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Re: Zebra Mussels - Anyone tried?

Curt writes:

> I'm curious if anyone keeps mussels in their tanks.  I've heard that
>  people do it to turn over and aerate the substrate.  Has anyone on this
>  list tried it, and what has been the results?

I pray to God that no one is keeping Zebra mussels in their tanks.  There are
lots of other mussels that are not nearly as invasive, or as damaging to the
ecology of every body of water they get into.

>  Will they propogate so fast that they take over the tank?

Probably.  And the zygotes are so hardy that they will end up populating your
drains, your other tanks, maybe even your toilet bowl, unless you dump all
your tank water into your lawn.  They reproduce so fast that they are
dangerous.  Aeveral years ago I read about a survey taken where the zygotes
numbered 3,000 per cubic meater at the effluence of the Erie canal into the
Niagara River.

>  Any problems
>  with plant roots, etc?  Problems with fish?

They attach themselves to EVERYTHING.  Your heater will be covered.  Your
filter plumbing, your gravel, your air lines, everything. 
>  Several of the lakes around here are loaded with them, so getting them for
>  free is no problem (until they freeze over at least... <grin>)

Think about it.  The little buggers have been in this country less than 20
years, and they are everywhere in massive numbers.  Doesn't that tell you

I would be surprised if cultivating them in any way were even legal.  Please
do not do this thing.  It is a WAY BAD idea.  Find some other mussels to keep.
There are lakes in the Adirondacks that are full of fresh water clams (unless
boaters have introduced your friend the zebra mussel), and your LFS can
probably get you any of a dozen species of mussel that are suitable for what
you are wanting to do.

Bob Dixon