Thursday, May 1, 2014

How-to Guide: Taking care of your Marimo

When I first saw pictures of marimo a couple years ago, I had no idea what they were. I was hoping they were sentient and would roll to you and be fun. I looked up videos and they don't do much besides sit there, make bubbles and occasionally float up to the surface. Although they might not be as lively as I originally thought, I'm very happy about owning such an attractive plant ball. They're very soft to the touch and are a nice addition to my fish tank.

Marimo are sometimes called moss balls, but they are actually green algae. Their natural habitat is in deep freshwater lakes in Japan and Iceland. Marimo do not have many requirements for living, so that makes them an ideal plant to take care of. They're perfect if every plant you've ever had died on you (like mine have). Although they are low maintenance, that doesn't mean you can just forget about them completely.

Where to buy

They have become more available in online, on sites like Facebook and by fans of anime you may log on to this website to find out more about Marimo (Official Website)

Most major pet stores carry marimo. They cost about $8 USD at PetCo and PetSmart. It was rumored they were selling illegitimate ones in the past, but the ones I've seen lately are real. You can also find them (usually nano-sized) in cute containers on Etsy.


Although they are found in deep cold waters, room temperature (25 °C  or 77 °F) tap water is good for your marimo. Change the water more often in the summer and less in the winter. I change the water for mine every week but I also have a fish dirtying up the tank to think about. I would say every 2-3 weeks in the winter would be fine, but make sure you don't forget about it! If your water looks cloudy that is a sign you should change it.

A lot of sources debate whether distilled/filtered water is a better choice, but mine is doing fine with tap water and the minerals that come with it. It's up to you and the quality of your water.

They can't survive freezing conditions, so don't put them in your freezer either!


I usually bathe mine when I change the water once a week.

Fill up your sink or fill a bowl with cold water. In the water, hold your marimo in your palm and squeeze out the dirty water. If you squeeze too much, it will float so make sure you soak it some more before putting it back. Try to Gently rub it back into a ball if it comes out of shape.


Marimo are algae, so they need light to be able to thrive. It will die if exposed to too much direct sunlight.  Since they live so deep down in lakes, they are used to receiving very little natural sunlight. An artificial light source like a lamp is good enough for your marimo to go through photosynthesis.

Fish & other

A lot of people say that fish will eat them, but from my experience a betta fish is fine tank-mate. It's possible other types of fish might be harmful though, so be careful! I know gold fish like to eat algae, so it's probably not best to put them together.

My betta fish really likes my marimo. He lounges on it like it's a fuzzy beanbag chair.  My marimo usually is positioned against the side of the bowl and my fish likes to hide in the crack between them. Sometimes when my fish is going crazy he sends my marimo flying across the bowl. It's a very cute dynamic!!

Snails: Be careful because they usually like to eat algae. Apple snails should be fine, they prefer dead plants

Shrimp: They use their legs to burrow below the surface of marimo to dig up decayed matters to feed on. In the process, they help keep the marimo ball surface free of debris.

Size & Growth

Marimo sold in stores are about the size of golf balls or a little bigger. Marimo grow, but very slowly in domestic settings so don't expect much. 


Marimo reproduce by division, but they might not survive if you do it on you own. When they grow larger, they will naturally break apart so you should leave that to a professional (the marimo itself).


It's possible your marimo is producing a lot of oxygen (which is healthy), or you squeezed too much water out of it. If it's bothering you, just try and soak it until it's heavier. Maybe you should check if you bought a styrofoam ball wrapped with felt while you're at it.


As long as you take good care of your marimo, it could live up to 60 years! The actual lifespan is unknown. I can't wait to pass my marimo down to my children.


【为什么要购买 マリモ Marimo幸福毬藻?】 

1。超容易照顾,超强生命力 2。招财吉祥物3。爱情守护宠物/ 心灵系宠物 4。最有意义的礼物 


【Marimo是什么东东?】它出生於日本北海道-阿寒湖的绿藻类中的淡水藻品种。在100年前正式被发现的天然纪念物. 长的像深绿色的毛线球,大小直经约1-20公分。刚开始在全国销售时曾被误会当作周星驰电影'长江7号'中的七仔化身! 「Marimo」形成方式是由丝状的绿藻先附著在小石头上,随着水流推动石头滾动,更多的绿藻附著上来,并且继续生长繁殖、岁月的流失,使得小石头上面聚集大量的丝状绿藻,并形成圆球型。就有若沙漠中的枯草,因风吹旋转而形成圆形枯草的道理一样。 

【Marimo超容易饲养】 只需一至两个星期换水一次,Diamond, Espring, RO及其它过滤水都可以。更换水时用手指将它中的水分轻轻压出,放在光线充足的地方,但避免阳光直接照射。理想温度为12-28度左右。「Marimo」有超过200年的寿命,每年约生长0.5-1公分,但如果在营养,光亮度,水温及矿物质都足够且适量的情况下,它是能够更健康更快速地成长。 

【Marimo为‘最完美漂亮’的毬藻】 毬藻只分布在北半球高纬度地区的几个湖中,目前只在日本,冰岛和爱沙尼亚被发现,各地域的毬藻因为地理和养分的差异而有些不同。而位于日本北海道东部的阿寒湖(Akanko)所产的「Marimo」毬藻被喻为'形状最完美漂亮'的毬藻。也成为了时下日本最流行的幸福守护物,并拥有著一个美丽与神秘的传说故事; 传说饲养「Marimo」亦能帶來爱情,幸福和幸运。 

