Question of the day Wednesday February 24

Furballsmom

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I'm going to take a brief side trip away from the world of cats, because I love talking about these little guys almost as much lol :)

I have three Marimo balls, which are a form of algae. I was introduced to them when I got back into having betta fish a year or so ago, as they are now frequently suggested as something to add to a betta tank to help manage the water parameters.

However, Marimo prefer cooler temperatures than betta. Although some people don't find that there's a problem, in my case the Marimo didn't like being in the tank so I moved them to their own vase. I was delighted to see that (especially after a water change) they like the vase environment enough that they are behaving naturally, by which I mean that at least two of them are rising to the surface of the water, then sinking, rising, sinking...

I know at least one person who thinks they are an animal. Do you think Marimo balls are closer to being a plant, or closer to an animal?
 

di and bob

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I confess I had to look it up. What I found out are that they are not an animal, nor a plant, they are algae, through and through. They do not spread, they just get bigger, very, very slowly. Too much sun makes them white or lighter, which is bad, and they can get 'dirty' and turn grey or brown, but can be cleaned or clean themselves if turned towards more light. they need no food because they make their own through photosynthesis. They sound fascinating!
 

Willowy

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Idk, my brother has some in a fishbowl in a fairly dark area and they're doing great. Mine usually die so maybe they actually like the dark :dunno: . I currently have 2 in the shrimp tank (low heat) that are doing well, and 2 in the tropical tank that I thought were dead (I put them in for the snails to eat) but they haven't disintegrated yet so maybe they have some life left in them.

They can get pretty big under the right conditions! I'd like to see one of the really big ones.

They definitely aren't animals but algae aren't plants either. They're just. . .algae, lol.
 

gilmargl

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Well, considering the research being carried out with Marimo balls in biological engineering (also to produce electricity), I hope they are simple plants rather than simple animals, in which case animal lovers will put an end to all the research! :)
 

maggiedemi

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I have no idea. It sounds like a plant. I'm vegetarian, so I definitely won't eat anything that has feelings.
 

Maria Bayote

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First time I have heard about it and I had to google search. :lol:

Such a fascinating thing! These little guys have several benefits!

But to answer the question, I believe they are closer to plants.
 

cassiopea

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I haven't heard about these either so looked them up - So cute! What a neat new thing to learn about (They can live for 100-200 years, wow!)

Between the two categories I would have to go to team plant. Although they initially fit in their own category respectively, since they are algae.
 
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