Get Habitattitude in Minnesota!

Habitattitude: Protect our environment. Do not release fish and aquatic plants.

Do you have unwanted aquarium pets and plants?

If you own an aquarium or water garden — what do you do with unwanted aquarium pets and plants? Never release them into the wild!

Many of us may have disposed of unwanted aquarium fish, plants, snails, crayfish, frogs, or turtles by releasing them into local waters, flushing them down the toilet, or maybe allowing them to escape. It seems simple and kindhearted, but these are inappropriate actions and there are better solutions.

Release or escape of fish and plants from aquariums and water gardens can harm Minnesota waters and native species. Besides not being good for our lakes and rivers, it is illegal in Minnesota. Aquarium fish can carry diseases that can kill native fish. Invasive plants can clog waterways and snag boat propellers. Recent examples of releases in Minnesota include: piranha, pacu, water hyacinth, water lettuce, Amazonian catfish, koi, goldfish, yellow iris, even a cayman!

Getting a Habitattitude will help provide some alternatives to releasing pets or aquatic plants into the wild.


Alternatives to Release:

  • Contact a retailer for proper handling advice or for possible returns
  • Give/trade with another aquarist, pond owner, or water gardener
  • Donate to a local aquarium society, school, or aquatic business
  • Seal aquatic plants in plastic bags and dispose in the trash
  • Contact a veterinarian or pet retailer for guidance on humane disposal of animals

What is Habitattitude?

It's a national public awareness and partnership campaign launched in 2004 that targets aquarium hobbyists, water gardeners, and backyard pond owners to promote awareness of aquatic invasive species and responsible hobbyist behaviors. It encourages aquarists, backyard pond owners, and water gardeners to prevent the release of unwanted aquatic plants, fish, and other animals. It prompts hobbyists to adopt alternative actions when dealing with these aquatic plants and animals.

For campaign partners, it provides a way for businesses, industries, agencies, academia, and non-governmental organizations to communicate simple and simple solutions to their clientele.

Why Habitattitude?

Research has identified aquarists and water gardeners as potential pathways for the spread aquatic invasive species. Habitattitude partners want to raise awareness about responsible hobbyist behaviors and prevent the spread of potential aquatic invasive species from home aquaria and outdoor ponds. Alternatives to release are the campaign's foundation.

Who is involved?

The campaign is a partnership of the national Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force including the:

  • Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • NOAA's Great Lakes Sea Grant

Many entities in Minnesota have already joined as campaign partners .