Banned / illegal plants 2021

BettaCyrus
  • #1
Hi all, I have a curious situation / plant question... I have a planted 8.5g tank with a number of different plants going on, including floating ones - frogbit and salvinia minima (water spangles).
My water spangles really have popped off and I've given some away to others, but there's always more... so I called a local aquarium store and spoke to a gal there about selling them some. She asked the type and talked to her manager, then told me to bring them in any time and they could give me store credit.
So two weeks later I show up with a big bag, but the girl I talked to is no longer working there and no one knows what I'm talking about... so then this other girl looks up the plant on some list and tell me they are illegal in RI to buy and sell now (saying it's a new law within past 2 months), and so is frogbit and a number of other plants.
She told me they had to get rid of a ton of plants they were selling and basically only have anubias and crypts now.

I can't seem to find any information that confirms this online...? Is anyone aware of new laws across the board or in other states that are banning lots of plants? Thanks!!
 
FishDin
  • #2
It's probably different in every state. I live in Maine and the state prohibits a lot of plants, fish and others. They're worried about invassive species of course.
 
Jack B Nimble
  • #3
The most recent invasive species the zebra muscles have drawn attention by gov agencies and I am sure that in the future you will see very little aquarium plants imported or even allowed. In Canada where I live many plants have been banned for years and fairly recently all most all medications for fish banned. I sense it will be common place in the future.
 
Lucy
  • #4
Hi You can call the store and ask them where to fine the list or ask for a copy.
 
BettaCyrus
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Hi You can call the store and ask them where to fine the list or ask for a copy.
I think I'll have to do that, I really couldn't find anything searching online.
 
BigManAquatics
  • #6
I think I'll have to do that, I really couldn't find anything searching online.
Yeah, it can really be a pain trying to find such info online sometimes. For some stuff, you really kind of have to go down that rabbit hole if searching on your own. I still haven't found much on aquarium fish and plant laws in my state, but have found plenty for commercial fishing/fisheries....
 
Lucy
  • #7
They make it very difficult, that's for sure.
 
Linda1234
  • #10
This site has the full list for each state:


Lists | National Invasive Species Information Center


Hi all, I have a curious situation / plant question... I have a planted 8.5g tank with a number of different plants going on, including floating ones - frogbit and salvinia minima (water spangles). My water spangles really have popped off and I've given some away to others, but there's always more... so I called a local aquarium store and spoke to a gal there about selling them some. She asked the type and talked to her manager, then told me to bring them in any time and they could give me store credit. So two weeks later I show up with a big bag, but the girl I talked to is no longer working there and no one knows what I'm talking about... so then this other girl looks up the plant on some list and tell me they are illegal in RI to buy and sell now (saying it's a new law within past 2 months), and so is frogbit and a number of other plants. She told me they had to get rid of a ton of plants they were selling and basically only have anubias and crypts now. I can't seem to find any information that confirms this online...? Is anyone aware of new laws across the board or in other states that are banning lots of plants? Thanks!!
 
BettaCyrus
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Thank you! According to these lists, salvinia minima isn't mentioned! hmmmmm....
 
Lucy
  • #12
Oooop watch out all you Water Lettuce people the water police are coming for you! :eek:

For real!
mimo91088
Take a look at the links Roy provided.
 
Jerome O'Neil
  • #13
Hi all, I have a curious situation / plant question... I have a planted 8.5g tank with a number of different plants going on, including floating ones - frogbit and salvinia minima (water spangles). My water spangles really have popped off and I've given some away to others, but there's always more... so I called a local aquarium store and spoke to a gal there about selling them some. She asked the type and talked to her manager, then told me to bring them in any time and they could give me store credit. So two weeks later I show up with a big bag, but the girl I talked to is no longer working there and no one knows what I'm talking about... so then this other girl looks up the plant on some list and tell me they are illegal in RI to buy and sell now (saying it's a new law within past 2 months), and so is frogbit and a number of other plants. She told me they had to get rid of a ton of plants they were selling and basically only have anubias and crypts now. I can't seem to find any information that confirms this online...? Is anyone aware of new laws across the board or in other states that are banning lots of plants? Thanks!!

http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benv...emaking-invasive-plants-250-RICR-60-00-11.pdf

State DNRs regulate this stuff.
 
chromedome52
  • #14
I think you will find that many of those lists are a little out of date. They don't get updated regularly, so recent additions might not be there.

