Aqueon Mini Bow - Algae or Mold??
Background Info: I have a 2.5 gallon Aqueon Mini Bow desktop aquarium. The hood houses a 15 watt bulb (I have a 10 watt Aqueon Colormax Mini Compact Fluorescent bulb). The bulb is halfway covered by a clear piece of plastic (I guess to prevent water splashing into the socket that the bulb screws into) and the top half of the bulb is not covered by anything. This part of the bulb sits above the canister that the filter sits in.
Question: I have had this tank since February and for about 2.5 months or so, I have been getting dark green and sometimes dark brown colored "stains" on my filter. I figured the brown is probably a type of algae, but I wasn't sure if the green was algae also or if it was starting to get mold on it? I have been watching the temperature and I thought maybe with the warmer weather outside, my room is getting hotter, making the algae grow all of a sudden, but I have not seen much of a temperature increase from the time I bought the tank til now. I usually keep the light on for about 8-9 hours a day (I have a betta in this tank). Is this green and brown stuff safe or is it something I need to take care of? And can I leave this nasty colored filter in here or do I need to change it like every 2 weeks when it gets dirty?