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Kuja

Help! White stuff in tank! Algae? Fungus? Bacteria colony?

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Hello everybody! :)

This is my first post here.

I have one 2" long fantail fish in a 8 gallon tank.

His name is Fluffy

The tank is fully cycled.

Ammonia and nitrites are 0,

nitrates prior to regular weekly water change are also close to 0.

Ph is 8.

On the bottom there is a thin layer of gravel

and there is a one floating Anubias Nana plant.

Filtration is done by Eheim Ecco pro 130 external canister filter.

Aeration is done by a long spray bar that agitates the water.

It is placed one inch below water surface and it points upward.

The tank is placed few feets from the window that is facing north, so there is no direct sun light.

I'm feeding Fluffy sparingly twice a day, the amount he can eat in couple of minutes.

I'm feeding him flakes or sticks in the morning, shelled peas in the afternoon.

During the day he is eating algae that are growing in the tank.

I try not to clean too much of the algae, since they are also a part of a healthy eco system.

Fluffy is perfectly healthy and happy, eats well and swims around.

But few weeks ago, something strange started to take algae's place.

It is growing on plant leaves, on the filter plastic plumbing (inlets and outlets), inside the filter hoses, on the glass thermometer.

It grows mostly on glass and plastic, and on the hard Anubias Nana leaves.

I can not see any on the gravel, beacuse I have lots of algae on it.

It seems that it likes the most the areas with the strongest water flow and near the water surface.

So it seems that it likes oxygen?

It does not look like any algae that I have seen anywhere, because it is completely white almost translucent.

But it also does not fit description of fungus.

It is said that fungus forms on food leftovers and/or decaying organic materials like dead plants leaves or fish, fish injuries, etc.

This white stuff in my tank is found exclusively on hard plastic and glass surfaces and healthy leaves! So it is not fungus?

It looks like this, note the left side of this leaf stem:

img6156c.jpg

More pics:

img6147g.jpg

img6151n.jpg

img6152mm.jpg

Here it is inside the filter inlet, the white stuff is waving in the water stream:

img6162o.jpg

Outside on the filter inlet:

img6164.jpg

My biggest problem is that it forms a layer inside the filter tubing and hoses

and it is significantly reducing the water flow.

After hoses cleaning, the water flow can be reduced up to 50% just in a couple of weeks!

Does anybody now what is this?

What is the cause of it?

How do I fight it?

Thanks in advance,

Aleksandar

.

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I've seen similar if not the same gunk in my filters. I have to clean it out periodically because as you say it starts to affect water flow and the efficiency of the filters. I don't know what it is, but I haven't had any negative issues stem from it other than it looks terrible and effects the filter if allowed to accumulate.

I combat high nitrates in my tank and have always thought perhaps that's what causes this? I just physically clean it off, to rid it when I need to.

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I know you might not want to hear this, but 8 gallons is really to small for that fish :(

the first thing to do right now, is to wipe that all off and do a water change. It is like a fungus/ slim in the tank... If the sun it hitting the tank it will grow faster.... :(

What im confused about is a cycled tank has nitrates in it at least 5.0 min unless the tank is heavily planted.

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Also Flake food can make this mess if your feeding to much .

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I know you might not want to hear this, but 8 gallons is really to small for that fish :(.

I know this. We are planning a bigger tank, but right now there is no room in our small apartment for it.

If the sun it hitting the tank it will grow faster.... :(

The tank is placed few feets from the window that is facing north, so there is no direct sun light.

What im confused about is a cycled tank has nitrates in it at least 5.0 min unless the tank is heavily planted.

I have read in Sera (German manufacturer) nitrate testing kit user manual

that the use of sintered glass filter media (Siporax) will significantly reduce nitrates.

In my canister filter I'm using Eheim Substrat Pro, which is the same type of media.

We alse have lots of algae - I don't clean all of them since Fluffy likes to eat them.

Maybe they also consumed the missing nitrates?

This white stuff is completely different to the algae we have and it seems that it is slowly taking their place.

Also Flake food can make this mess if your feeding to much .

I'm feeding Fluffy sparingly twice a day, the amount he can eat in couple of minutes.

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I would say right now.. Wipe it all off, clean the filter intake... and do a 60% water change to get most of it out of the tank :thumb:

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I started seeing a similar thing years back, in fact it's what brought me to Koko's in the first place! It looked very similar to what you have there, except it was 'growing' on my gravel instead. I'm not sure we ever 100% got to the bottom of it, but it was definetely some kind of nasty fungus/bacteria, which definetely harmed my fish.

Not wanting to scare you! But I would agree with Koko that a thorough clean and big water change is the best thing to do right now - good luck :)

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As suggested, I would try to wipe and rinse it all off. You can rinse and wipe the plant off under hot (not scalding of course) tap water without harm to the plant. I would also try to rinse most of the filter tubing parts out with hot tap water and wipe as much of the gunky fungus off as possible.

In addition, I would temporarily remove the fish into a small holding container, and give the tank a good overall cleaning. I see a lot of brown algae in the background on the glass and even the gravel. Scrub off as much as possible. In order to remove quite a bit of the brown algae that's on the gravel, I recommend using a (brand new, never used) long handled dish brush, something like this http://ecx.images-am...L500_SS500_.jpg

I actually always use this kind of brush to free my tanks of algae. Due to the shape of the brush head and bristles, you can get algae out of the corners much better than with the algae scrubbers they sell at the LFS, and I can even use it in my acrylic tank without scratching the material up.

To get as much brown algae off the gravel as possible, I use the brush in the filled aquarium on the gravel, pretending I am violently stir-frying something :lol This method gets A LOT of brown algae off of the gravel. Not all of it of course, but it will make a significant difference.

After you are done scrubbing the glass and gravel, fully drain the tank. You might want to keep stirring the gravel up a bit while draining to prevent particles to settle in it.

Refill the tank (don't forget to add water conditioner to protect the beneficial bacteria on your gravel), and fully drain it again to get as much of the scrubbed-off free-floating gunk and algae out of the tank as possible.

Refill the tank again. If there still is a lot of floating particles, simply repeat the draining process.

You will not get 100% of the particles out, but when the water looks decent enough, refill with temperature and pH matched water to not shock the fish, get your filter started again, and add the little guy.

I have seen this fluff only in my fry growout tanks, where particles of uneaten food collect on surfaces and this fungus starts feeding on it.

This happens easier when the food is "finer", like flakes for example. Stop feeding the flakes, and instead feed only soaked pellets and veggies in the afternoon. Also try to get some move veggie variety. Peas are a bit higher in starch and sugar than other vegetables. Switching it up with cucumber, zucchini, spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, various greens is always a good idea. Each of these veggies you can just chop finely and freeze. That way you only need to take a little bit out of the freezer, let it defrost and feed it. :)

That is a nice size anubias nana you got there, btw.

Last but not least, until you can upgrade to a 20 gallon tank, I would double the weekly water changes. This will also help to prevent fluff to grow back :)

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang

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Thanks for all your answers!

Tommorow I'm ordering some special hose cleaning brushes.

:thumb:

That is a nice size anubias nana you got there, btw.

Acutually, it is quite small, but this is magic of close up photography! ;)

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Really? It seems to have a good number of leaves :D

It has, but they are kind of small!

Cameras can do wonders. :D

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