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Old 06-26-2012, 08:58 PM   #1
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What's growing in my tank?!

So I was looking at my fish tank today and I noticed something odd. On the glass, there are many tiny feather-like things. They are translucent white and they look like small feathers. They are about a millimeter long on average. I couldn't find any answers by looking online. My guess is that they are either little spores, or some strange organisms that I've never seen before.

My tank is a 29 gallon planted freshwater aquarium. I've had it set up for almost a year now. I had a diatom (brown algae) problem, but I recently introduced three otocinclus fish and they cleared it up. Last time I did a water test, the pH was really high (8.4) as were the alkalinity and hardness (300 ppm), but I have since been taking steps to get that under control, so those are presumably better now. At the time, nitrates, nitrites, chlorine, etc were fine.

I attached a picture but you can't really see the things. They're so tiny. They are attached to the glass at their bases and the feather-looking part just kind of moves with the current. I don't think it's ich as I haven't seen it on the fish. Under a magnifying glass, they look sort of like cobwebs in the shape of feathers.

My main questions are: Should I be worried and how do I get rid of them?
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:29 AM   #2
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I have no idea if it is the same thing or not, but I ran into this thread that you might want to give a read.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ies-43701.html

Good luck!
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:01 PM   #3
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I have no idea if it is the same thing or not, but I ran into this thread that you might want to give a read.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ies-43701.html

Good luck!
After inspecting the little things, I would have to guess that they are not Vorticella colonies. They're a little too organized. I wish I could somehow magnifiy one and take a picture of it.
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:53 PM   #4
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Anyone seen this before?
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:59 AM   #5
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Hydra?
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:07 PM   #6
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They don't look like hydras to me, but I have gotten a better picture of them, so let me know what you think.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:45 PM   #7
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I stumbled upon a picture of Bryozoans and they looked kind of like what's in my tank. Apparently, freshwater species are uncommon, but maybe I happened to get some?
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:51 PM   #8
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Are they all over the surface of the glass?

Sometimes I get something very similar tiny feather looking things on all sides of the glass. They give my tank a cloudy appearance until wiped off. I typically see them return a few weeks later. I believe it is some sort of algae
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:12 PM   #9
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Are they all over the surface of the glass?

Sometimes I get something very similar tiny feather looking things on all sides of the glass. They give my tank a cloudy appearance until wiped off. I typically see them return a few weeks later. I believe it is some sort of algae
Yes, they are all over the glass and not really anywhere else in the tank.
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:19 PM   #10
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It is impossible to identify a microbe on colony appearance alone. Without the aid of a microscope and only my microbiology book to help my best guess would be what is commonly known as water mold. Don't get confused by the name, it's not really a mold. True fungi are haploid or dikaryotic while slime mold is diploid. Unlike fungi the cell wall of slim mold is made up of cellulous. And the differences continue. They have been reclassified as a protists. The University of Berkley has some interesting articles about them on their site.
Unless your fish are sick, wounded, stressed or living in inadequate conditions they shouldn't become infected. The problem is more common in planted tanks and over fed tanks. The colony is clinging to the glass because that's where the food is. To get them to go away take away their food source. Keep scrubbing the sides of your tank and the decorations. Also don't over feed your fish.
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:43 AM   #11
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My tank has strange cobweb like things growing, can anyone help? I have added pic (they are below red looking stone)

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