You would be shocked to see the number of common plants and fish in the hobby that are technically illegal, but still obtained quite easily. Most of it is ridiculous, like shutting the barn door after the horse has run away.
 
FishDin
  • #15
This site has the full list for each state:


Lists | National Invasive Species Information Center
Thanks for finding that resource. Unfortunately, my state does not list anything about aquarium flora or fauna. I know a state list exists, but their website only talks about lakes, rivers and forests. Nothing at all about the aquarium trade. I'll keep digging.
 
pagoda
  • #16
Been reading through this and have a (probably) silly question...

After these lists have been drawn up, who exactly goes out and knocks on doors to enforce it and what would be the penalty?

At the end of the day these banned lists...plant or animal...are not updated on a regular basis and the average person doesn't really know where to look. Normally ignorance of a bylaw or ban doesn't bode well as a defense when caught, but if these lists are either rarely updated and/or extremely hard to find, then if caught, a claim of ignorance fits quite nicely.
 
BigManAquatics
  • #17
Been reading through this and have a (probably) silly question...

After these lists have been drawn up, who exactly goes out and knocks on doors to enforce it and what would be the penalty?

At the end of the day these banned lists...plant or animal...are not updated on a regular basis and the average person doesn't really know where to look. Normally ignorance of a bylaw or ban doesn't bode well as a defense when caught, but if these lists are either rarely updated and/or extremely hard to find, then if caught, a claim of ignorance fits quite nicely.
For my state it is Nebraska Game & Parks. I don't know how many game wardens they employ. I just know i have run into them several times over the years, checking for fishing licenses, park permits(if required), bait buckets and any fish you may have kept. Bait is how most of our invasive species have spread. Luckily, most the aquarium fish they have found, like pacu, piranhas and oscars, don't survive the cold winters here.
 
IzabelB
  • #18
Yesterday a google search told me that hygrophila polysperma is illegal to import, sell or buy all over the US. I was really bummed.
 
pagoda
  • #19
For my state it is Nebraska Game & Parks. I don't know how many game wardens they employ. I just know i have run into them several times over the years, checking for fishing licenses, park permits(if required), bait buckets and any fish you may have kept. Bait is how most of our invasive species have spread. Luckily, most the aquarium fish they have found, like pacu, piranhas and oscars, don't survive the cold winters here.

Betta'sAnonymous

I just have this silly vision of SWAT arriving on an unsuspecting fishkeeper's doormat and arresting them for sneaking a teaspoon of frogbit into their aquarium under the cover of darkness..... ;) :D
 
FishDin
  • #20
I found the list of allowed aquarium fish for Maine. It's 4 years old, so not too old. The "allowed" list is rather small. None of the nine common fish species I keep are on the list. Gold Head Compressiceps is allowed, but none of the other compressiceps are. Zebra danios are allowed, but none of the many other danios, 4 rainbow are allowed, but none of the other numerous one. etc, etc. It's obvious that whoever made the list is out of touch with the aquarium trade.

No invertibrates are allowed at all.

Koi are banned. Goldfish are banned in an outdoor pond, but ok indoors.
I didn't look into amphibians and reptiles, but I know many are not allowed.

The only plants I could find that are banned are frogbit and anacharis, but I think the list must be longer.

It's really too bad that they don't expand the list to the many commonly kept, non invasive species. I think it would be a big plus for the fish stores here. As it is now, they sell the same few species of fish over and over, rarely anything new or interesting. I never meet a serious hobbiest in a fish store here. It's mostly kids and their parents getting bad advice. Bettas in a cup of water.

