Do betta fish eat moss balls?

In this article, we will answer the question “Do betta fish eat moss balls?”. We will also discuss a little about how to take care of moss balls and their benefits to betta fish.

Do betta fish eat moss balls?

Bettas do not consume moss balls. Betta fish are carnivorous, so moss balls and other plants are normally avoided. Moss balls, on the other hand, make excellent tank companions for your bettas. It is possible for your betta to interact with them, and bettas also like resting on them since they are puffy and comfortable. Moss balls can also aid in the production of oxygen, the removal of waste, the reduction of algae, and the growth of good bacteria in your betta’s tank.

What are moss balls?

Those enigmatic moss balls go by a variety of names: 

–       Marimo 

–       Mossimo 

–       Seaweed ball 

–       Algae ball

–       Japanese ball

–       Lake ball

–       Marimo moss ball 

Aegagropila linnaeii is the scientific name for the moss ball. These amazing natural constructions develop at a sluggish rate only.2 inches per year, and if you buy a few of these strange green balls, you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck, since they can live for over 100 years. 

Marimo means “seaweed ball” in Japanese, which you might find amusing to tell your friends. Despite their resemblance to seaweed, the fluffy green balls are a freshwater species that cannot be found in the ocean.

Are moss balls plants or algae?

The first thing to realize about these furry green spheres is that they are neither vegetation nor mosses in the traditional sense of the word. Marino moss balls are a form of filamentous green algae found in lakes throughout the world, but particularly in Japan, Iceland, Scotland, Australia, and Estonia. They are a type of filamentous green algae found in lakes throughout the world, but particularly in Japan, Iceland, Scotland, Australia, and Estonia. 

Marimo moss balls were found in Japan’s Lake Akan and Iceland’s Lake Myvatn in the 1820s and are now protected as endangered species under Japanese and Icelandic legislation. Japan has the world record for the biggest moss balls, with some specimens ranging up to 11.8 inches in diameter found at Lake Akan, where the record was set. 

These thick algal balls have no solid core and float freely about the lake or aquarium bottom, depending on the direction of the stream.  This type of algae produces nourishment through photosynthesis, and unlike other algae, it won’t tint your tank’s surfaces or water green.

What is the maximum size of moss balls? 

When they’re at their biggest in the wild, moss balls can measure up to 12 inches in diameter. These intriguing organisms, on the other hand, develop slowly, attaining only about 2 inches every year. 

If one of the moss balls becomes too large for a little betta tank, just pinch it in half and roll each half to make two new smaller moss balls.

Advantages of using moss balls in betta fish aquariums

Marimo moss balls in your betta aquarium might provide several surprising advantages. 


Because of the amount of maintenance that plants take, many enthusiasts avoid keeping living plants in their betta tanks. To keep your plants healthy and looking nice, you’ll need the right lighting and water, and you’ll need to cut away overgrowth and dead leaves regularly. 

The Marimo moss ball, on the other hand, does not require much upkeep. Simply turning the balls every now and then (unless the water flow through the tank does it for you) and cleaning them is all that is required. It is an easy operation.

Beneficial bacteria 

Ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are produced by decomposing fish waste, leftover food, dead plant matter, and general aquarium detritus, and these waste products must be broken down by good bacteria in order for fish tanks to be healthy. Marimo moss balls give a huge surface area for colonies of good bacteria to develop, which helps to enhance the water quality in your betta buddy’s aquarium. 

The production of oxygen and the removal of waste 

Moss balls, like all plant species, help to eliminate ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates from the tank, acting as a nutritious fertilizer in the process. In addition, the balls remove CO2 from the water, replacing it with oxygen, which is excellent for your betta fish’s wellbeing.

Reduce the algae growth in the aquarium 

Aquatic algae grow in tanks that do not include any plants, feeding on the elements in the water column and photosynthesizing with the help of the sun. A few Marimo moss balls, however, can quickly eat the nutrients in your tank, preventing other algae species from developing as quickly and causing havoc in your tank.

There will be no waste in your tank

Living plants produce trash by losing dead leaves, which is a huge issue. They fall to the tank’s floor, where they decay and die, generating ammonia and placing an additional stress on your filtering system. 

However, until they die, which is an uncommon event, marimo moss balls create no waste byproducts.

Robust and hardy 

Marimo moss balls, unlike many other aquatic plant species, are highly resistant and resilient. They are capable of surviving in brackish water and adapting to a variety of water conditions.

