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Moss ball

Moss ball
(Aegagropila linnaei)

Did you know that this very popular aquarium foam is actually an algae? By this fact alone, it is exceptional: a desirable seaweed in our aquariums! This sheet will allow you to know more!

Scientific name

Aegagropila linnaei
Cladophora linnae

Common name

Moss ball
Cladophora ball
Lake ball
Mossimo ball


what are his countries of origin?

Origin: Japan, Europe, Southwest Asia, Australia

Ideal fertilization

how to fertilize this plant?

CO2: 5-40mg/l
Nitrates (NO3): 10-50mg/l
Phosphates (PO4): 0,1-3mg/l
Potassium (K): 5-30mg/l
Iron (Fe): 0,01-0,5mg/l


which group is this plant?



what is the type of plant?


Water parameters

What are the Water parameters for the maintenance of this plant?

T°: 6 to 24°C or 43 to 72°F
pH: 6.5 to 7.5
Hardness: 2 to 20°dGH




Minimal lighting

what brightness is needed?



what is the maximum size of the plant?

8 to 30 cm (3 to 12")

Plantation area

in which area of the aquarium install this plant?

Foreground and Middle


how fast does this plant grow?



Who is the Moss ball?


Who is the Moss ball?

This species is very often considered as a moss or a plant, yet it is an alga!

It has long been a real success in our aquariums, but especially since the rise of freshwater shrimps, which are crazy about them!

It is particularly useful in the breeding tanks of many species: it will serve as a pantry and refuge for many fry and juvenile shrimp.

Planting and maintenance

How to plant and maintain the Moss ball?

Planting and maintenance

How to plant and maintain the Moss ball?

The Moss Ball is not demanding for the water parameters, except for the temperature which should not exceed 24°C or 75°F, or not too often (in case of hot summers for example).

It is perfect for beginners and requires very little maintenance. Note that it should be washed regularly because it gets dirty quickly (place it under the flow of the tap with a not too hot water then press it). Turn it over regularly so that all sides of the ball benefit from the lighting. This will help the foam to keep its pretty shape.

It can also be attached to different media to make a plant carpet.

It can reach up to 30 cm or 12 inches in diameter under intense lighting!

This alga will appreciate the diffusion of Co2, even if it is not an obligation.


How to farm the Moss ball?


How to farm the Moss ball?

Very easy. Just cut a piece of a big ball: you have a cuttings (which will naturally turn round with time)!

Good to Know

Good to Know

Find all additional information!

This species is very fond of nitrates and phosphates, and is also very popular with aquarists for that! Indeed, it will help maintain clean water and fight against the appearance of algae. Moreover, it is frequently called «anti nitrate ball». However, it should be remembered that this is not a miracle solution that will save you the water changes!

There are several varieties: Brownii, Bulnheimii, Daldinii, Holsatica, Linnaei, Martensii, Muscoides, Sauteri and Thermalis. The differences between these species are so tiny that they only stand out under a microscope!

Its spherical shape is not artificial: it is also in this form in its natural environment. It is due to the movements of the waves.

Alternative species

Alternative species

Discover the similar species

None (for the moment!)

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