BettaCyrus, glad you posted. It got me do this research. Good luck in RI
 
FishDin
  • #21
"I just have this silly vision of SWAT arriving on an unsuspecting fishkeeper's doormat and arresting them for sneaking a teaspoon of frogbit into their aquarium under the cover of darkness..... ;)"


We've had some high profile cases where the state fish and wildlife dept. has killed the illegal fish in someones pond or confiscated koi that were being kept in an aquarium. They do pay attention here. The big problem here tho, is people introducing non native game fish into our lakes and rivers because they want to be able to fish for them. Fish like pike and large mouth bass have threatened or destroyed some native fish populations.
 
pagoda
  • #22
"I just have this silly vision of SWAT arriving on an unsuspecting fishkeeper's doormat and arresting them for sneaking a teaspoon of frogbit into their aquarium under the cover of darkness..... ;)"


We've had some high profile cases where the state fish and wildlife dept. has killed the illegal fish in someones pond or confiscated koi that were being kept in an aquarium. They do pay attention here. The big problem here tho, is people introducing non native game fish into our lakes and rivers because they want to be able to fish for them. Fish like pike and large mouth bass have threatened or destroyed some native fish populations.

That happens everywhere though...either introduction on purpose or by accident or through basic ignorance/genuinely not realising it was wrong cos the legislation is rarely easy to find

I understand and accept poachers need to be arrested and punished appropriately....but if someone introduces a fish or plant without thinking or realising it was wrong, then surely a written warning would be adequate along with a fine.

We have similar issues in the UK...90% of our rivers have "wild" goldies and Koi that have outgrown owner's ponds and aquariums and been released. Plants that take over everywhere such as Japanese Knotweed that had been introduced years ago and has mutated into a monster.

Unless the authorities, worldwide, actually put the information out there what is and is not allowed you are always going to have non native invasives popping up in the wrong places.

Fines and warnings or taking it as far as getting law enforcement involved is all well and good but surely education and having access to essential information should be more important?
 
Linda1234
  • #23
They won't list it in context of aquariums - they will list it via species:
Here is a list from maine's govt website:

Water gardeners and aquarium owners, invasive aquatic plants, Maine Department of Environmental Protection




Thanks for finding that resource. Unfortunately, my state does not list anything about aquarium flora or fauna. I know a state list exists, but their website only talks about lakes, rivers and forests. Nothing at all about the aquarium trade. I'll keep digging.
 
Lucy
  • #24
Been reading through this and have a (probably) silly question...

After these lists have been drawn up, who exactly goes out and knocks on doors to enforce it and what would be the penalty?

The same people who check to make sure someone's glofish aren't breeding and they're not giving away the fry! . ;)
 
Linda1234
  • #26
These lists are targeted towards business to prevent them from distributing the plants. I'm not sure it is actually illegal to own them if they happen to spawn in your aquarium. I suppose if someone caught you releasing them in the wild there might be a nasty fine. At the end of the day no one really care if they are in your aquarium they just don't want them to end up in lakes and rivers where they will out compete native species.

Been reading through this and have a (probably) silly question...

After these lists have been drawn up, who exactly goes out and knocks on doors to enforce it and what would be the penalty?
 
SouthAmericanCichlids
  • #27
In my state there is 2 gobies banned, carp (Not koi for some reason, probably just differently regulated), anarchis elodea, and dwarf hygrophilla. That's pretty good, 3 fish (I don't even know if the gobies are aquarium fish) and 2 aquarium plants.
 
MasterPython
  • #29
The same people who check to make sure someone's glofish aren't breeding and they're not giving away the fry! . ;)

Not sure about in the USA but in Canada there is such thing as a civil search warrant so private companies can gather evidence for lawsuits.
 
MyFishAddiction
  • #30
Whew! I'm lucky! In Utah as far as I could tell there are no banned fish that I actually have the slightest interest in keeping.
 
Jack B Nimble
  • #31
Thanks for finding that resource. Unfortunately, my state does not list anything about aquarium flora or fauna. I know a state list exists, but their website only talks about lakes, rivers and forests. Nothing at all about the aquarium trade. I'll keep digging.
They will not mention aquariums because once a plant or fish is banned its irrelevant as to what someone may use it for. They cant possibly list all types of uses just the plant itself and if its on the list then that applies to indoor or outdoor water.
 
pagoda
  • #32
The same people who check to make sure someone's glofish aren't breeding and they're not giving away the fry! . ;)

Glofish are illegal in the UK....on that part of fishkeeping the UK is sensible.
 
