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Oliver T

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  1. I'm not certain when they entered the hobby in the US, but as you said they were discovered centuries ago. I know they have been collected, kept and honored in Japan since shortly after the discovery. There are quite a few that have now been passed down several times as family heirlooms. I have to agree, I love that we fight off algae yet intentionally buy it. I think they do a very good job of reducing other algae, because they use similar nutrients. As far as naming, I feel like it isn't very abnormal. Marimo is the common name, and Aegagropila linnaei is the scientific one. I'm not sure how normal it is for two entirely different countries to play a role in naming, but I also don't think there are very many plants or animals that live so far apart either.
  2. Through some wormholes (thanks to @Will Billy for the Taipei resource, it got me started), I have found a Natural History Museum in Iceland- https://natkop.kopavogur.is/ that is working on conserving icelandic freshwater, including lakes which contain marimo. I have sent them an email asking for more information about the current programs, but in past decades they have also worked in Japan to save Marimo. Hokkaido University seems to have some conservation programs too, along with the city of Kushiro. https://marimo-web.org/, while outdated, clunky and in Japanese seems to be a good starting block to find other resources.
  3. I know they can "reproduce" when, like you said, a bump forms and then falls off. Otherwise they can split apart naturally when they ram in to something, etc. If you want a carpet of tiny marimos you can purchase a few larger ones and tear them up. They won't be perfect balls for a while, but they look acceptable and will get better with time. Thanks! My aim is to market to both aquarists and others, so we'll see how that works out. I think for a hobbyist, splitting marimos is a perfectly fine idea. However, I'm not sure that it makes sense as a business move- the larger marimos are significantly more expensive because it has been growing much longer, so splitting it up may or may not be a good idea at scale. I have found some very cheap pieces from larger marimo balls, so I may try rolling those in to balls at first. If you do find any specific funds, I would love to hear about them. I know there are some Japanese communities that have local efforts and even festivals to conserve the wild marimo. I've attached a picture of a marimo bonsai, which I think is one of the coolest ways to use them in aquascapes.
  4. I absolutely love marimo moss balls, and I'm even considering starting a store selling them. This brings me to some ethical questions- I know they are becoming increasingly endangered in the wild. (Edit) I know most are farm raised, however I am still interested in their conservation. Are there any funds/conservation efforts for them? (Also, on a less important note- has anyone kept large quantities of them? Any recommended setups for it?)
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