Invasive Species, the ugly monsters in our wilderness


There are hundreds of invasive species n not only our woods but in our living environment as well.  Our state environmental departments are continually busy identifying them. This is one the New York State has discovered recently.  Who would think something like this could go unnoticed.             

Moss Ball Alert

 Invasive zebra mussels have been found in and on aquarium “moss balls”. DEC is urging pet and aquarium stores, as well as consumers, to immediately remove and properly dispose of commercially purchased moss balls for aquariums. Consumers should be advised that moss ball products purchased from PetSmart and Petco may be subject to a voluntary product recall. It is important that you remove any moss balls —that were purchased within the last year— from your tank and properly dispose of them. Zebra mussel larvae are so small that you cannot see them and they can quickly take over your tank, damage filter systems, and, if released, cause great harm to waterbodies. Here’s what you should do:

  • Dispose of any moss balls from your tank in a sealed garbage bag. Other aquarium plants should be disposed of too as they may harbor zebra mussels from the moss balls.
  • If you’re able to disinfect your tank (after safely removing any animals) you should apply household bleach – one cup of bleach per gallon of water – and let it sit for 10 minutes before disposing of water down the sink or toilet.
  • Be sure to disinfect filters, gravel, and structures with a solution of bleach as well. Water from filters must also be treated with household bleach before disposing of water down the sink or drain.
  • For larger tanks that cannot be easily drained, please email [email protected] for instructions.
  • If you find zebra mussels in your tank or on a moss ball, please take a photo if possible and report the observation, via email at [email protected], or by phone at (518) 402-9405.
  • Remember, just because you can’t see zebra mussels does not mean their larvae are not present.

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