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Old 03-29-2017, 11:25 PM   #1
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Please help... what is this?

My quarantine tank is full of the most disgusting, stringy, mucus-like goop I've ever seen. It's clear, and forms little clumps at the bottom, and films over the surface. Sometimes it even grows downward from the surface. I'm beyond repulsed and want to know what it is and what to do.
Here comes the long explanation of what led up to this mess:
I cared for a sick betta who belonged to a friend. I put him in my quarantine and made him as comfortable as I could, tried my best to save him, but he passed away. I'm pretty sure he had dropsy, though he had zero pineconing. Otherwise it was some other ailment I'm not aware of.
However... with him came the weird slime. Soon after adding him this icky clear/white muscousy stuff began to accumulate on the bottom. I did multiple water changes, scrubbed the tank out numerous times with steaming water, and still it returned. I wasn't sure what it was, so I just tried to keep it at bay.
After he passed (R.I.P. Bubbles) I drained the tank and let it be for a while.
A month later I bought a platy (affectionately dubbed Sunny by my sister) and had her in quarantine. The slime came back and I tried to keep it as minimal as possible, but it didn't seem to hurt her at all. Then, three days after I bought her, she died unexpectedly after seeming fine. No ammonia, no nitrite, barely any nitrate... I don't think it was the slime, because I got her from an awful Petco with dead/sick fish in the tank and figured I could nurse her back to health in quarantine. She must've been sick to begin with.
Even though I only had her for three days, I was really sad after losing her and I felt awful. I left the tank alone for weeks and couldn't even look at it. When I finally decided to go deal with it, it was full of the slime. It had congealed in little clumps at the bottom, and the top was covered in a film of it. It honestly looked like clear mucus, it was so disgusting. It didn't stink, but I wanted it gone immediately so I drained the tank and wiped as much out as I could.
I'm considering sterilizing the sponge filter I had in there if necessary.
My question is- what is this stuff? I'll post pics I took before draining the tank. I just want to get rid of it and make sure it can't hurt me or my fish.
All help is much appreciated.
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Old 03-29-2017, 11:28 PM   #2
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Last photo is this gunk clinging to the glass after I drained the tank.
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:09 PM   #3
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Anyone?
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:12 PM   #4
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No idea. Sorry
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:43 PM   #5
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Hmmmm looks like some sort of algae or bacteria. Do you have an aquarium light?
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:06 PM   #6
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I think it may be an extreme plume of biofilm.

I think maybe because there is little surface area in the tank for bacteria to colonise, the biofilm is just attaching everywhere in the water and creating waste that is falling to the bottom. In a tank with gravel and large bio filtration all the bacterias metabolic process are carried out in your substrate/filter whereas here it's just occurring freely in the water.

This YouTube vid is good at explaining it:

https://youtu.be/3EsvBsR6ycE

I could be completely wrong though!
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:32 AM   #7
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I don't have a light on that tank. I think perhaps it could be biofilm, I have a small sponge filter but not much other than that for bacteria to colonize on. Now that I think of it, I'd been adding a lot of bacterial boosters (safestart, etc) at the time it started. Every time I used move it got worse. I guess that's what it was?
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