Java Moss Ball vs Marimo – What are the Key Differences? 


Marimo is a type of moss that originates from Japan. It was introduced to the United States in 2007 as an exotic, novelty plant and has gained popularity ever since. Java Moss Ball is another term for Marimo. For more information about these plants please read our article: What are the key differences between Marimo vs Java Moss Ball?

The “fluval moss ball vs marimo” is a question that has been asked before. The key differences between the two are that the “fluval moss ball” is a type of aquatic plant, while the “marimo” is a type of algae.

The first things that spring to mind for aquarium décor are Moss ball from Javas and marimos. Many individuals, however, mistake Moss ball from Javas with marimos. They are, in reality, extremely unlike to one another.

What are the main distinctions between Moss ball from Java and Marimo?

Marimo is found naturally, but Moss ball from Javas are created artificially. Marimo includes additional special effects, such as floating and dancing, which is visually pleasant. In comparison to Moss ball from Java, they have a higher pH and are more disease resistant.

These were just a few of the contrasts between them. There are a slew of additional distinctions that we’ll go through in depth.

So, what do you have to lose? Let’s see what we have in store for you!

Marimo Is Actually a Moss! Mythbusting 1: Marimo Is Actually a Moss!

No. Marimo isn’t a moss at all. In actuality, marimo is a kind of green, velvet-like algae called Aegagropila linnaei. Marimos’ distinctive circular form may lead some to believe they are Moss ball from Javas. In truth, it takes on this spherical form on its own. Green algae, not moss, is the culprit.

Mythbusting 2: What’s the Difference Between Moss ball from Java and Java Moss?

A Moss ball from Java is a styrofoam ball with java moss attached to it. It’s been created intentionally so that the aquarium may feature floating java moss. It’s suspended in the aquarium with a transparent fishing wire weight tied to the fish liner. It may be positioned at any height.

These Moss ball from Javas are excellent aquarium decorations. They also provide as a safe haven for little fish and fry. 

Quick Distinction

I, on the other hand, like making snap judgments without wasting time. But, as we’ve seen, it’s not always that simple. However, I can assist you with that aspect here. How?

I’ve put up a short comparison table for you. Take a look and make a selection in less than a minute!

PriceImageTitleAppearanceLightingRate of IncreasepH
Buy Now!java-moss-ball-vs-marimo-what-are-the-key-3104354java-moss-ball-vs-marimo-what-are-the-key-9851596Moss ball from JavaLeafy and roundLighting is dim.Fast5-8
Buy Now!1650339363_373_java-moss-ball-vs-marimo-what-are-the-key-95404771650339364_235_java-moss-ball-vs-marimo-what-are-the-key-5999949MarimoRound and mushy by natureLighting: Low to MediumVery slow6.5-9

Wait a minute, I’ve got something more for you! A supplementary chart to help clarify things. Check it out!


Have you had your fill of inspiration? Ideas, on the other hand, are never enough. They keep on coming. That’s why we’re not going to stop here.

So, without further ado, let’s get down to business.

What is the Difference Between Moss ball from Java and Marimo? Let’s Dive Deep

4c464fc25f-9058935 is a good place to start.

Now that you’ve seen the Quick Distinction between Moss ball from Java and marimo, it’s time to dive a little deeper. We’ll now discuss their various features in detail. Let’s see.

Size, texture, and appearance

They both have a similar look. Unlike when we compared two anubias plants, they are not in the same family. They vary somewhat in terms of size and texture. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Moss ball from Java

The most popular & easy-to-grow live moss in the hobby, Java Moss is grown completely submerged. This vibrant green moss has long shoots, making it excellent for tanks that house fish, snails, & shrimp, PROVIDING biofilm, hiding places, & security for all aquarium inhabitants!

July 23, 2021 — Aquatic Arts (@AquaticArts)


Marimo too has a round shape like Moss ball from Javas. But its round shape is perfectly natural. It has no human interference like a Moss ball from Java. It’s also a bit squishy. But, it has a firmer grip than the Moss ball from Javas. That’s because its center is not hollow like moss balls.

They are available in various sizes. Because they are natural algae, they will continue to develop on their own. Sizes ranging from 1.80 to 2.30 inches are the most popular. These balls range in age from 8 to 14. This is the standard size for sale.

