Aquarium owners urged to properly dispose of Marimo ball moss plants

The University of Minnesota is now warning aquarium owners of the Marimo ball moss plants believed to harbor aquatic invasive species.

According to a release, government agencies and invasive species programs across the country are urging stores to remove the product that was found to have juvenile zebra mussels.

“Large pet stores including PETCO and PetSmart have been extremely cooperative,” says Doug Jensen, University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program’s Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator. “They have removed Marimo balls from their shelves and sanitized their tanks.”

Anyone who has this product should safely dispose of the moss balls by freezing or dunking in hot water, salt water or bleach. Once treated, balls can be placed in a sealed plastic bag and thrown in the trash. 

If you see zebra mussels attached to moss balls, report it to the federal Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database at

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.

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