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Old 05-22-2016, 11:10 AM   #1
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Brown Scum in Tank

Good morning, I am posting here because I am not an expert when it comes to fish, still kind of a begginer, but I was hoping to get some help.

We have a 20 gallon Freshwater Tank, we have 4 black tetra, 2 red barbs, 2 Dyno, a catfish, and a Plecostomas (I'm probably spelling that wrong). We have aplastic log, a fake plane, and a bunch of plastic plants, all from Petsmart and started the tank last July.

In our old apartment, we had city watrer, and we had to use the dechlorinator, just in case, but now we run on well water, and the well water does have a bit of sulfur in it. We've been in this apartment since November, and in March I noticed that the rocks were turning an orange color (like rust) And the fabric plants I had in there were stained black. So I got rid of them and replaced them with plastic plants, did my normal cleaning of the tank, put in the Water Conditioner for heavy metals, and thought I got rid of the source of the scum. A month later, we cleaned it again, and I scrubed all the new plants with hot water to get rid of what was on them.

Now it's been a month and all the plants are coated in a brownish/blackish scum and even though we've cleaned the tank twice, and gotten new plants, it feels like it's getting worse. 2 fish have dies n that time period, a Sword Tail and a guppy that we've had since the beginning, and another cat fish. I don't know if they are related or not. My mother in law's catfish keeps having babies, and we were going to get 2 more, but I don't want to put them in the tank if they might die. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I hope I put in enough information.

thank you!
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:04 PM   #2
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Sounds like diatoms which are common in a newly setup tank.

Tank is perhaps slightly overstocked and isn't cycled. That's why you have lost fish.


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Old 05-22-2016, 04:30 PM   #3
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You might want to use a filter for the water going into the tank to get out extra dissolved solids.

Also there is a wealth of knowledge for beginners in my signature which links to an article from here and has extra things in it to learn even more. It will also give you informaton about cycling the tank.
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