Texas Parks and Wildlife officials warn aquarium moss balls could contain invasive zebra mussels
SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is warning pet stores and pet owners about a moss ball aquarium plant that could be contaminated with invasive zebra mussels. The moss balls are sold as an aquarium plant under names including “Beta Buddy Marimo Balls,” “Mini Marimo Moss Balls,” and “Marimo Moss Ball Plant.”They are sold separately but also included in the sale of betta fish. “Zebra mussels can be recognized as small shellfish with triangular, brownish shells, often with their namesake zebra stripes, that may be attached to or growing inside the moss balls. Aquarium water should be replaced and filters and cartridges should be replaced or disinfected, TPWD said. Ad“Invasive species such as these zebra mussels and snails can hitchhike in aquatic plants sold for aquarium use,” said Monica McGarrity, Senior Scientist for Aquatic Invasive Species.
Invasive zebra mussels infest Central Texas lake, likely to infest another soon
Lake Buchanan has officially been designated as “infested” with the invasive species known as zebra mussels. Scientists with the Lower Colorado River Authority discovered zebra mussel larvae at three different sites around Lake Buchanan in October. Crews working on a floodgate project at the lake discovered settled zebra mussels shortly after, at the beginning of December. If you have stored your boat in the water at a lake with zebra mussels, it is likely infested with zebra mussels and poses an extremely high risk for moving this invasive species to a new lake, TPWD officials said. A map showing all lakes where zebra mussels have been found in Texas can be found here.