They may, however, reach a maximum size of 4 inches. Those that are older (almost 20 years). The biggest marimo ball is 37 inches (95 centimeters) in diameter. 

Marimos are more appealing to see than Moss ball from Javas. They are softer too. And you cannot get the perfect natural round shape out of java moss-like marimo.

Marimo is the winner.

Size of Tank Appropriate

When it comes to tank size, both Moss ball from Javas and marimo balls can be stored in up to 20 gallons tank. You can also increase it further, maintaining a minimum of 1 ball for a 1-gallon ratio. Let’s see-

There need to be 1-3 marimo or Moss ball from Javas in 1 gallon of water. In this way, you can calculate the required number for yourself. However, we’ve listed that for you-

In this way, you can place your number of Moss ball from Javas or marimo. The main concern here is not to make your tank crowded. If you have fish in your tank already, they will need their free space for a healthy life. So don’t put an excessive number of balls in the tank. 

Long story short, since both Moss ball from Javas and marimo are similar in size, their amount placing is quite similar.

Tie for first place

Temperature and lighting

High temperature is not suitable for both Moss ball from Javas and marimo. They can’t handle a temperature higher than their threshold. If we talk about lighting, none of them require high-intensity lighting either. Let’s see-

Moss ball from Java

Java moss is suitable in a tank that is 158-170 F. If the temperature goes beyond that, their growth will be slowed down. You might be wondering that Moss ball from Javas are artificially made. So how will they grow?

The section of the moss that is still living is still linked to the ball. At a greater temperature, though, they will still exhibit surface development.

If you want them to be fluffy on the surface, don’t cook them over 187 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because it will inhibit their development. They don’t need much in the way of lights to grow. For them, 3-4 hours of standard home or aquarium light is sufficient.

We haven’t utilized domestic lighting for moss balls, to be honest. However, we’ve experimented with many aquarium lights in various tanks. We also have a few preferences-

  • This aquarium light is one of our favorites since it provides the most bang for the buck.
  • This aquarium light is really high-quality. 
  • If you’re on a limited budget, this light will suffice. 

Aquarium lights are preferable since they may be used for a variety of plants. What’s more, they’re great for aquascaping. 


img_4016-6430618 is a good place to start.

In the case of Marimo, they are more vulnerable to a higher temperature than Moss ball from Javas. They should be kept at temperatures between 161 F and 170 F.

Marimos may burn themselves if the temperature becomes too high. They have a tendency to burn when exposed to direct sunlight. As a result, it is advised that marimos be kept at a constant temperature.

If we come to the lighting part, it’s the same as Moss ball from Javas. You can keep them under normal MingDak LED like or bright fluorescent bulbs for 3-4 hours. There’s no harm found if the lighting is done for 12 hours either

However, avoid placing it in direct sunlight. Otherwise, it will most likely self-extinguish. For them, indirect sunlight is sufficient.

However, since java moss is more temperature tolerant than Marimo, java wins this round.

Winner: Moss ball from Java


When it comes to aquatic life, pH is a crucial aspect. It aids in their development and attractiveness. In this scenario, pH aids illness tolerance as well. Both java moss and marimo balls have specific pH needs. This will guarantee that they are safe. Let’s see what more there is-

Moss ball from Java

In the case of Moss ball from Javas, their Ph level is the same as for java moss since they are made of it. It’s necessary to measure the PH to know if it needs to be changed or not. That’s why as an aquarist I always keep a pH thermometer in my house. Let’s introduce you to some of the best thermometer I had good experience with-

pH 5-8 is the optimal range for them. If the PH range is not maintained in this situation, it will be troublesome. As a result, try to stay inside this range. Otherwise, it may impair their capacity to absorb nutrients.


In the case of marimo, a PH of 6.5-9.0 is ideal. For them, any PH in this range is ideal. Keep your pH around 7.5 for optimum results if you want to be more consistent.

How can I keep my PH in check?

There are a few things you can do to keep the pH in your aquarium stable. However, before adjusting the pH, it’s vital to examine the current pH level.

