When you hear that a state has said that something is banned from entering its borders, you take notice. 'Is it deadly?' 'Is it drugs?' No, and no.

When I saw the headline from CBSNewsChannel 5 out of Wyoming about Marimo balls being 'quarantined' from Wyoming, I had to dig deeper?

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What Are Marimo Balls?

Apparently, these moss or algae balls are used in aquariums for several reasons, including to help keep aquariums free of excess algae growth as well as providing 'good' bacteria for the tank.

I got that information from an article, '13 Benefits of the Marimo.' Which is weird, because one of the 13 items has to do with why Wyoming is banning them from coming into the state:

From the article:

Does not bring hitchhikers with it into the tank.

Wyoming and the U.S, have seen an influx of 'hitchhikers' on Marimo balls - zebra mussels. These mussels cause $1 billion, every year, in damage to natural resources and water systems across the nation.

According to the Wyoming Department of Agriculture:

Once they become established in reservoirs, lakes, or other water systems, they remove nutrients from water, clog pipes and waterways, and can damage property..


Zebra mussels are striped, less than 2-inches in size, attach to any hard surfaces, and are extremely resistant to cold temperatures and many chemicals.



Once these zebra mussels get in, they are impossible to get rid of; and they were recently found in shipments to two pet stores within the Cowboy State.

Hence, the order from Wyoming:

...no person, firm, partnership, corporation, or any other entity shall import or transport Marimo balls into the State of Wyoming.

If a residence currently does have Marimo balls in use in their aquarium, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture has very serious steps that need to be taken to get rid of them safely, including:

Do not flush the moss ball or pour aquarium water down any drains, toilets, or into nearby water sources like a local pond or creek. These actions could spread zebra mussels throughout the water system.

I can see Colorado issuing the same order, at some point. These things sound like nasty trouble. Colorado's Department of Parks & Wildlife did recently urge pet supply stores to be on the lookout for zebra mussels.

For more on the zebra mussels issue with Marimo balls, visit the Wyoming Department of Agriculture HERE.

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