Marimo moss balls should ideally be green in color. Therefore realizing that your marimo moss balls are turning brown can be rather disconcerting. You will certainly want to know why they are turning brown, and what you can do about it. Read on, for answers.
The most common reason for marimo moss ball turning brown is lack of enough light. But there are also cases where marimo moss balls may turn brown simply because they have become too dirty. Unfavorable water conditions may also turn a marimo moss ball brown.
If the problem is due to lack of enough light, the solution is to be rotating the marimo more frequently. This way, all sides access light, and therefore all sides remain velvety green.
If the problem is due to the marimo moss ball getting dirty, the solution is to rinse them gently in dechlorinated water.
And, if the problem is due to unfavorable water conditions, you need to figure out which parameter is wrong. Then correct it. For instance, if the water is too warm, lower its temperature.
What Is A Marimo Moss Ball?
Before trying to understand the causes of marimo moss ball turning brown, it is a good idea for us to first understand what the marimo moss balls in question are.
Marimo moss balls are actually a form of algae. In some cases, algae grows into big, green, velvety balls. It is these huge, green velvety balls that we refer to as marimo moss balls.
In nature, the marimo moss balls typically develop in lakes. That is why a marimo moss ball is also known as a ‘lake ball’.
The green color in the marimo moss balls allows them to photosynthesize.
And the round shape in marimo moss balls is due to gentle lake waves: which continually turn the growths, until they attain a round shape.
In the domestic setting, people often keep marimo moss balls in their aquarium tanks.
The marimo moss balls liven up and generally improve the appearance of the aquarium tanks.
What Color Should A Marimo Moss Ball Be?
Before proceeding to explore the phenomenon of marimo moss ball turning brown, we also need to understand what color the balls should be ideally.
So, indeed, what color should a marimo moss ball be?
The answer is that a marimo moss ball should ideally be of a green velvety color.
If a marimo moss ball does not have a green velvety appearance, it means that there is something wrong with it.
This therefore means that a marimo moss ball turning brown is an indication of something going wrong in it.
Even where it is just a case of brown spots on moss balls, it can still be an indication of something that is not right.
In fact, one the best ways to know whether your marimo moss balls are doing well is by checking their color regularly.
If you notice them changing from the green velvety color to anything else, you know that something is wrong. It may be a harbinger of a moss ball falling apart in due course.
In fact, if you find them turning black, that would be an indication of a dead moss ball. Or a dying moss ball.
If you find them turning yellow, it may be due to exposure to chlorine. Chlorine burns them, leading to yellowing.
And if you find them turning white, it may be due to too much light.
Therefore the marimo moss balls should ideally be of green, velvety appearance. If that is what you continually find on them, it means that you are getting all aspects of marimo moss ball care right.
But if you find them with any other color (besides green), it may mean that you need to improve on one or another aspect of marimo moss ball care.
Why Is My Marimo Moss Ball Turning Brown?
The commonest problem that marimo moss ball owners encounter is the one where their moss balls turn brown.
This often leads to the question: why are my moss balls turning brown? Or, more specifically, why are my marimo moss balls turning brown? Or why is my marimo moss ball falling apart and turning brown?
So, indeed, what are the possible reasons for marimo moss ball turning brown?
Well, the reason behind marimo moss ball turning brown depends on the nature of the brown color. Is the marimo moss ball uniformly brown? Or is it a case of one side of the marimo moss ball turning brown?
Could it be a case of there being brown spots on the marimo moss ball?
Where it is a case of the marimo moss ball turning brown uniformly, the most likely reason is that it could simply be dirty. So it needs rinsing: with de-chlorinated water.
Where it is a case of the marimo moss ball turning brown on only one side, the most likely reason is lack of light on the unaffected side.
Here, you find that that side is not getting enough light. So it starts turning brown. In this case, the solution may be a matter of turning the marimo moss ball more frequently. Or getting a stronger aquarium light.
And where it is a case of the marimo moss ball acquiring brown spots, it may be a water condition problem. So you may need to change the water more frequently.
Or may you need to figure out which water parameter (for instance, water temperature) is not right, and improve on it, in order to resolve the problem.
Can Marimo Moss Balls Go Bad By Turning Brown?
A case of a marimo moss ball turning brown can cause a great deal of concern to the owner of the aquarium with the moss ball.
Such a person may want to know, what does a sick moss ball look like? Or indeed, what does a dead moss ball look like? Why is my moss ball brown?
And can a marimo moss ball die after turning brown?
The truth of the matter is that, indeed, marimo moss balls can go bad by turning brown.
The worst scenario is where you have the marimo moss ball turning brown on only one side. Or where you have the marimo moss ball acquiring brown spots.
The first instance (of marimo moss ball turning brown on only one side) may mean that it is not getting light on that side.
If this continues, the marimo moss ball may eventually start dying off from that side.
The second instance (of marimo moss ball having brown spots) may mean that it is under less-than-ideal water conditions. For instance, it may be under water that is too warm.
That too can eventually kill the marimo moss ball.
A case where marimo balls suddenly turned brown and squishy has different implications.
It may be a minor problem of the marimo moss ball having become too dirty. So it may only require rinsing.
But it could also be a serious case, caused by unfavorable water conditions. This may be harder to deal with. Dealing with it may mean having to learn how to revive a marimo moss ball that is dying from unfavorable water conditions.
Thankfully, the zebra mussels problem that caused a major marimo moss ball recall wasn’t associated with browning. So that is not something you need to worry about in this case.
Marimo Moss Ball Turning Brown – What To Do?
This, in other words, is a question on how do you fix a brown marimo moss ball?
You first need to figure out why the marimo moss ball is turning brown.
Is it due to lack of access to adequate light? Or is it due to unfavorable water conditions? Further, could it simply be due to the marimo moss ball getting dirty?
Where it is due to lack of access to adequate light, you may need to be turning the marimo moss ball more frequently.
You may also need to invest in a stronger aquarium light.
Where it is due to unfavorable water conditions, you need to identify the culpable parameter. If, for instance, it is a case of water being too warm, you should figure out ways of lowering the temperature a bit.
This may resolve the problem of brown spots on moss balls.
Where it is simply a case of the moss ball being too dirty, you may need to figure out how to clean a marimo moss ball.
This you can do with dechlorinated water, but you have to be gentle and methodical, to get it right.
Final Verdict – Marimo Moss Ball Turning Brown
A marimo moss ball may turn brown on one side due to that side not getting enough light. A marimo moss ball may also get brown uniformly on account of becoming dirty.
Further, a marimo moss ball may acquire brown spots due to being in unfavorable water conditions.
Where the brown color on the marimo moss ball is due to not getting enough light, the solution may be simply in turning the moss ball more frequently. Or you may need to invest in stronger aquarium light.
And where the brown color spotting is on account of unfavorable water conditions, you may need to improve on the same. This may, for instance, entail lowering the water temperatures a bit.
Where the brown color is simply due to the marimo moss ball getting dirty, the solution may be in rinsing it gently using dechlorinated water.