Marimo moss balls are only really threatened by algaecides or chlorine, both of which will destroy them. 

Do betta fish like moss balls?

Marimo moss balls are a favourite of Betta fish. When you first put the moss ball in his aquarium, keep an eye on him. The ball will float on the water’s surface until it absorbs enough liquid to descend to the bottom. 

During this period, your betta will investigate and play with the ball, pushing it across the water’s surface. When the ball is on the substrate, this behaviour is likely to continue. Bettas also enjoy lying down on broad leaves and flat surfaces, and a fluffy, comfy Marimo moss ball is a wonderful place for your pet to do so in comfort.

Other common betta companions, such as aquarium snails and shrimp, also enjoy the moss ball because the velvety textured sphere collects food remnants and detritus, which these species graze on.

How do I care for moss balls?

One to three Marimo moss balls should be kept per gallon of water. This assures that the balls will continue to expand steadily and that each one will receive adequate nutrition. 

Marimo balls, in contrast to real plants, do not require a great deal of maintenance. Keep in mind, however, that there are some principles to keeping your moss balls healthy and flourishing.


If moss balls are left in the same location for an extended period of time, their form will deteriorate. By rolling the moss ball about on the substrate of its tank, your betta may be able to perform that chore for you. If your pet refuses to play with his ball, you’ll have to do it yourself now and again. 


Marimo moss balls can be found on the bottom of ponds and lakes in natural settings, especially when the lighting is dark and the water is cold, and they are a good indicator of the presence of algae.

The moss balls should be ok in a tank with modest illumination.You will need to provide some shade for the moss balls, though, if your lights are really bright. You may do this by inserting some floating plants to diffuse the light. If your moss balls are exposed to an excessive amount of sunlight, they will become white. If there isn’t enough light, the ball will be unable to photosynthesize and will turn brown.

How to clean the moss balls?

You’ll need to clean your moss ball from time to time to keep it looking beautiful. It’s a straightforward activity that you won’t have to perform on a regular basis. In reality, you should only clean the moss ball in your betta’s tank while performing normal maintenance and water changes. 

Remove the moss ball from the aquarium and place it in an old tank water bucket. To remove the water from the ball, gently compress it. When you compress the ball, it flattens out, but when you put it back in the tank, it absorbs water and returns to its round shape. Until the ball becomes saturated enough to sink, it will float on the surface, giving amusement to your betta fish. 

If the ball loses its spherical shape during the cleaning procedure, simply roll it around in your hands gently until it regains it.


In this article, we answered the question “Do betta fish eat moss balls?”. We also discussed a little about how to take care of moss balls and their benefits to betta fish.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know in the comments section below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Do betta fish eat moss balls?

When it comes to moss balls, how long do they last? 

Japan has traditionally regarded marimo balls as lucky charms, and they are regularly passed down through families as family heirlooms because they have been known to live for up to 200 years or more. 

What exactly is going on with my Marimo Balls when they are floating?

Your Marimo balls most likely have an air bubble caught within, causing them to float! Simply press your marimo balls together to release the air bubbles. Marimo will usually sink to the bottom of their enclosure within 1-2 days of being inserted. 

What is the most effective approach to utilize moss balls? 

Marimo Moss Balls are able to absorb nitrates, phosphates, and other organic waste from water, allowing them to grow as a result of this process. They filter the water they reside in and offer oxygen to the animals that live with them as they grow. Marimo fish take no care at all in an aquarium and are the world’s easiest aquarium plant. 

Do snails eat moss balls?

Some snails like eating living plants, resulting in a buildup of dead organic detritus that must be removed from the environment. Mine has withstood mystery snails, Malaysian Trumpet horned dragonflies, Ramshorn tiger lizards, Zebras, and other common snail threats. Snails nibble on the moss ball from time to time, presumably consuming food off of it such as shrimp. 

Is it feasible to divide a Marimo moss ball in half? 

The good news is that making marimo balls is a simple process that anybody can do. Squeeze the water out of your moss ball and cut it in half using a knife or scissors to make it more manageable. To retain the shape, roll the fresh clumps in your palms to form little spheres, and then tie a piece of cotton sewing thread around them to keep them from falling apart.

Are moss balls a kind of algae? 

Marimo moss balls are not a moss type at all, but rather a type of algae called Cladophora. The fact that they are formed of algae means that they have the potential to propagate algae. Some claim they can help with algae since they can compete for nutrients with other algae.


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