【 日本国宝 】在马来西亚,这种水中植物少数人知道,知道它的人,大概都是去北海道旅游时见过,因为人工养殖的毬藻是到阿寒湖必买的手信。由于其稀有性,再加上人们不当的采集,造成天然毬藻数量的减少,因此日本早将它指定为国家自然保护物。在日本捞捕,养殖,私运天然毬藻是违法之事,是会被日本政府提控起诉的。自1950年起,每年10月7日至9日,阿寒湖区会举行三天的「Marimo」庆典活动,并且传递至今天,由此可见其珍贵度。 

【美丽与神秘的传说故事】有些人相信这种毬藻是幸福的象征,因为它有个类似【梁祝】的传说。相传古时候,在阿寒湖附近的一个村落里,有个美丽的女子,是酋长的女儿。酋长要女儿与他选定的男子结婚,但她早已心有所属,与另一位普通部族的勇士相爱,无奈不被酋长允许。 婚礼之夜,酋长女儿远远听到勇士吹奏的草笛,跟随着笛声到了阿寒湖,就在淡淡的月光下, 两人乘着木舟划到湖中,约定来世结缘,然后就双双投身入了故乡的湖中。酋长和村人因两人的深情深受感动,转而为他们两人祈求永远的幸福。 这对恋人的名字合成后被命名为「Marimo」,从此在阿寒湖底继续他们至死不渝的爱情。毬藻Marimo就因此成为了 ‘‘对爱情坚持/不怕艰难,终会获得美满结局’’ 的象征。所以日本人将毬藻视为爱情的守护物,相信养殖Marimo能带来幸福,它会将养殖者的愿望转化成信念,直至愿望实现。

【Marimo与室内招财息息相关】堪舆学/风水学上认为植物是有灵性的,对人的各方面都能起到一定的帮助,因此常用植物来调节环境气场。绿色植物能够净化空气,增加含氧量,减少各种电器的辐射,调节气场,舒缓紧张情绪,于是许多人把它们搬进了卧室,孰不知卧室中养植物也是大有讲究的。 室内招财的方法有很多种,最普通的是用鱼缸,植物,灯光,金钱等来作道具。最简单而又最实际方便的方法,莫如是用植物招财了。只要我们在家中找出财位所在,再放一盆有生气的小植物,这样就可以达到幸运,招财,催财,轻松转运的效应。 招财的植物亦有几番要秘:   (一)植物不可以是攀爬类。   (二)植物最好是常绿植物。   (三)形状最好是圆大,不要尖、细或长形。(网上提供资料) 


【Marimo可邮寄】 它可离开水面两至三星期,无需长期住在水中,从日本寄来马来西亚也需两至三星期,也证明了这一点。我们曾经跌掉不见了两个星期后找回,放入水中还是健健康康。 幸福魔咒: ‘‘Mari Mari Marimo... 保佑我...’’ 雖然幸福很容易得到,但如果沒有細心呵护照顾,幸福也会枯萎掉。 所以要好好照顾您的小小Marimo,让它变成大大的幸福!!你...心动了吗? Marimo可爱的造型,古老传说以及它本身的特质,获得了时下年轻男女的喜爱。因此,日本商家开发人工养殖厂,在淡水环境中培植出售。Marimo也成为了人们彼此良好祝願的选择, 以及喜庆, 生日, 恋爱情侣互相赠送的最有意义的礼物。


What is marimo?

Marimo (まりも), also known as Cladophora ball, or moss balls, is a rare form of green algae, found in some of the lakes in the northern hemisphere. They are known for their green velvety round shapes. Dr. Anton E. Sauter first discovered them in 1823 in Lake Zeller, Austria. Mostly found in Lake Akan (Japan) and Lake Mývatn (Iceland), the number of Marimos has been decreasing rapidly. As such, they are declared protected species in Japan and Iceland. Japan has also declared Marimo its national treasure in 1921, and thereafter “special national treasure” in 1952. Find out more about this ultra-cute ball of moss!  Marimo grows at a slow rate of about 5mm per year. However, in Lake Akan, the Marimos are said to be able to grow up to 20-30 cm in diameter!

Marimo Festival in Japan In attempt to preserve the rapidly declining number of Marimos in Lake Akan (due to deforestation, tourism etc), a movement was started to encourage the people in Japan to return the Marimos they have purchased or taken from Lake Akan. The Marimo Festival started out as a form of appreciation towards those who have returned the Marimos, as well as to extend the efforts of preservation. The first festival was held on 7th Oct 1950. Thereafter, each year in early October, the 3-day festival is held in Hokkaido by the indigenous Ainu people. On the first day of the festival, lectures on the growth of Marimos and field trips to their habitats are held. On the second day, a dance parade, “Ceremony for Receiving Marimo” and “Ceremony to Conserve Marimo” are held. These ceremonies are performed in accordance to the traditional Ainu practices. The festival closes with the ceremony of an Ainu chief returning the Marimos to the lake. There will also be fireworks displays and other game attractions during the 3-day period. If you have the chance to go to Hokkaido during this period, do drop by and join in the festival!

How to care for it
  • Keep your domestic Marimo in a jar or tank of water under indoor lighting and in water temperature of between 20 – 28°C. Do not put it under direct sunlight or heat.
  • Change water every 2 weeks. You can use tap-water but leave the container of tap water uncovered overnight for the chlorine to dissipate before use.
  • Gently clean the Marimo when you change the water by rolling it around in your hand and gently squeezing it to get the dirty water out. Rolling the Marimo also helps to keep it in a spherical shape. In the natural environment, the water current in the lake keeps the Marimos clean and helps maintain their spherical shapes.

Consider decorating your office table or room with a Marimo or two. It is fuss-free and easy to manage. But beware of fake Marimos sold on the internet. These fake Marimos are usually Styrofoam balls wrapped with green moss.

You may find the Marimo Seller at this few website: (English Version) (Chinese Version)