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Tank gunge stuff... ewww... what is it?


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Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp!  :krazy:

 

I don't know if I have put this in the right section, so please move it if needed! 

 

I am currently towards the end of fishless cycling my 220L tank.  It is a second hand tank, and the fish in it previously had died of illness, but I don't know which illness.  It had been stored dry for at least 5 years when I got it.  I cleaned it, and disinfected it with straight white vinegar, then gave it a really good rinse out till I couldn't smell the vinegar any more.  It sat for four days filled with primed water, then I did a 90% WC, then filled it again to start the cycling.  It hasn't had a water change for about four weeks. 

 

I had originally started the cycling with comets, and these had not been treated for flukes/worms, so I need to treat the tank for these too.  The comets were removed three weeks ago and had been in the tank for about 4 days.

 

When I last tested the tank four days ago these were the parameter's:

 

ph8.4

ammonia 0ppm

nitrites 2ppm 

nitrates 4ppm. 

 

Our tapwater KH usually sits at 130 (API test 7.5 drops) and the GH about 179 (API test 10 drops).

 

I am going to test the tank again tomorrow.   I have been putting a really really big pinch of fish food in every second day (enough to feed one goldfish for a couple of weeks), and there is a heater in there set at 29 degrees Celsius to speed up the cycling. 

 

The tank has a 200Lhr canister filter which was not switched on all the time (due to a noise in it, then when I investigated the noise ended up with water all through the electrical equipment, power boards etc... DOH!)  but has been running constantly for the last week. 

 

It also has a small biofilter I made and had in my previous tank.  That tank had just cycled when I moved the homemade biofilter to this tank to start the cycling here, so it would have been in the tank maybe three weeks.  The home made biofilter is scoria gravel in a shampoo bottle with an air stone in the bottom to create the circulation.  There are holes in the bottom for the water to draw in and in the top for air/water to escape. 

 

Four days ago I had to pinch the air pump from this tank for the QT tanks which I had to move from near the 220L tank.  So I have had the small bio pump running again for the last two days.  The biofilter is the only airstone in the tank.  The canister filter outlet (the pipe where the clean water comes out of the filter back into the tank) is underwater so provides no aeration.

 

I noticed when I put the air pump back on :yikes  some white-ish gunge stuff growing up the airline in the tank.  There is very little light, in that corner of the tank. 

 

I was wondering what it was... also is it going to be harmful to my fish when they are put in there.... or is it my beneficial bacteria????  Have I created a perfect breeding ground for all sorts of nasty's????????  :wall   Please let me know ASAP... I am having an OCD overload today I am sure, and more than likely overreacting.... :scared  but Louie is so much better now, and I need to know if I need to strip the tank down and disinfect everything and start the cycling again before she can go in there (she will probably be in QT for another week or two).     

 

Thanks sooooooooo sooooooooooooooooooooooo much!  :help:  I so appreciate having people who can answer my bizarre questions.  I just hope you don't loose patience with me. :donthit:

 

 

 

Sorry the pics are sideways (how do you rotate pics in photobucket? :stars)... the top is on the left, so if you all lower your left ear to your left shoulder you will be looking at it the right way up.... or should I say the correct way up.   The green hose is the canister flow back into the tank and is on the outside of the tank, the silicon is the corner of the tank, and the airline is the airline going into the home made biofilter.

 

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  • Helper

....

That's strange. It looks like fungus, the kind that grows on uneaten fish food or dead fish.

Sorry I haven't helped your OCD :P

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I sometimes see this in new tanks, especially on new driftwood.  I think it is some sort of biofilm.  I would just brush it off with a tank safe toothbrush and let the filter absorb it.

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....

That's strange. It looks like fungus, the kind that grows on uneaten fish food or dead fish.

Sorry I haven't helped your OCD :P

:yikes  :help:   :ill:krazy:  :bath  :OO    :Dancing:     :tomuch:

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I got this when I was cycling my tank, it's nothing to worry about, I think it's some sort of biofilm. However, like Jared said if you've got driftwood in there (especially if you've boiled it) it's more likely to be fungus, which again is nothing to worry about. I had that too and it's not harmful to the fish in any way, just an eyesore. 

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I sometimes see this in new tanks, especially on new driftwood.  I think it is some sort of biofilm.  I would just brush it off with a tank safe toothbrush and let the filter absorb it.

 

Ok Jared.... Thankyou    :happydance I was starting to worry... not that you would have noticed or anything....

 

I'm usually so calm :tomuch:, nothing freaks me out  :lol:

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I got this when I was cycling my tank, it's nothing to worry about, I think it's some sort of biofilm. However, like Jared said if you've got driftwood in there (especially if you've boiled it) it's more likely to be fungus, which again is nothing to worry about. I had that too and it's not harmful to the fish in any way, just an eyesore. 

