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thetrix 11-05-2003 04:52 PM

Weird Fungal growth in tank
Hello everyone, new to this website. I have a 20 gallon freshwater tank that has recently sprung a strange fungus in the tank. The only way to describe it is it looks like Tripe. There's no signs of this mysterious substance on the fish. ONLY on the gravel and glass. The water's not cloudy or murky.

Unfortunately, I just got a new 30 gallon tank with a new canister filter and everything. I got new gravel, but now I am concerned with transferring these blobs into the new tank.

Anyone ever see this before? Water levels good. Fish are: Danios, Clown Loach, Tetras, and Platys.

Thanks for any advice.

Alivymar 11-05-2003 05:51 PM


Hiya thetrix and welcome to Aquariumadvice.

While I have never seen a fungus quite like that in a tank, your description is...erm...descriptive LOL

Coupla things. You say water levels are good; just to be clear what exactly are they? Also, how long has the 20g been cycled and running? I've read that once bacterial colonies catch up, fungus may disappear; obviously if your tank is well cycled thats not going to happen. Antifungals MIGHT work, but I hesitate to suggest them as they may affect the fish as well. And when you say you are "concerned with transferring these blobs into the new tank" how do mean? With the fish? Or were you planning on adding something else from the affected tank like filter media?

I'm hoping Rex Grigg stops in; hes one of our planted gurus and I have a feeling may have more info on this then I.

thetrix 11-05-2003 06:17 PM

Well, the fungus is ugly, that's for sure. Some kind of invasion is what I think.

Water Tests - Ammonia =0, Nitrites =0, Nitrates =20 and PH is 7.2. I've had the 20g tank for 3 years. Filter is a Whisper 20 - cartridge change was Saturday.

What I meant by the "transfer concerns"...what if this fungus is dormant in the water? When I set up this new 30g tank, I've heard it's best to transfer as much water from the old tank as possible. Also I've heard to hang the old Whisper filter on the new tank (in addition to the new filter) for the first 6 weeks. I don't want this weird Tripe to appear in the new tank, and maybe I'm just paranoid 'cause it doesn't seem to be bothering the fish!

We do become obsessed, no?

Allivymar 11-05-2003 09:06 PM

Heh obsessed? Moi? Who has her big tank set up right behind the couch and sits sideways so she can watch her fish and the TV at the same time? And nearing 2000 posts despite the fact she keeps missing the one L in her nick and winds up signing on with her alternative nick? LOL

Yeah, alivymar and allivymar are both me. Anyway, your water parameters look great; obviously a well cycled tank. You may want to call the local water supply to see if they will check out the water or have any input as to whether or not this is coming from your taps. You really don't need to add water from the old tank IF the parameters are the same (temps, pH, etc). Fresh clean treated water with matching parameters is always a good thing. However, unless you add nitrifying bacteria, you will wind up having to cycle again. Adding old tank water won't help, theres a little bacteria in the water but nitrifying bacteria colonises surfaces, like gravel, filter media, decor and walls. You do want to add that old filter, or at least the media, to keep the new tank from spiking as there is usually a large nitrifying bacterial colony on it, but yeah, it could bring that nasty mold/fungus with it. Is it possible for you to get a hold of Bio-Spira? Its the only true product on the market with the correct bacteria for instantly cycling a tank; you may want to forgo adding anything except the fish from the old tank, and use the Bio-Spira to prevent ammonia/nitrite spikes.

Also, pm Rex Grigg; he may have some ideas.

thetrix 11-05-2003 10:14 PM

LOL Alli, or shall I say Ali? Guess I'm not that bad. Beautiful pics, your obsession pays off!

I was going to answer "probably" to Bio-Spira since my LFS is REALLY a fish store, not a pet store. (Yes, I spend HOURS in there.) Now, I KNOW I can get it since I noticed there was a leaflet in the bag with my new filter for Bio-*everything*...LOL. Bio-Safe, Bio-Spira, Bio-Coat, etc. I'll stop in there tomorrow to get it and get started on the new tank. I also need more Detoxifier (answers your other question about my Tap water - HIGH chlorine).

Thanks again for the advice. I'll keep you posted.

Allivymar 11-05-2003 10:41 PM


There is no fish-only places near me within a half hrs drive. There is one within 45 mins; that one sells loaches at $20 EACH!!

Grab the bio-Spira, but keep it refrigerated until you move everyone into the new tank; its made to be added with the fish. If you add it a coupla days before, there is no ammonia source for the bacteria to feed on and they'll starve. I've used it successfully 3 times. But do keep an eye on your water parameters; I've come across 2 folks who had gotten a bad bag, and it didn't work as well as advertised (low levels of ammonia were registering).

Oh, and I've been using Insto-Chlor for treating my water. An 8 oz bottle treats 3200 gallons; one capful for 80g...the stuff lasts forever! Figure with your tank we're talking 160 water changes IF you were to change every drop each time *grin* I also like it because it dechlorinates. dechloraminates, and removes heavy metals and NOTHING else. I don't like to add chemicals to my tank, like stuff that "enhances" slime coat. Healthy fish don't need slime coat enhancement; mostly what those chemicals do it irritate the fish so they produce more slime. Others have aloe vera as an additive; all that does is mess up the water in high doses and has no effect on fish. I never touch pH, GH or KH.

Btw, I notice you mentioned clown loach. Does that mean you have only one? If so, couple things to know. Loaches do best in groups; minimum for clowns is really 3. Also, they get big; about a foot long when they mature (fortunately they don't grow as quickly as plecos do for example). At some point that 20g is going to be too small for him (or them if you get him some buddies). Do keep it in mind!

thetrix 11-06-2003 09:03 AM

Geez, $20 for a loach? Depending on where in NY you are, it's probably cheaper to drive to NJ - mine sells them for $10 usually.

Anyway, yeah, the clown loach was my one foolish mistake. I DID have 2. One died. They've been my nemesis since I got them, making random, cameo appearances. I rarely see him. He's Always hiding in something - I don't know how I'm going to get him in the new tank. Poor guy...I'm so mean to him. Now I know he's lonely (see what you've done?). I'll tell you, though, if he becomes a foot long, then the fish guys from the fishy store will have to come and pick him up. I'm a wimp and'll probably have nightmares.

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