Invasive Species Council of British Columbia

Check Your Aquariums – Dangerous Invasive Mussels Discovered in Aquarium Plants in BC

Published: March 9, 2021

Aquarium owners across BC are being advised to immediately check the plants in their aquariums for invasive species after deadly Zebra mussels were found in moss balls in Terrace and Washington State. The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) is reminding British Columbians that everyone needs to be vigilant to prevent invasive species from causing damage to BC waters and lands.

Invasive Zebra mussels in moss ball, WA Department of Fish and Wildlife

Invasive mussels were first discovered in moss balls sold at a major pet chain in Washington state, and then late last week were also found in a home aquarium in Terrace. If you find moss balls in your aquarium, the BC Conservation Officer Service advises to either:

  • Place the moss ball into a sealable plastic bag and freeze for at least 24 hours, or
  • Place the moss ball in boiling water for at least one full minute.

After this, place the moss ball and any of its packaging in a sealed plastic bag and dispose in the trash. Do not flush moss balls down the toilet or dispose of them in the compost. Never dispose of aquarium pets, plants or water into any residential water system or BC waterway.

Don’t Let It Loose

Pet and aquarium owners are reminded to Don’t Let It Loose. Water gardeners, aquarium and terrarium owners can select from a variety of aquatic plants, invertebrates, reptiles and fish. Unfortunately, some of these exotic species have the potential to become invasive. Once established, they can take over their new habitat, reducing native populations and changing the structure of the ecosystem.

Read more in our media release.