If you live in Bloomington, Minn. or in nearby towns and can no longer care for your fish, the Minnesota Sea Grant and Minnesota Aquarium Society is urging you not to flush your pets down the toilet, but bring them to the Lutheran Church of the Redemption in Bloomington. The two groups are hosting the Habitattitude Aquarium Fish and Plant Surrender where you can drop off your aquatic plants and animals, no questions asked. The drop off will take place January 23 between 10 a.m. and noon. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., those plants and fish will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to the society’s “Excellence in Fish Keeping” initiative.
“Aquarists and water gardeners may release organisms for a variety of reasons. They get too big or aggressive. Pets get ill. Owners move or lose interest,” Brad Swanson of the Minnesota Aquarium Society, said in statement. “We are committed to providing a solution to this problem.”
Lutheran Church of the Redemption can be found at 927 E. Old Shakopee Road in Bloomington. The most common fish released into waterways of Minnesota are koi fish and the Oriental weatherloach. Fish that once were kept in aquariums have been released all over the United States. The lionfish, a species native to the Indo-Pacific, is now established in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean. Plecostomus released in Hawaii are established in the Manoa Stream on the island of Oahu, and the list goes on. If you can no longer care for your fish, return them to the fish store that you bought them from, or another fish store that will accept them. Do not release them in your local waterways.