Zebra Mussels in Moss Balls - IMPORTANT PLEASE READ
To address the recent concerns in the media, Zebra Mussels, along with snail eggs, planaria worms and other pests have always found a way to hitchhike onto certain plants– including moss balls – so its always imperative to ensure responsible steps are taken to eradicate them. This isn't something new.
The recently highlighted issues concern only LIVE zebra mussels, which have been classified as invasive in the USA only – there hasn’t yet been a live one reported in the UK, nor any issues of invasiveness, and it’s only live ones that are cause for concern. In the extremely unlikely event that you do ever find a live one, report it to OATA or DEFRA in the UK. Certainly don’t be alarmed if you ever find a dead one, its completely harmless. Moss balls are not banned in the UK.
We use a highly reputable supplier in Holland, who grows all moss balls in a captive environment to minimise the risk. To further reassure our customers, when the moss balls arrive here we freeze them for two hours prior to release, as advised by OATA. This isn’t harmful to the plant, but kills any hitchhiker, including zebra mussels, which may have found its way onto the plant. You can repeat this if desired.
As a rule we do not use copper treatments, but if you are concerned, dip your plants using a copper-based treatment product like ESHA Gastropex, which is designed to eradicate pest molluscs, prior to adding to your tank. Please exercise caution using this method if you have any copper-sensitive species in your aquarium, such as shrimp.
If you have any related questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.