 

Thanks so much Kate.  Theres no driftwood in there.... just a lot of mushy fish food.... again.... ewwwww! 

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  :thanks    Thankyou so much everyone... I can put down the baseball bat and might be able to sleep now.  :bat: Its right near the head of my bed..... ICKKKKKY! :rofl2

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Jared sparked my memory - I HAVE had this, and yes, it was on a newly boiled stick. It went away in several weeks but I remmeber being freaked out by the cottony tufts for awhile, since I had worked hard to sterilize the piece as much as possible before putting it in my tank. Nobody, including my Ancistrus, had any issues with the wood. But it was a bit unnerving ;)

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Jared sparked my memory - I HAVE had this, and yes, it was on a newly boiled stick. It went away in several weeks but I remmeber being freaked out by the cottony tufts for awhile, since I had worked hard to sterilize the piece as much as possible before putting it in my tank. Nobody, including my Ancistrus, had any issues with the wood. But it was a bit unnerving ;)

 

Ahhhhhh.... thankyou Arctic Mama!  sigh.... pheeeeeeeeeeeeeeew!   :teehee   :thanks

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I have a bit of this on my airline tubes as well. It's not nearly as extreme as yours, but I assumed it was bio film and wipe it off when I wipe down the sides of my tank.

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I have a bit of this on my airline tubes as well. It's not nearly as extreme as yours, but I assumed it was bio film and wipe it off when I wipe down the sides of my tank.

 

Thanks for the confirmation Blitz....  I think I'm calming down now and becoming more 'ok' with the dreaded gunge..... but I haven't had to touch it yet!

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I haven't had this stuff in my goldfish tanks, but I have had it several times in my Betta tanks on tubing and filter intake tubes in the past. I would always just wipe it off and in a short time afterwards it wont grow on anything anymore ;) It never harmed the fish, it just looks gross and slimy :thumbdown

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I haven't had this stuff in my goldfish tanks, but I have had it several times in my Betta tanks on tubing and filter intake tubes in the past. I would always just wipe it off and in a short time afterwards it wont grow on anything anymore ;) It never harmed the fish, it just looks gross and slimy :thumbdown

 

Thanks Fish of gold!  I agree... it looks very gross!

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Here's what's happening in the tank.  Because you are cycling with fish food instead of ammonia, the first thing that has to happen is that the protein in the fish food has to be digested to amino acids.  This takes the activity of lots of bacteria, which are using some of the amino acids for their own nutrition.   The excess free amino acids get their amino group (which is basically ammonia) chopped off by bacteria.  This process is called ammonification.  Only then do you have ammonia to feed your nitrifiers.

 

So what you are looking at is a biofilm made up of a digestive factory of bacteria that are converting fish food into food for your nitrifiers.  Since you are putting in enough food to feed a goldfish for a couple of weeks, it's probably enough to support a goldfish-sized mass of bacteria.  These bacteria will be happy to stay on to break down other wastes in the tank once you have the fish in there.  However, the fish will likely gobble up most of them, leaving a nearly invisible digestive-factory biofilm. 

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Here's what's happening in the tank.  Because you are cycling with fish food instead of ammonia, the first thing that has to happen is that the protein in the fish food has to be digested to amino acids.  This takes the activity of lots of bacteria, which are using some of the amino acids for their own nutrition.   The excess free amino acids get their amino group (which is basically ammonia) chopped off by bacteria.  This process is called ammonification.  Only then do you have ammonia to feed your nitrifiers.

 

So what you are looking at is a biofilm made up of a digestive factory of bacteria that are converting fish food into food for your nitrifiers.  Since you are putting in enough food to feed a goldfish for a couple of weeks, it's probably enough to support a goldfish-sized mass of bacteria.  These bacteria will be happy to stay on to break down other wastes in the tank once you have the fish in there.  However, the fish will likely gobble up most of them, leaving a nearly invisible digestive-factory biofilm. 

 

Thanks so much Sharon!  I wont stress about them at all now.... they are friends not enemy's!  Will that bacteria move to the filter?  or are the conditions better for it where it is? 

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They'll be right at home in the mechanical filtration, which is where the gunk gets caught.

 

 

Thanks so much Sharon!  :happydance

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I'm glad I stumbled upon this post!

 

I also have noticed a similar thing (to a lesser extent) on my air line in my 33 litre tank, even though I have a fish in it!

 

I've cleaned it once and its a lot thinner now but still slightly remains. 

 

A couple of times I even noticed Hype snacking on it!?!?

Edited by hughesyau
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