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Old 08-02-2009, 04:11 PM   #1
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White algae/fungus on driftwood

I have a five month old 65 gallon freshwater tank that is all angel fish. The tank has about 12 fish, 3 good sized pieces of driftwood, gravel bottom and plastic plants. I have an Eheim Ecco 2236 filter. The tank tests perfectly.

It has started growing white stuff on the wood. Some people say it will go away on its own, some say it is a big problem, etc., etc...

I did wash the driftwood off today and put back in the tank.

Opinions please.

Also would an algae eating fish help? This tank has done so well I hate to introduce a new fish to it.
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:13 PM   #2
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How "fresh" or rather how dead is the wood? Where did it come from, what kind of wood is it, many things can factor in here. But essentially, if there is white fungus growing on it, it means that there was something "still alive" in or on the wood, afaik....
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:46 PM   #3
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I dont know about the driftwood, but 12 angels in that tank is going to be too much. Do you intend to keep them all in their until mature?
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:56 PM   #4
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The wood came from a very nice aquarium shop... so I was not suspect of its origins. I don't know what kind of wood it is. The two on the left are mounted on slate. The big one on the right sinks by itself.

I bought these fish from a local breeder. I was very impressed with the operation. The facility and tanks were clean and fish looked very healthy. I started with 18 small angel fish which I was concerned were too many but the breeder said go for it. The price was very low so there was no money motivation. Unfortunately I lost 6 to the intake - I had the Eheim hooked up backwards.... I still can't get over that. Anyway, the 12 fish seem fine. They have many vertical places to hide, it is a vertical tank 36" w, 24" h, 18"d and seem to hang in 2-3 groups without any serious aggression. My chemistry keeps testing perfect with a 6.8 ph, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates and 0 nitrites. I guess I will keep the fish together until there is a problem. I do like the look of schools of angel fish swimming together.
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:15 PM   #5
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The piece on the right looks like malaysian driftwood.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:30 PM   #6
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I've had several pieces of driftwood and some have the gunky stuff and some dont. I read up on it and most people said it was fine. Some times it drifts off and i just pick it out, but most time i think it goes away on its own and the filter catches it.

Id just wait it out for a month. Im pretty sure the wood is just acclimating itself.
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:21 PM   #7
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It will eventually disappear on it's own. I've seen it on several pieces of wood in several tanks and it always has. I have to agree that the tank will be overstocked. Once mature, the angels will start to pair and become anything but "angels". They are great parents as far as fish go, but that creates extreme territoriality and aggresion towards like fish.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:37 PM   #8
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you said your tank has 0 ammonia 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates.... how new is the tank?... usually you will read some nitrates.. unless you have live plants in the tank... ph on the other hand is perfect for the angels... so dont change that lol
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:43 PM   #9
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I know. I have one of the expensive master kits and test very carefully. That is what it says. It reads the lowest color on the chart. I do test after the water change. The tank is about 4-5 months old. I used Safestart. Had minor amonia, nitrates and nitrites for the first month then the tank started testing with none. No live plants but lots of driftwood and river pea gravel. Eheim ecco filter. You tell me... I shake my head every time I test. Fish look very healthy and eat like pigs.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:46 PM   #10
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make sure you are shaking up the test kits extreamly well before useage... sometimes when they sit for extended amounts of time, they will test inaccurately...
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:48 PM   #11
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when you do water changes btw.. how much are you changing out?
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:49 PM   #12
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I will try that and see if it changes the readings. The low readings do make me nervous.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:49 PM   #13
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low nothing... they are not there lol
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:50 PM   #14
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20 % normally.. little more if time is longer.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:50 PM   #15
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someone else can chime in if they feel im wrong on that.. but 0 nitrates in a 5 month established tank sounds kooky.... lol
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:52 PM   #16
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I'll shake shake shake and test when I get home.. I'll post results.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelsLilGray View Post
someone else can chime in if they feel im wrong on that.. but 0 nitrates in a 5 month established tank sounds kooky.... lol

I agree about the nitrates. You should have something there if you have anything alive in the tank. And without live plants to soak up the nitrates I would expect them to read higher.

As for the white stuff on driftwood...it is likely brown algae/diatoms. They appear typically in association with high nitrates and silicates, and often with weak lighting. What type of lighting do you have? They will work themselves out with increased light in a cycled tank. Would not hurt to add some otocinclus or another algae eater to the tank like a pleco, even though I don't prefer plecos. There are a number of other great community algae eaters you can of course consider.

I already mentioned how overstocked I think your tank is. And even if you are not interested in breeding angels as you have stated, you can not force them to be celebate as they mature. They will pair up, and with the numbers you are keeping...you may get more than one pair. They will become aggressive and territorial and as HN1 said...anything but angels.

I have a friend who sells off pairs once they faithfully produce, and she makes a good income at this. But to be certain you will not be able to stock your tank with that many angels for very long. I love angels too. They are beautiful fish, but I would recommend against waiting until they mature and become aggressive and territorial to find homes different homes for them.

I suggest looking for a pair amongst the school that you have and then selling back the rest to the breeder or to interested buyers. If you get lucky, or unlucky, depending on your perspective, and get several pairs, you will need a tank per pair. I say this as I don't think your 65 gallon is even large enough to divide more than once or twice with plexi screens to seperate pairs without too much stress. Do you have other tanks that you could move some into?
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:38 PM   #18
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The white stuff is normal for some woods. It will eventually go away on it's own. Some fish nibble at it, some like corys and otos devour it. (IME) I keep a toothbrush that I bought just for use on the tanks handy to give spots a little scrub.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:41 PM   #19
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If it looks similar to this, it's fungal and definitely not diatoms. I've seen it appear quite often on newly introduced DW and it cures itself. Neocaridina will also feed on it, but I wouldn't recommend trying them in that tank.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:52 PM   #20
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OK.... I shook the s... out of the testing chemicals and here are photos of the test tubes I did tonight. (In real life the nitrate color is closer to the 1st color.) Opinions please.
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