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Warning: Invasive Zebra Mussels Sold In Aquarium Moss Balls

(Used by permission Utah Department of Wildlife Resources.)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources issued an urgent warning to aquarium owners regarding the sale of marimo moss balls that could contain invasive zebra mussels.

The moss balls were sold in Utah aquarium supply stores under the “Betta Buddy” brand, according to DWR.

“If you’ve purchased “Betta Buddy” branded marimo moss balls in the last three months, you should boil them for two minutes or freeze them until solid, and then dispose of them in the trash,” the warning said. “Do not dispose of them in a toilet or a drain, or anywhere outdoors.”

The mussels could be in other brands of moss balls.

DWR warned that Zebra mussels, like quagga mussels, are a problematic invasive species. Once they get into water systems they can cause extensive and expensive damage such as plugging municipal water supply facilities, clog hydropower generators, and ruin boat engines.

Every boating season DWR sets up monitoring stations where inspectors look for quagga mussels on boats and watercraft. Agents will decontaminate boats where there is evidence of the pests.

Lake Powell is the only Utah water body in Utah with quagga mussels.


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