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What is this odd white growth in my tank? Fungus? Mold? Bacteria?


alkemist
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I have a stocked 9 gallon shrimp tank with neos and a horned nerite snail. It's planted with a piece of spiderwood and cholla wood. This strange white growth appeared towards the end of cycling the tank. The spiderwood went through a massive bloom of fungus/bacteria growth, which was normal. However the growth got so big, it spread around to parts of the tank, including the substrate where the growth lingers and around the cholla wood. There is a little bit of this mysterious white growth still clinging onto the original fungus/bacteria on the spiderwood but now coated with detritus. I can not figure out what this is and if it's harmful to my tank and inhabitants. I've tried google searching and asking elsewhere. Not a single reply to this oddity.

Every time I try to vacuum and clean this mess up, it comes right back. I'm a bit frustrated, the shrimp all seem to avoid any areas with this white fluffy cotton star growth. I never boiled the spiderwood, only used hot water and then soaked. I did boil the cholla wood.

Tank is fully cycled, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates are under 5. I'm running a sponge filter so filtration and flow is virtually no existent. 

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Not an uncommon sight to see fungus growth in a new cycling tank. 

A lack of green chlorophyll indicates that it is not algae that photosynthesis food. It's a fungus that is eating whatever nutrients are leeching off wood or the substrate. 

You should be able to just leave it and let it die out once biofilm grows in the tank. If you have another tank, squeeze the filter media into this tank to help speed up the Beneficial Bacteria growth.

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2 hours ago, jayc said:

Not an uncommon sight to see fungus growth in a new cycling tank. 

A lack of green chlorophyll indicates that it is not algae that photosynthesis food. It's a fungus that is eating whatever nutrients are leeching off wood or the substrate. 

You should be able to just leave it and let it die out once biofilm grows in the tank. If you have another tank, squeeze the filter media into this tank to help speed up the Beneficial Bacteria growth.

Thanks! I've been worried for some time. My tank is stable, albeit still young, and the shrimp have been happy. All the shrimp poop is getting converted into mulm fast. I was afraid this was something that will take over the tank and destroy it. I'm hoping it will go away soon. It's rather unsightly and it gives the shrimp a little more room to forage.

I forgot to mention but when I do siphon it out, it smells horrific. Like sulfur or rotten eggs. I was guessing it was something in line (fungus) with the stuff that grew on the spiderwood, it smelled just as bad and similar.

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I have had fungus each time I set up a new tank, but it has always just disappered on its own after a month or two, and has been varied in appearance each time!

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