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Old 06-21-2008, 11:07 AM   #1
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Question newbie paranoia...brown gunk on wood

I have included some pictures in hopes it might help identify whatever this is in my 10g tank. The piece of wood that is in there has pretty quickly started developing this brown fuzzy looking gunk on it. It doesn't seem to be bothering the betta and the tee-niny snails that came in with a live plant are partying in it...but I don't like the way it looks. If it is safe, then I am fine with it. For background info....this was a piece of 100% dead wood that I found in my yard. I liked its shape and I boiled it for 4 hours and have soaked it for the entire time it has taken to cycle my tank (3 weeks). It was completely waterlogged when I put it in the tank. What does this brown stuff look like to ya'll? I also included a great pic of Bert that I was able to snap while taking the others. He is camera shy and I rarely get a good pic of him.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:28 AM   #2
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It's hard to tell from the pictures. I'd guess that it's diatoms (common in new aquariums) or fish waste. Either would be easy to brush off.
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Old 06-22-2008, 05:54 AM   #3
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Colour looks consistent to diatoms, which is harmless if that's what it is.
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Old 06-22-2008, 06:06 AM   #4
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Good deal, ladies! Thanks for replying! I was looking up fish that would help with this and found many threads speaking of otos. But, since I have my three peppered corys in my QT tank now, I don't have anywhere I could QT an oto. The dwarf ones are adorable, though. I will be getting some red cherry shrimp sometime next week. Will they help with cleaning it up?
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:35 AM   #5
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The shrimp aren't likely to eat the diatoms, but it should go away on it's own within a couple of months anyway.
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Old 06-22-2008, 10:32 AM   #6
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Very good...then I won't worry about it. If it is nature, I am fine with it...if it was dangerous, I wanted it outa there....
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Old 06-22-2008, 06:51 PM   #7
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Diatoms are not harnful and seem to be a rite of passage for most tanks. I'd say that they will go away on their own, but this is not my personal experience. I must have lots of silicates in my water, cos I still have diatoms in my 15g 6 months after the cycle completed.

That's what my Otos are for
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:55 AM   #8
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I never had diatoms until I moved to Phoenix and after my Zebras died. I chalk it up to tank neglect and increased water temps since I've lived here.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:24 AM   #9
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Another funny thing.....when I added my cories to the 10g tank yesterday and after everyone "settled down" (my male betta) I have watched my cories skimming all over my piece of wood and I see a lot less of that stuff now. I didn't think cories would mess with diatoms.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:25 PM   #10
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my cat isn't supposed to eat certain things too.... but she does.
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