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Old 07-12-2017, 07:27 AM   #1
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White waxy film on silicone

I have a 100gal community tank and a 65gal tank with 3 lobsters a bichir and a fire eel. Both tanks have clear silicone air line tubing which is covered in this thick, white waxy film. I also have 3 fake silicone anemones in the community tank and when i take them out to clean them, my hands get covered by this thick waxy residue which does not come off with dish soap, isopropyl alcohol, acetone, vegetable oil, goop, hand lotion, or orange oil. I do not have any clue what it is, but i do not think it is algae. I think it may be a weird bacterial colony or a weird type of silicone eating protozoa but it almost appears as if the silicone is degrading in some way... all ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are at normal levels and i have phosphorus guard and fresh carbon and do frequent water changes and filter cleaning. I get normal algae and bacterial flakes from inside the filter tubing but no algae or bacterial blooms and all the fish are healthy. I am not concerned that it is a danger to my fish but more of a question of what on earth is it because in all my years dealing with weird organisms i have not seen anything like it. It is almost like beeswax or carnauba wax. Anyone have a similar experience?
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:45 AM   #2
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That's nasty. Only had one experience with slime covered aquarium decor, when my daughter was over feeding shrimp pellets to her catfish.
You noted that you use some type of chemical to control phosphates and that you run carbon / charcoal in your filter.
Do you have a phosphate problem in your tap water? I 've read that excess phosphorous can cause algae slicks and also read that aquarium charcoal can leach phosphates into the tank.
Might try adding more bio filter material in your power filter and removing the charcoal. Personally I wouldn't use any chemicals to control phosphates. More frequent water changes and careful feeding might be a better strategy.
I know I haven't been much help but i' m sure there are other fellow aqua nerds out there that probably have the answer. Good luck.
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:19 AM   #3
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I had that on my silicone seals when the tank was around 3 years old. I just used a toothbrush to clean it as a part of my weekly cleaning ritual.
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