Coradee
  • #34
Let’s not stray too far off topic please, the Op’s question is about illegal plants
 
pagoda
  • #35
Let’s not stray too far off topic please, the Op’s question is about illegal plants

I respectfully disagree.

Much of this discussion has come as a surprise to many members and tbh it would make a really good reference sticky if someone, like yourself, could collate up to date information about banned plants and livestock as a central reference point for those who are both new to the art of fishkeeping and those who are unaware of local limitations.

It's potentially a seriously hot topic and information collated could well prevent someone getting into trouble whilst aquarium/pond keeping.
 
Flyfisha
  • #36
I don’t know what the law is like in other counties but I suggest you are all missing the point.?

Many common garden weeds are illegal to sell but there is no problem about having them in you possession/ on your land.

Nobody is coming around to do anything about the wild blackberries, scotch thistles, dandelions etc but if you try and sell the plants that is different. Aquarium plants are no different in my country.
 
Coradee
  • #37
I respectfully disagree.

Much of this discussion has come as a surprise to many members and tbh it would make a really good reference sticky if someone, like yourself, could collate up to date information about banned plants and livestock as a central reference point for those who are both new to the art of fishkeeping and those who are unaware of local limitations.

It's potentially a seriously hot topic and information collated could well prevent someone getting into trouble whilst aquarium/pond keeping.

Plants & livestock are two separate discussions, by all means start a thread on illegal aquatic livestock but the Op here is asking about Plants.
As you & I are in the Uk we are not versed on the various Us state laws regarding banned flora & fauna & I certainly wouldn’t have the knowledge to collate any kind of list on Us laws.

Lets get back to helping the op who wants to know what plants are illegal in their state RI (Rhode Island I think?) specifically, & others.
 
Lucy
  • #38
Let’s not stray too far off topic please, the Op’s question is about illegal plants

OOps sorry Coradee! I did help turn this thread away from plants. Thanks for reminder.
Sorrr BettaCyrus
I respectfully disagree.

Much of this discussion has come as a surprise to many members and tbh it would make a really good reference sticky if someone, like yourself, could collate up to date information about banned plants and livestock as a central reference point for those who are both new to the art of fishkeeping and those who are unaware of local limitations.

Or someone like you? :)
 
emmykenzie
  • #39
BettaCyrus I’ve had several conversations with my LFS about this exact topic. Whoever said that this is because of the zebra mussel importation you are absolutely correct. You should check out A’s Aquatics in North Kingstown if you don’t already. The owner (Adam) is incredibly knowledgeable about most things and you can tell him Emily sent you. (If you can’t get Adam ask for Lindsey or Kim) Second best would be OSA in Coventry or Seekonk. Critter Hut in Wakefield is good too but I don’t have personal experience.

The DEM is who would enforce these things but the only way I see a fine being distributed Is if the DEM catches you releasing plants into the wild. That being said, OSA is certified by the state of Rhode Island. What that means I have no idea, but it’s worth noting.
All of the links here are solid. I know off the top of my head water hyacinth, Cabomba, water lettuce, salvinia…. However some of these things are becoming illegal next year from what I understand as (in RI) they do update often.
To follow up on this my cousin is a DEM officer and I’ll reach out and see if she can answer any questions we have and I’ll post back here.
BettaCyrus Reach out to me on Instagram or here as we’re practically neighbors and I’d love to discuss the industry with someone local.
All three shops I’ve suggested too are very knowledgeable if you are having trouble finding someone you can discuss with.
 
BettaCyrus
  • Thread Starter
  • #40
I found the list of allowed aquarium fish for Maine. It's 4 years old, so not too old. The "allowed" list is rather small. None of the nine common fish species I keep are on the list. Gold Head Compressiceps is allowed, but none of the other compressiceps are. Zebra danios are allowed, but none of the many other danios, 4 rainbow are allowed, but none of the other numerous one. etc, etc. It's obvious that whoever made the list is out of touch with the aquarium trade.

