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  1. Formerly called the Doghouse Tank (How a nearly dead Marimo leads to 180+gal in less than 3 months.) It all started with a stupid moss ball It all started innocently enough. The wife had found a genuine marimo moss ball online that hadn't been disposed of in the great zebra muscle kill (and wasn't just some java moss tied to some cork) off and without a plan beyond 'I can put it in a mason jar, till I find an aquarium' adopted it. We were both stunned when the package arrived. Instead of a small box with one of those dinky beta cups in it as we expected, the package was a bubble envelope the size of a business card, that looked like it had been run over a half a dozen times. Inside was a tiny ziplock bag, with a mostly brown, flat little blob the size of a dime. How long had this marimo been sitting on a shelf in a warehouse somewhere?! We popped it in a jar, convinced it was all but dead, and moved on. But the wife had the itch, she wanted a tank, even if it was just a small desktop number. A few days later she brought home a zen tank she'd found for free on Facebook marketplace a few miles from the house. A whopping 3.5 gallons total. We've both had tanks in the past, but this is by far the smallest thing either one of us has tried to do. After giving her a hard time about it being tiny, etc. We headed up to aquarium coop to figure out what to do with this tiny tank so it wasn't just a sad tiny moss ball we were still convinced was going to die any day now. We both fell in love with the little planted nano tank that lives in the shrimp room at aquarium co-op and set about making a version of our own. Not even halfway home we decided to upgrade the sad little 3.5 to a bigger tank so we could do some more complicated plants. We ended up getting a 20 long, 2 of the fluval planted tank lights, and hooking it all up to the sump from my old 150gal. The idea was to have larger water volume, while keeping the tank small enough to still sit on the desk space the wife had planned for the little 3.5, The river tank was born: We scrounged up some driftwood from our property and cleaned it up and boiled it. Added our substrate, planted our goodies from Aquarium Coop and let the tank run for a few weeks before adding our first round of cherry shrimp, and the neon tetras, and our score of the evening, a pair of uncommon galaxy ottos. A month later, the wife brought home a few wood shrimp to add to the collection. Now I'm hooked again too. Helping the wife setup her office tank has been a great project for us to both work on, and it's reminded me of how much I love this hobby. So tomorrow, (4/15/22) we are driving into Seattle to pick up a 180gal tank, and stand. We are planning on sticking with the nano river bottom theme, but going on a much larger scale. The long term plan is 300+ nano fish, cherries for days, and a few other friends I'm sure. We hope you enjoy this journey with us, it sure has been a weird ride so far. And to think, it all started with a nearly dead marimo.
  2. These seem to be one of the most popular beginner forms of aquarium vegetation, so I'm a bit curious as to why Aquarium Co-op doesn't sell them online (that I could find.) Are there things to be aware of with marimo moss balls? Has anyone had experience ordering them? Apologies if this has been asked before!
  3. I totally understand the concern of the zebra muscle infestation. Invasive species of any kind should be closely monitored, and im glad it was caught quickly from what we can tell. I wonder tho about all those contaminated batches, and how they will all get destroyed. Since marimo moss balls are endangered in the wild, and they grow soooo sloooowly, i wonder how long it will take the farmed moss balls to bounce back (pun not intended). Will we see them again for sale? I wonder how long it will take the industry to recover from all of this. Im thankful for the 3 i have that i bought a long time ago, but im saddened that it may be a long time before they are safe for purchase again. I hope we can see our green fuzzy little aquatic tribbles again soon.
  4. In the Aquarium Co-Op email I received last night, it included a link to Cory's video that he made last month discussing the invasion of zebra mussels in marimo moss balls. I'd seen it before, but just yesterday, I watched another yootoobles creator advising a scorched earth approach (Bleach your tank, bleach the ball!). It scared the bejeebles out of me and made me feel irresponsible for allowing my recently purchased moss ball to exist. (I'd purchased one in January and was concerned it might have the evil critters in it.) So, I listened to Cory's video again. He advised to not put your tank water in the sewer, which I don't do, anyway, for two reasons. 1. Are my snails possibly unwanted in my state's waterways? 2. My tank water is awesome fertilizer for my plants and gardens. Why would I flush that resource down the drain??? So, I gave a sigh of relief and stopped the self-flagellation for which I excel. Thanks, Cory for this and for all you do for the hobby. It is refreshing in this day and age to see a business exercise good corporate citizenship and I will support your efforts because of it.
  5. If you were to open up a moss ball and tie it around some driftwood or a rock would the marimo moss ever attach to the hardscape? thinking something similar to the Christmas moss bridge but I tried twice and they just withered and died. Moss balls on the other hand seem to enjoy my tanks.
  6. https://www.yahoo.com/news/invasive-species-found-common-aquarium-202227811.html
  7. On Thursday I bought three moss balls, and wanted to see if they'd survive an alum treatment for snails, etc. I was interested in @Irene's test using alum versus other methods for snail eradication. Using my phone camera I examined them for any obvious critters. I saw what appeared to be several single eggs and groups of very small eggs (too small for snail eggs IMO). I caught a glimpse of some wiggly worm in the water. I rinsed and squeezed out the moss balls gently in cool tap water, then put them back in their container where I had mixed a rounded 1/8 teaspoon of alum in one cup of dechlorinated water I examined them over the next few days. I discovered that the thing that looks like a single, whitish-transparent egg is actually some kind of plastic bead and there are still many in there, so I wonder if this is some kind of growing medium. I saw no sign of snails, eggs or worms. Today I rinsed and squeezed them out in cool tap water again, and refilled their container with dechlorinated water and a tiny bit of fertilizer (1 drop mixed w/a capful of water, then a couple drops of that mixture). So far they look just as robust as when I started. They're going in my new betta tank next week (plants from Coop arriving today!!!) and I'll update this thread only if they start to turn brown. Right now they get a little early sun and are near my other plants with an LED room light on for about 8-10 hours a day. I just noticed a dog hair in the water, lol. You can still see the tiny plastic beads.
  8. Nope...not a plate of salad greens! The wisteria had gone a little crazy in the 20 gallon Long, and I had no idea until I got in there trying to tease the "branches" apart to trim them! There were more "trunks" than branches and I really had quite a bit to cut out of there. My favorite thing is that as soon as I'd thinned and trimmed them, the green tiger barbs started darting in and out of them. I love it that they do that...it's so fun to watch! We added a new ACO plant - a dwarf sagitaria there in the background. I've never grown this plant before, so I'm eager to work with it. And then I did maintenance on the Marimo moss balls. It was hard work, I tell you!😆 Yeah, I gave 'em a squeeze and plopped them back in there. They'll float for a bit and eventually settle down somewhere. Interestingly, they've been dropping little tufts of green lately. I took one little piece of fluff out and tried to roll it in my palm, but it wouldn't quite ball up. Instead it came out a little tear-shaped. I'm hoping I'll be able to eventually get it to go into a ball shape and "grow" more moss balls that way. @Irene mentioned in one of her videos that they were super-slow growers, so I'm hoping I'll have the patience to see it through. The other little green tuft you see there was full of snail eggs, so I just left it as it was. Couldn't bring myself to smoosh it between my hands.😜
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