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Mold Problem


Sakura

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I've been having a mold problem in my fish tanks off and on for a while. It started out a few months ago, growing on some airline tubing just in a QT tank. I have no idea how it got started at that time. I just wiped it off to control it, but somehow it remains on equipment even after drying or something, and it has now spread to my 55 gallon tank. It grows only on soft plastic-like surfaces. It likes to grow on the silicone holding the tank together (this could have something to do with the type of sealant we used when we re-sealed the tank) and it also likes to grow on the airline tubing. I have scrubbed it all off a couple of times and did a huge water change afterwards, and I even removed the bubble wand since I figured it wasn't necessary in this tank anyways. (only two fish in a 55g don't use a lot of oxygen) But it keeps coming back! I just can't get rid of it, and it's driving me nuts because it's so gross! I know it's some type of water mold and not anything else like biofilm. It has that really strong moldy smell, it's nasty. Ino has had "prickly", but not raised, scales for a while, and I'm wondering if this mold is bothering her and causing that.

Any ideas on how I can get rid of this stuff? :please

I was planning on putting my two newest DO fish in here (probably after a short QT) when they arrive, but now with this mold issue I don't really want to. Luckily I have not had this problem at all in the 75g yet. Now THAT would be a nightmare!

Edited by Sakura
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Sure, I can try getting a picture. I'm a little doubtful that it will show up, but we'll see. I also emailed Rick to see if he might know what it is. I tried searching on google, but couldn't find anything similar.

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I have it too, on my airline tubes. I've Googled it as well...nothing. I don't think it is mold. I notice the goldfish eat it, and all the goldfish I've had over the years has eaten it. Mine doesn't smell of mold though. Past goldfish had no ill effects as far as I know (they were all rehomed when I took a break from the hobby)

Edited by Red
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hey sakura, just a thought. have you tried white vinegar? it is harmless to the fish and I find it pretty efficient in disinfecting stuff. does it look like slime coat in a smelly version???

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I had this on one airline tubing once, the part that comes out of the water and goes over the back of the tank, where the tube is moist from evaporating water. Nowhere else. I just replaced the tube and never seen anything like it again.

Do you have it IN the tank too or only on the outside part of the tubing?

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I second the vinegar idea. It's good for removing mold, and not toxic to fish or humans.

Good luck~!

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Okay so this is all Rick said about the mold: "Not much you can do about the 'mold". It should not hurt your fish." :doh11: Well that doesn't help!

Red, I don't think we have the same thing. What you have sounds like simple biofilm, but the stuff I have is very different because it seems thicker and it also smells strongly of mold. My fish don't try to eat it ever.

Federica, no this stuff doesn't look like slime coat. It has more substance, like something actually growing on surfaces in the tank.

I have tried sterilizing the equipment with vinegar and bleach, but it seems that once something has been affected by this stuff, it always comes back. So now I just throw anything that grows it away. But the problem is, I can't do that this time because this is the first time it's ever grown on the silicone sealant of the tank. I can't throw that away. :(

I'm worried because I think this stuff can deplete the oxygen in the tank, and Ino has been acting a little off. I'm wondering if removing the plants and dosing the tank with copper or something might kill the mold stuff.

Edited by Sakura
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just a thought. is your tank top totally closed? I don't like leaving the hood of the 30Gal totally closed - I just have a thing with fresh air so I leave half of it open. Maybe you could try leaving the hood open a few days after you have cleaned off the mold with vinegar? It should keep the air less humid and prevent any funky growth.

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No the tops of all my tanks are half open to the air. I think it's healthier that way because they can get better air exchange :)

But what do you mean after I have cleaned off the mold with vinegar? It's on the silicone sealant of the tank. I would have to drain the entire tank to do that.

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oh so it's growing INSIDE??????? I thought on the top parts... Oh then I don't know. It is strange it is growing with the UV etc... Maybe try salt?

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Yeah it's only growing on things that are inside the tank. :(

Yeah maybe salt would work... I think I'll have to go buy some because I'm running out. Since Ino is acting a little "off" the salt might help that too.

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yea salt is a good idea. How strange you have stuff growing :o

I am wondering if carbon would help Ino? Does that also absorb the 'fumes' the mold could be releasing??? You could use it with the salt.

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Alright, so yesterday I drained the tank completely, scrubbed, and then rinsed the problem areas (aka the sealant) with vinegar, and then I also soaked the suction cups in vinegar because they were covered in this mold stuff. Then I refilled the tank, and after letting it run for a couple hours to bring the pH back up (my tap water is crazy) I put the fish back in. Now today I just added salt at .1%, and I plan to bring it up to .3% over the next couple days. These two ryukins have never been treated for an extended period at .3% salt anyways, so it will do good. Hopefully all this will help with Ino's prickly scales and her weird sore thing she's always had, as well as keep the mold away.

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Sakura, I've been having a similar issue in one of my tanks. When I tore it down and re-decorated it a few months ago, I got new silicone airline tubing (clear colored this time, from eBay), and for the first time, I had big chunky white and clear mold stuff start growing on it. Some of the "mold" even turned black! I had NO clue what it was.

Every week when I cleaned the tank, I would wait till the water level was low, then wipe down each piece of tubing with a dry paper towel to remove the yuck. A little of it would get free and float around the tank, and I did see the fish try to eat a little of it, but it's been weeks and they're fine and healthy, so I'm not too worried.

The good news is that the crud problem became less and less and less as the weeks went by, and now appears to be almost gone.

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