To safely test the pH of your tank, follow our advice:

  • You must either reduce or raise the pH level now that you know what it is. You may boost pH by following the steps below:
  • To 5 liters of water, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda. It’s the most used method for raising pH. Make careful to remove the fish from your aquarium before introducing it.

Follow these steps to lower your pH level:

  • Aeration and CO2 levels should be reduced.
  • Toss in some driftwood.

You can maintain an appropriate pH for your java moss or marimo balls by following these guidelines.

Tie for first place

Method of Setup

Neither of these two aquatic balls requires a high-end or expensive setup. In fact, they are extremely cheap to set up. There are small differences in their Method of Setup. Let’s see them in detail-

Moss ball from Java

In the case of Moss ball from Javas, you can choose any tank as per your need. If you have a large tank, place Moss ball from Javas according to gallons as we showed. You may or may not put fish along with it. Make sure to give your fishes enough space in presence of Moss ball from Javas. They should not feel crowded.

You can put them at any height of the tank. But for this, you need a couple of things. We’ve listed a complete setup for you. This is the most minimal setup for Moss ball from Javas. Here it goes- 

Now what you need to do is attach the fish lining to the driftwood in the bowl. This is so that it can hold the java balls at a certain height. Now tie the balls with this fish lining at the height you wanna keep them. And you are all done. We’ve already talked about the Temperature and lighting parameters.

If you have a large aquarium of 15-20 gallons, it’s okay too. You just add a few more Moss ball from Javas in there. And attach them to the fish lining as we mentioned before.


Marimo has a similar setup requirement like Moss ball from Java. You can easily grow them in your aquarium.  But there are some small differences between these two.

For marimo, any size tank will suffice. As previously said, use our marimo per gallon instructions. You may keep them in the tank alone or in groups. It is done in accordance with your wishes. 

Marimo is a bit more sensitive to light than Moss ball from Javas. If there’s too much lighting they can burn. To have any LED or fluorescent bulbs is enough for them. You can keep them on for 3-4 hours. If you are not getting enough growth, try 8 hours of lighting instead.

Unlike java moss, they don’t need to be hung by fishing lines. Put them in the water, and they will discover and stay in an appropriate location. If you simply want to keep marimo in the bowl, you may use a tiny 3-gallon bowl. You may also keep fish in a 20-gallon aquarium.

You may also maintain marimo in a terrarium by creating a pond. It’s a breeze to create. In addition, it would be attractive to the eye.

Tie for first place

Rate of Increase & Propagation

legend-of-marimo_480x-1430388 is the source.

In general, java moss and marimo are sluggish growth. They do, however, have their differences. Let’s have a look-

Moss ball from Java

Moss ball from Java is basically some java moss attached to a ball. So the growth of this is just like java moss. But keep in mind that the moss ball size is not getting any bigger. It’s just the leaves will spread and grow. It will look like a green hairy ball once it grows.

They are seen to grow much faster than the marimo balls. Within 2 months, the Moss ball from Javas will grow by 1 or 2.5 inches. If you don’t want them to grow, you can always give them a little trim.


On the other hand, marimo are comparatively slow growers than java moss. They grow at 1mm per year. As you can see, this is a very slow Rate of Increase. But do keep in mind that the growth of marimo moss balls is different. Marimo grows in its diameter as a whole. Whereas in the case of java moss, the leaves just grow, not the ball.

“Can I cut my marimo ball in half?” is a common inquiry.

Yes. Your marimo ball can be split or cut in half. This will result in the birth of two young marimo balls, which will grow in size over time. Instead of using a knife, you may just break them apart with your hand. 

You may, however, add some healthy fertilizer to help your marimo thrive. Let’s have a look at some of them:

Winner: Moss ball from Java

Care & Maintenance 

When it comes to cars and upkeep, many people use it as a deciding factor. We’ve organized them in several ways to make it simpler for you. Let’s take a closer look-

Moss ball from Java

Maintenance and care for Moss ball from Java-

  • Make sure the water is changed every 5 to 6 days.
  • If you don’t cut down on the leaf growth on the balls every 2 or 3 months, they’ll appear chaotic and tangle.
  • Keep the water at a cool temperature, such as 21 degrees Celsius. It will develop slowly at warmer temperatures. 
  • Moss ball from Javas are likely to grow algae on them. For that, use a toothbrush to gently clean their surface if alga forms upon them.

