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Re: Zebra mussels

>From: Curt Shambeau <curt at execpc_com>
>Subject: Zebra Mussels - Anyone tried?
>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?
>Will they propogate so fast that they take over the tank?  Any problems
>with plant roots, etc?  Problems with fish?
>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>)

Hi Curt-

I don't know where you are writing from, but I would strongly suggest that
you check with your local wildlife department before collecting zebra
mussels (a nasty introduced species). In many states it is illegal to
possess nuisance plants or animals. Law aside, I would discourage any
hobbiest from keeping known noxious species.  If there are any local
(non-introduced) mussels, it might be better to try these, but again, check
with your wildlife dept to make sure that it is OK to collect them.  If you
do keep any locally collected plants or animals, remember that you cannot
simply release them again once you're done with them.  They may have picked
up foreign pathogens, spores, etc. from your tank.  In response to your
question, I don't think that mussels would do much for aeration (they will
move around some, but are sedentary for the most part). They actually do
filter out some algae and spores from the water (a fringe benefit).  Your
fish might pick at them--depends on what you have in your tank.  If you
want something to move the substrate, get some MTSs; they're great.