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Another one of those "weird stuff in my tank" questions
Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: General
message area: Another one of those 'weird stuff in my
January 18, 2002 - 12:25 am
In my 20 gallon tank (set up 12/1/02 and added 5 zebra
danios 13/1/02; sand substrate, Aqua Clear 150 filter; filter
floss from established tank added to filter; have no test
kits so I cannot tell you pH, kH, gH, ammonia, nitrites,
nitrates etc.) there is this milky-white, almost colourless
stuff growing on the substrate. Its sort of stringy, slimy,
fluffy and kinda ripples and waves in the water current.
It looks like algea - but it isn't green. I reached
in and got some out but I could hardly feel it in between
my fingers. I did a water change and sucked most of it out
with the glavel cleaner - it came out quite easily. I'm
not particularly worried about it, I'm mainly curious.
I was thinking it may be bacteria or fungus feeding on leftover
food - some food does sink to the bottom but the danios
always pick over the substrate and eat anything they can
find. I know that bacterial blooms can cause milky, cloudy
water in a new tank - but my water is crystal clear. So
what is this stuff?
January 18, 2002 - 07:27 am
My guess is some type of bacteria, maybe someone else knows
exactly what kind?? Hope I never see it in my tanks.
January 18, 2002 - 01:09 pm
yup, bacteria. I usually got this in MY TANK during or before
ich. I believe it is decomposing food.
January 18, 2002 - 05:10 pm
Thanks for the responses. I thought it was bacteria, but
I still don't see how it could be feeding on leftover
food. Seriously, is there ever any leftover food when you've
got danios in the tank? I really don't think I feed
them too much but I will cut back and see what happens.
I will also keep siphoning out the bacteria. Canadian Guy
- I reckon the bacteria in your tank may have been a sign
of deteriorating water quality which then weakened the fish
and caused an ich outbreak. Maybe the bacteria is like an
early warning. That's just my theory and I really hope
it doesn't happen to my fish (they seem fine, by
the way). Thanks for the warning. And like Joyce said
- does anyone know what kind of bacteria it is?
January 19, 2002 - 07:36 am
Ich lives in most aquarium tanks, the fish fight it off;
it's usually only stress or weakened immune systems
that bring on an outbreak. I'm sure it's mentioned
in the article on Pat's main board and if Pandora pops
in she will probably comment.
January 20, 2002 - 11:28 am
Haha, you're psychic, joyce, how did you know? Well,
here I am...
I don't think it's ick or bacteria, though, from
the description (you won't see either of these,
except in cases where the bacteria all die suddenly at once
and cause a bacterial bloom). Sounds like a free-living
form of fungus that lives on uneaten food. Sierra, I'd
cut down on feedings. The rule I usually use in community
tanks is I try not to let flake food touch the ground, and
feed tablets only once a week or less if I have bottom feeders.
January 20, 2002 - 05:34 pm
Thanks Pandora. I saw that you spoke to Beth and Renee in
'Tank Health and Maintenance' as well. I have cut
down on the feedings and have siphoned out all the fuzzy
patches and hopefully removed what they were feeding on
So how often should I feed tablets to my loaches and cories
then? I give at least half a tablet to them everyday - is
that too much? (I chop a tablet in half because they
won't eat a whole one.) I get worried that they
aren't all getting enough because whenever I put food
in there I end up with this writhing mass of loaches over
one tiny bit of food! They keep shoving eachother out of
the way (this all looks quite funny actually!).
If they don't get tablets every day do they just feed
of fallen flake food?
January 21, 2002 - 11:29 am
LOL, Sierra, maybe you guys should form a fungus support
group or something!
Anyway, as per your tablet feeding, it depends on whether
they are able to get it all, but I do think that every day
feedings can be a little much, depending on how many bottom
feeders you have (sounds like a lot!) That can be
a problem with bottom feeders; hard to get to them without
having the other fish snatch up the food before they get
to it, but then you risk overfeeding the tank. I personally
think I'd cut it down to every other day. Also, just
for the white fungus problem alone, check your ammonia,
nitrites, nitrates. And do a thorough cleaning of your tank
with gravel cleaning; change maybe a third of the water,
making sure you stir up whats under there. The fungus needs
something to live on, and there might be a dead fish or
piece of food caught somewhere you haven't found yet!
January 22, 2002 - 12:49 am
I change about 1/4 of the water twice a week on all my tanks
and I do a thorough gravel cleaning each time. I don't
want fungus in MY tank! No dead fish either - and don't
have enough fish yet to lose track of them and I do a 'fish
count' everyday just to make sure everyone's still
The loaches are in their own tank at the moment so I might
give them 1/2 tablet at night when they are most active.
I might cut back to every 2nd day when they are in the main