Over the last couple of years, marimo moss balls have gone viral on social media countless times increasing the awareness around them resulting in a huge number of people within the fish keeping community adding them to their tank.
Marimo moss balls are actually a type of algae rather than a moss but unlike most algae that can quickly take over your aquarium, marimo moss balls grow slowly and the algae tends to clump up in a ball rather than take over.
They are visually appealing, often go viral on Instagram and considering it is literally a ball of algae, can make a great center piece for a stand alone micro aquarium.
Although a marimo moss ball is usually easy to care for, there are a number of issues that can cause your marimo moss ball to start falling apart. Beginners to keeping marimo moss balls commonly make these mistakes so we wanted to publish this article to try and help as many of our readers as possible.
Why Is My Marimo Moss Ball Falling Apart?
The two most common reasons that your marimo moss ball will be falling apart is due to fish picking at the moss ball or a lack of nutrition in the tank.
There are a number of less common issues that can cause the same issue but they are rare but we will still be covering them all in the section below to try and help you work out what is wrong with your marimo moss ball.
Thankfully, almost all of the potential problems covered below are quick and easy to solve and your marimo moss ball should be back to its normal ball shape within a week or two.
Fish Picking At The Moss Ball!
The most common reason that your marimo moss ball will start falling apart is due to fish picking at the moss.
A lot of beginner fish keepers make the mistake of thinking that because marimo moss balls are algae, they can be used as a food source for their fish.
Marimo moss balls are actually not edible for most fish and if your fish are eating them, it is more than likely that they will start falling apart.
The best way to stop your fish from picking at the moss ball is to remove them from the tank and place them in a separate holding tank until the moss ball has had a chance to grow back.
Another method that you can use to stop your fish from picking at the moss ball is to cover the moss ball with a mesh or netting.
This will stop the fish from being able to access the moss ball and should give it enough time to grow back.
A Lack Of Nutrition!
The second most common reason that your marimo moss ball will be falling apart is due to a lack of nutrition in the tank.
Marimo moss balls are actually a type of algae and like all plants, require a number of different nutrients to grow.
If your tank is lacking in any of these essential nutrients, it is likely that your marimo moss ball will start to fall apart.
The best way to solve this problem is to perform a water test on your tank and compare the results to the ideal water parameters for your marimo moss balls.
You can then make any necessary changes to the water chemistry and add any missing nutrients back into the tank.
Incorrect Water Temperature!
Whilst marimo moss balls can tolerate a wide range of different water temperatures, they do have an optimal temperature range.
If the water temperature in your tank is outside of this range, it is likely that your marimo moss ball will start to fall apart.
The ideal water temperature for marimo moss balls is around 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the water temperature in your tank is too high or too low, it is best to make the necessary adjustments to bring it back within the ideal range.
Too Much Water Flow!
Another common reason that your marimo moss ball will start to fall apart is due to too much flow in the tank.
Marimo moss balls actually prefer slow-moving or still water and too much water flow can cause them to break apart.
If the water in your tank is flowing too quickly, it is best to reduce the flow or remove any objects that are causing the water to flow too quickly.
Not Enough Light!
Marimo moss balls actually need a moderate amount of light to grow.
If the tank is not getting enough light, it is likely that your marimo moss ball will start to fall apart.
The best way to solve this problem is to increase the amount of light that the tank is getting.
This can be done by adding more lights to the tank or moving the tank closer to a window.
Problems With CO2 Levels!
CO2 is actually an essential nutrient for marimo moss balls and a lack of CO2 can cause them to fall apart.
If you suspect that the CO2 levels in your tank are too low, it is best to test the water and make any necessary adjustments.
You can also add a CO2 diffuser to the tank to help raise the CO2 levels.
Too Much Handling!
One of the most common reasons that marimo moss balls fall apart is due to too much handling.
Marimo moss balls are actually quite delicate and if they are handled too roughly, they can start to break apart.
It is best to handle them as little as possible and only when absolutely necessary.
If you do need to handle them, it is best to do so gently and carefully.
There are a number of different reasons that your marimo moss ball may start to fall apart.
The most common reason is due to the fish picking at the moss ball or a lack of nutrition in the tank.
Other common reasons include incorrect water temperature, too much water flow, and not enough light.
If you suspect that your marimo moss ball is falling apart, it is best to check for any of these common problems.
If you are unable to find the cause of the problem, it is best to consult with a professional.