In many aquarists lives there comes a time when they have to get rid of an animal that has outgrown its custom aquarium or has become too aggressive for its tank-mates. Most often the animal is a fish, but it is not uncommon to hear of people who need to get rid of a plant or algae as well.
It is important to understand that the plants and animals in your aquarium probably did not come from the ecosystem you live in or near. If released or discarded in your local lakes, rivers or oceans, a foreign plant or animal species can become extremely destructive. Aquarium plants can compete with and overgrow indigenous plants and eliminate the indigenous population, which may have been a staple food source for a local animal. This can also lead to a change in water chemistry, which may affect fish or other animals that live in that body of water. Foreign plants can also completely clog bodies of water and eliminate habitats for animals to live in.
Introducing a non-native fish to a body of water can be devastating as well. If it is a predatory species, it may be large enough to eat an indigenous fish that may have previously been at the top of the food chain in that particular habitat. It also may be too large to be eaten by any other indigenous predators. With no natural predators in its new home, the foreign fish may eat most or all of the native species.
If you need to remove a living organism from your aquarium, please do so responsibly. Try contacting your local fish store. They may be interested in taking in unwanted plants and animals. If they cannot, try posting your plant or animal on public forums, such as aquarium related forums or “Craig’s list”. If you need further advice or assistance with this type of aquarium service, feel free to call Diamond Aquatics at 973-356-4434.