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Marimo moss balls


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Moved from another thread (Crazyfishlady Blue Dreams):

 

Not wanting to thread hijack, but related to the topic and I'm curious to hear people's thoughts........

 

On SKF (Australian Shrimpkeeping Forum) they have pretty strict rules regarding marimo:

 

"This is just a warning to all members that "Marimo ball & Marimo Moss" are illegal imports and a protected species in Japan, as such anyone buying, selling, trading, showing photos of this species will have there threads removed & deleted... If you have this Species in your possession you are advised to Contact AQIS for the safe removal and quarantine of it. failing to do so may end up in loss of tank inhabitants and legal action being taken by Aqis.. this topic is not open for discussion on SKF.."

 

 I realize that we don't have the same regulatory bodies as Australia but I'm sure many of us are conscious about keeping of protected species.

 

Please realize that I'm not stating an opinion, nor in any way do I want to "open up a can of worms" on what could be a debated topic..........I really am just looking to be educated if marimo can be propagated outside of the naturally occurring habitats, and/or raise awareness if this is truly a non-renewable resource that should be treasured and protected.  

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I am interested as well. They sell them at all the local LFSs in those same cups as they sell the bettas. Big chains (Petsmart and Petco). So I'm guessing it's ok to have them but if they are that resource-sensitive I am definitely interested in what to do about it.

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don't quote me though! i only know the propagating and growth since i own them and sell them also. they are easy to care for. i think in the lakes they originated from are being stolen and aren't forming like they use to.

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Now in the new thread...

 

If you got to Lake Akan in Japan, you can legally buy 'cultured' marimo in their gift shops and take them home. As it is, marimo is not found only in Japan. I believe that most of the ones offered for sale in the US are native to Estonia because the ones formed in Lake Akan are considered a national treasure. They are also found in Iceland and Scotland. And I once read that they were found in Idaho, but I have not seen proof positive myself. Apparently I am fishing in the in the wrong bodies of water. I have even seen an article where in Australia a beach was covered in marimo balls that just washed ashore. The word 'Marimo' itself is the popular name given to rounded algae regardless where it comes from. It generally translates to bouncy ball water plant. Go figure.

 

Cultured in this case refers to how they are made: loose filaments are gathered and rolled by hand into a ball and then left to grow. A much faster way then having them naturally divide. Some people will also split a marimo into several different pieces and roll them into a ball shape. Once the inner filaments are exposed to light they start to grow.

 

Possibly one of the coolest forms of algae out there. 

 

=^._.^=

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I was wondering this too. (Both the protected status and the propagation!)

 

My large Marimo is kind of opening up like Pac-Man. (the shrimp like to go in the middle/mouth now :) )  I tried once to squish it back into a nice ball, but eventually it seemed to open along the same or a similar plane.

 

Does this mean I should tear it into two and try to make them into balls? Or will that not work either?

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I was wondering this too. (Both the protected status and the propagation!)

 

My large Marimo is kind of opening up like Pac-Man. (the shrimp like to go in the middle/mouth now :) )  I tried once to squish it back into a nice ball, but eventually it seemed to open along the same or a similar plane.

 

Does this mean I should tear it into two and try to make them into balls? Or will that not work either?

yeah you can just pull it apart and re roll more!

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Australia has some of the strictest wildlife customs rules that I have seen before. 

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seriously?  Those ugly moss balls that are EVERYWHERE   are protected and endangered?     Go  figure.  maybe Japan should send their ambassador to petco and bring a bunch home to drop in their lakes  :)

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That is what over harvesting and environmental changes can do, yes. Wasn't there a campaign to return the marimos to Lake Akan at one point?

Australia. Never try to bring ANYTHING there.

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Good for them.

We are basically out of bats in the northeast due to a fungal disease that is wiping them out. The fungus originated from anothet part of the world, where the bats it infects live with it but don't become so ill that they die. It's suspected that spores were transported on spelunking gear, I believe. Our local bats have no defenses and have basically been wiped out, and we now have record numbers of mosquitoes - so now heartworm disease and West Nile virus are much bigger concerns than they used to be.

I know a lot of people think the regulations are overkill. I'm one of the ones who don't think that they are rigorous enough.

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