendi Phan

marimo moss ball

Well I cant say Mossy has brought me any luck.
 But he has definitely given me lots of enjoyment. 
And happiness.
I don't know what it is, but whenever I look at that cute little green ball, I just feel happy.

Close up of Marimo Moss Ball

Bye for now.
 See you round.
Like a moss ball!

She :)

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