These maintenance suggestions are simple to implement. As a result, be certain to adhere to them.


Marimo’s maintenance and upkeep

  • Every time you change the water, roll your marimo balls in your palm. This will prevent them from losing their spherical form.
  • Replace the water every two weeks. 
  • Do not expose them to direct sunshine; they will get sunburned. Keep them in the shade or under low to medium lighting.
  • Give it a squeeze if it comes up to the surface. The bubbles that have been trapped within will be released as a result of this.
  • Another thing to remember is that marimos do not get in the way of your aquarium’s bubbler. Rather of wandering about around the marimos, you may keep the bubbler in one area.

These are marimo’s upkeep suggestions. They will live longer as a result of this.


marimo-moss-ball-1_1024x1024-2178074 Source:

Both marimo and Moss ball from Javas add a lot of benefits to your aquarium. You will be surprised by the number of benefits these small things can add. Let’s see-


Marimo has a variety of advantages for your aqua space. Let’s have a look at what we’ve got.

  • By absorbing the algae’s nutrients, it prevents future development.
  • In the tank, it provides aeration.
  • It has the ability to float on its own.
  • Is a great tank companion for shrimp and other fish.
  • Beneficial bacteria are present.
  • Reduces the amount of nitrates in the water
  • It doesn’t have any parasites on it.
  • Is it salt resistant?
  • By ingesting food waste and nutrients from the water, they become a feeder for little fish.
  • Is it acid-resistant?

The advantages of microscopic algae-like marimo are frequently unanticipated.

Moss ball from Java

Now, let’s see what benefits Moss ball from Java brings in-

  • As a source of food, it consumes pollutants and trash.
  • Algae growth is drastically reduced.
  • For blackwater fishes, it may obstruct light.
  • Ammonia in the tank is reduced.
  • Reduces the amount of contaminants in the water.
  • It may be used as a toy for little fish.

Moss ball from Javas act as good filtration media for your aquarium.


In the table below, I’ve summarized the ultimate outcome. Let us go through everything one again.

PriceImageTitleWhich is the best ID?
Pick Now!java-moss-ball-vs-marimo-what-are-the-key-3104354java-moss-ball-vs-marimo-what-are-the-key-9851596Moss ball from JavaGrowth is good.
Pick Now!1650339363_373_java-moss-ball-vs-marimo-what-are-the-key-95404771650339364_235_java-moss-ball-vs-marimo-what-are-the-key-5999949MarimoMore aesthetically pleasing

Is it a Concern if Moss ball from Java or Marimo Float?

It’s not a concern if Moss ball from Javas float. In fact, they are supposed to float due to their hollow space inside. However, if marimo balls keep floating or coming to the surface, there are air bubbles trapped inside them. If it happens, you need to take it out and squeeze it. This will get rid of the air bubbles trapped inside.

Can You Make Moss ball from Javas at Home?

Yes. They are incredibly simple to create at home. Let’s have a look at how you can do this-

In order to make a Moss ball from Java, you are gonna need a ping pong ball and some threads. Simply put some java moss on top of the ping pong ball and tie it off with threads gently. You can either tie them or add them with glue. And you are done! 

Place the balls in the water and secure them with the fishing line as previously stated. 


Now we’ll address some of the most common inquiries concerning these two balls.

Is it possible to detect whether a Marimo Moss Ball is genuine?

The form of a Marimo Moss Ball may be used to determine if it is genuine. It’s most likely a fake if it’s precisely round. It’s basically moss wrapped around a ball. In a few areas, they should be bumpy and out of form.

What is the best way to clean moss balls?

Put them in a bowl of gently warm water and squeeze them. If there is any dirt or other pollutants trapped within, it will be removed. It will then take in clean water once again within it.


We hope we’ve been able to help you with Moss ball from Java vs marimo. Now you know their differences. You should also be able to choose the right one between them now.

Thank you for sticking it out with us all the way to the finish. Please contact us if you have any questions!

The “is it safe to buy moss balls” is a question that has been asked by many people. There are many key differences between the two.

Frequently Asked Questions

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