No invertibrates are allowed at all.

Koi are banned. Goldfish are banned in an outdoor pond, but ok indoors.
I didn't look into amphibians and reptiles, but I know many are not allowed.

The only plants I could find that are banned are frogbit and anacharis, but I think the list must be longer.

It's really too bad that they don't expand the list to the many commonly kept, non invasive species. I think it would be a big plus for the fish stores here. As it is now, they sell the same few species of fish over and over, rarely anything new or interesting. I never meet a serious hobbiest in a fish store here. It's mostly kids and their parents getting bad advice. Bettas in a cup of water.

BettaCyrus, glad you posted. It got me do this research. Good luck in RI
Wow, some shockers on that list! Glad I could help! :)
I respectfully disagree.

Much of this discussion has come as a surprise to many members and tbh it would make a really good reference sticky if someone, like yourself, could collate up to date information about banned plants and livestock as a central reference point for those who are both new to the art of fishkeeping and those who are unaware of local limitations.

It's potentially a seriously hot topic and information collated could well prevent someone getting into trouble whilst aquarium/pond keeping.
Glad to have started the discussion and I don't mind reading the replies, though it probably should be its own post by now! :D Thanks for your input
BettaCyrus I’ve had several conversations with my LFS about this exact topic. Whoever said that this is because of the zebra mussel importation you are absolutely correct. You should check out A’s Aquatics in North Kingstown if you don’t already. The owner (Adam) is incredibly knowledgeable about most things and you can tell him Emily sent you. (If you can’t get Adam ask for Lindsey or Kim) Second best would be OSA in Coventry or Seekonk. Critter Hut in Wakefield is good too but I don’t have personal experience.

The DEM is who would enforce these things but the only way I see a fine being distributed Is if the DEM catches you releasing plants into the wild. That being said, OSA is certified by the state of Rhode Island. What that means I have no idea, but it’s worth noting.
All of the links here are solid. I know off the top of my head water hyacinth, Cabomba, water lettuce, salvinia…. However some of these things are becoming illegal next year from what I understand as (in RI) they do update often.
To follow up on this my cousin is a DEM officer and I’ll reach out and see if she can answer any questions we have and I’ll post back here.
BettaCyrus Reach out to me on Instagram or here as we’re practically neighbors and I’d love to discuss the industry with someone local.
All three shops I’ve suggested too are very knowledgeable if you are having trouble finding someone you can discuss with.
Hey, thanks so much!!! It was actually OSA that I was referring to that was cool with me trading the spangles in the first place, but then when I came in with them, told me about them being illegal to buy/sell (but NOT to already have, like I do). I really like their store, and apparently there's another location in Seekonk too I'd like to check out.

I wasn't impressed with A's Aquatics when I went there, tbh, but I don't think the owner was there, maybe I'll try again. I've only called Critter Hut, can check them out too. I wonder if you have been to that place in North Prov, Sea Creature Aquarium? The one time I stopped by, they were closed bc of COVID.

I actually have cabomba, and didn't realize that was banned here as well - that also didn't show up on the resource lists in the links provided here for RI that I checked... but I would hope it's a similar situation to what OSA told me of the spangles/salvinia minima that it's illegal to buy/sell, not to already have.

I think the really odd thing is that the companies who I've bought these plants from, actually stop you from being able to have plants shipped to your state if they're illegal there... I know because I saw other regulations noted on their site for shipping restrictions. It might come back to what OSA said that these are recent restrictions and maybe I got them "just in time." I haven't had a chance to check back with them about the list/where I can find it myself. DEM is a good resource too, but even though I'm not selling/buying any of these plants, I'll pass on being on their radar for having these! :p

Greatly appreciate the reply & will be in touch on IG at some point, I don't log in very often. We can talk VT too!
Well there it is!! emmykenzie - here's the answer!! :D Thanks so much Jerome O'Neil! Having searched Google for "invasive plant list RI" I'm surprised I didn't come across this! Yikes, it does list "Possession" as being prohibited :(
 

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