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Plant Profile Aegagropila Linnaei


26 Aug 2016
Plantbase submitted a new Plantbase Item:

Aegagropila Linnaei

Aegagropila linnaei is one of the most precious nurslings in an aquarium. It is a ball-shaped species of green algae with a velvety surface. This form is rarely found in nature; usually they grow as colonies of flat cushions. This interesting round shape is created by gentle wave action along the substrate. Because they tend to grow extremely slowly, moss balls are very popular for use in Nano Cubes and other small aquaria. Combined with stones and roots they produce highly attractive designs and layouts.

Plant information obtained from: Dennerle - www.dennerle.com

Read more about this Plantbase item here...
Last edited:

Ryan Langan

New Member
12 Apr 2018
Manchester, UK
Some tips ive found over the years ive kept this plant:
  • If they appear to be browning or looking a bit more dull, you can soak them in water with aquarium Salt (at high salinity for freshwater standards) and then add them back to the tank and they become a more vibrant green in no time. They dont tend to become dull at all if you maintain your freshwater salt levels with water changes anyway.
  • They cant be placed in an open space in the path of even quite mild water flow IF you dont want them to move- as they naturally roll around very easily as they do in their natural habitat on the bottom of rivers/streams in japan(I think) to stay round. I usually place them between the bases of plants which dont have lower leaves such as Amazon Sword and they will stay put, and they fill out the space very nicely also, minimising the amount of the back of the tank you can see. [note the description above states that the round shape isnt their usual form; I always thought it was and have read it in many places]
  • In a breeding tank or bare bottom tank; if you place lots of them on the bottom, then they create an amazing amount of space between them that the fry can hide. It also remains easy to clean the bottom of the tank as you can easily move them.
  • They can be opened up and glued to small flat rocks (as I saw on one of George Farmer's youtube videos when Juris was giving tips for aquascaping for a German Aquascaping contest). If this is done with multiple marimo moss balls, it could create an instant, very vibrant and full carpet! ive never tried this, but im sure it would look great! They can also be opened at stuck to any hardscape. I wonder how good it would look as a wall covering the back of the tank?!
  • if you have a sump/overhead sump, even without a light source (although at least some basic light is recommended); you can put some in there and they will continue to feed on the waste and provide some more filtration. (I only did this and placed them in my overhead sump when I ran out of space in my aquascape but didnt want to throw them away).
  • when you first get them; you need to give them a strong squeeze under water to get all of the air out and allow them to saturate with water and sink (otherwise they just float around). Ive seen a scape where they are tied to string and kept full of air to float around in the middle of the water, which looks interesting- but unnatural in my opinion.
  • If you remove one from your tank and throw it at your brother's head, it makes an hilarious squelchy splash noise.

The cheapest place to buy them is online- I bought about 10 at a time on ebay for a very reasonable price (about 1 GBP each). If you go into e.g. Petsathome or any aquarium shop, you find they are about 1.99GBP each!

Whenever anyone looks at my tanks, the first thing they mention is the amazing fuzzy green balls!

Tim Harrison

Staff member
5 Nov 2011