I understand the premise behind the 'good bacteria' keeping the water clear, but I don't know what 'bacteria' look like. I just assumed (and yes I know what happens when a person 'assumes' ! LOL) it was mostly invisible. My question is about the 'brown gunk' that accumulates on the filter outputs and all the stuff that 'grows' in the tank, like the plastic plants and the filter tubes etc. IS THIS bacteria ? And is it helpful or harmful to wipe this gunk off when maintaining your tanks ? It looks disgusting, but IF that is the beneficial bacteria I'll leave it alone. If it's not, I'll continue to wipe it off whenever it gets really really crappy.
Thanks for any and all help. Laurie.