Nathan Hill takes a look at an artificial plant with a bonus.
This new item from Rolf C. Hagen is an interesting take on things that already exist, fused together to make something unique and a little quirky.
The Fluval Moss Ball looks exactly like the spheres of Cladophora algae sold as decorative features for small tanks and especially popular in the shrimp world.
However, these synthetic versions come with a bonus. As well as looking just like the real deal, albeit in absence of the annoying tendency to spread and start forming clumps of hair algae all over the tank, they aid water quality.
Using a phosphate removing core, the ball compliments any separate chemical resins that either sit unsightly in the tank or take up valuable filter space.
The illusion is remarkable and submerged they look just like the real thing, with tiny wisps that appear only a tiny shade lighter than the organic originals.
As well as removing the dissolved phosphorous, the balls also claim to remove some organic particulate waste, just as Cladophora does, trapping it among the hairs.
Unlike the real algae that can be periodically squeezed in a bucket of tank water to remove these particles, the Fluval version is simply removed and replaced.
Rated for tanks of between 30-60 l/6-6-13.2 gal for an individual ball, multiples can be used in a larger ones.
On the downside, like all phosphate-removing resins, they only have a limited lifespan, being claimed to be effective for up to two months. They can’t be recharged or regenerated, so you’ll be periodically replacing them.
However, given the cost of some phosphate removers for use over the same period there’s not a lot in it, so if you already use a phosphate remover then it might be time to switch over to this more attractive alternative.
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