Dreissena polymorpha and moss balls

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Dreissena polymorpha and moss balls

Post by Martinspuddle »

Some of you may of seen the news about the Zebra mussel has been now found in the pet trade in the US.

The Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) have been around for over 200 years in this country. They originated from Eastern Europe and slowly but surely have found their way to various parts of the world and generally seem cause problems with blocking drinking water facilities costing millions of pounds to control this invasive species plus it's been found they can kill native freshwater crayfish and mussels by completely encrusting them. I've known about them for some years now, some of you may have heard about to. I was quite shocked to read that in 2012 they have been found their way into River Thames and multiplying on a grand scale.

Video from BBC News report 2014; Zebra mussels a 'threat to the water system'

Image from Wikipedia

The problem has got so bad over there, there has been call for a ban on the sale of Moss balls. You only have to see images from the great lakes where some of shorelines are covered in millions of these mussels shells, making walking bare foot somewhat hazardous, not to mention the damage to ecosystem. One female Zebra mussel can lay one million eggs per summer and the eggs or lava can survive contaminated water and then via water treatment works or waterways. From what I understand very little will kill them, only natural predators are birds eating them but even then because of the ingested toxins within the mussel can kill the water foul that have consumed them.

Zebra Mussels Are Hiding in Aquarium Decor

I'm now wondering have these Molluscs found they way in to our pet trade in the UK and how many of us have unwittingly have Moss balls in our aquariums or have purchased plants, decor or stock from contaminated water from aquatic dealers, who in turn are unaware of this new problem, quite possibly.
:swim2: :swim2: :swim2: :swim2: :swim2: :woo: :swim2: :swim2: :swim2:

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