Jump to content

Alum treatment test on Marimo moss balls


Recommended Posts

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.


  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too was too afraid to do that since they are technically algae.  Since they look so good though I just put them on my window sil (north facing!) for a month to see if any critters came out. 

Thanks for doing this!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Update: the moss balls started turning brown in Cosmo's aquarium, so I moved them to the 20L where my first moss balls (from Aquarium Coop), which were not alum treated, have been thriving. So far, the treated moss balls (which did NOT come from AC) are still alive, but not doing well. When I first noticed the change a couple weeks ago, I looked up alum and found out it's used as an algae control method. Uh-oh. I will give an update one way or another but right now things aren't looking real good. 

AC balls behind, alum treated balls in front.


AC ball on left, alum ball on right.


Edited by Maggie
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I did something similar without thinking, had some green hair algae on a J. fern windelov (seem to always give a hard time, but i can grow a jungle of normal java fern. i used the H2O2 peroxide method which i normally with a pipette or syringe and spot treat,(works great by the way. this was a 20 long split into 3 sections aprox 6-7 gall each for 3 bettas got 1 week later another 2 we all know how that goes anyhow 3- 4 yrs later 2 died within 2 weeks of each other so took plants from last bettas section put him in a 10g/ i than looked up the safe does for using h2o2 and just dumped in that amount. hair algea arrgh.... was not supposed to leave filters running during this procedure, well plnts began to pearl like know ones business, but ihad 2 moss ball/algae balls rith below small filter outflow.......slowly watched in a mix of fear and amazement as moss balls began go from green to a nasty brown, still unable replace due to those little muscles that have been found in some....miss my little green fuzzy (oh hell) balls

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...