Marimo, lake ball, ball moss and many other names for a filamentous green alga with a rare growth form, in which the algae threads are woven together into large green balls. The main occurrences live in Iceland, Estonia, Japan and Ukraine. In Japan, the green alga is placed under strict conservation.
Anton Sauter found the moss balls for the first time in 1820 in Mondsee in Austria, but in which they no longer occur and are gone. The largest populations are known from the Ukraine. Almost all the moss balls today commercially available come from there.
In recent years, the “moss ball” has become a sought-after attraction in fresh water aquariums and offers through its unusual growth form a great eye-catcher with a diameter up to 12 cm. Furthermore, much oxygen that really undemanding green alga forms in good lighting and purifies the water in the aquarium. But it is not a substitute for the filter systems, as falsely claimed by some dealers. For more information, see our “Care and maintenance”.