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Old 11-08-2003, 01:26 AM   #1
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Help identify this new tank growth! (Paging Allivymar)

I'm cycling (fishless) my 20 gallon, and the Nitrites are spiking and the Nitrates have just begun to show up.

I noticed a white growth on both pieces of driftwood in the last few days. The growth doesn't appear to be occuring on the artificial plants or gravel though. I'm not sure what it is, but it appears similar to that which is in a photo in Allivymar's gallery: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/photop...1its_ALIVE.jpg

Here's what it looks like in mine:
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Old 11-08-2003, 01:32 AM   #2
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Did the substance (raw shrimp or some other piece of dead aquaria or other) you added touch that particular area of driftwood? Also, what additives have you added to your tank? Finally, what your current readings on Ammonia, pH, Nitrites, etc.?
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Old 11-08-2003, 01:57 AM   #3
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It's not just that particular area, the both pieces of driftwood are outlined and dotted with this stuff. This tank has been empty for 10 years. No living creatures. Just added ammonia. Early on, I added Cycle, but I stopped that weeks ago.

I've not turned the light on, but the tank does get daylight through a shear covered window across the room. I've also had the biowheel filter, with filter and charcoal running the entire time. The water temperature is 80 degrees.

Ammonia is falling, close to 1ppm from a high of 5ppm. Nitrites are around 5ppm and Nitrates are in the 20ppm range. PH is at 7.8, but I'm trying to bring that down to 7.0 or slightly below. It's at 7.8 despite the driftwood, and the use of RO water mixed 3:1 with my tap.
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Old 11-08-2003, 02:41 AM   #4
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It looks like fungus to me. I don't think its algae. Its what happened to that plant in the "its alive" pic. The plant wasnt actually a submersible plant, and rotted in the tank.

I'd pull the driftwood and boil it; if its too big to get into a pot, pour lots of boiling water over em. You could use antifungals, but it would likely muck up the nitrifying bacteria, and you are SO close to being cycled it would be a shame. Hopefully that will be enough to kill the fungus. I've heard of folks using a 1/10 bleach/water solution to soak the driftwood, and rinsing the driftwood in over-dechlorinated water really well, but there are concerns about the bleach leaching into the wood and then coming out in the tank.
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Old 11-08-2003, 02:44 AM   #5
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Argh! Thanks for the bad news
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Old 11-08-2003, 09:56 PM   #6
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couldn't he just bake it in his ovens broiller on about 200 for awhile?


I can't imagine that would damage the wood, but the temp would be enough to kill anything..
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Old 11-08-2003, 09:59 PM   #7
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That might work as well; guess I was thinking boiling or the bleach as its what came to mind first (I kill all sorts of nasty things with either boiling or bleach LOL must be the medical training in me).

I have to admit, I don't know how long one would bake it tho to ensure the temp has reached 200F on the inside...
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Old 11-08-2003, 11:12 PM   #8
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I boiled water today, one piece was small enough to soak, but the other required me to pour the boiling water over it. We'll see if it reappears. If it does, I'd like to hear the thoughts on baking.

What do you suppose the source was? Inside the tank is the driftwood "African Driftwood" bought off the shelf at the LFS, new and old plastic plants, and new gravel. Nothing living (bigger than microbial) has been in the tank in years.
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Old 11-08-2003, 11:18 PM   #9
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Its hard to say; it may have been in the tank all this time, but now has a plentiful food source. Could have come in on one of the newer plastic plants (although doubtful) or the driftwood (how long have you had it?). I kinda doubt the water source was the issue although of course one can't rule it out without checking.

Have you changed feeding patterns or foods? Any live food additions? Or people food like shrimp?

Just some thinking out loud here
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Old 11-09-2003, 06:10 AM   #10
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Sometimes uneaten food can be the start of the fungus, and once it gets a hold of the wood it can be a pig to get rid off.
I would go more with the boiling of the wood than with baking in the oven, (a bit of a fire risk).
I am not sure about a bleach solution, i would be worried that the wood could absorb the bleach and then leach it back into the aquarium, and you would never be 100% sure that the bleach has been removed from the wood after soaking.
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