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Old 09-17-2018, 11:43 AM   #1
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New planted tank and it's gone completely wrong (and what's this white fuzz all over)

Hey All!


Looking for some help.... I'll preface this by saying that I'm definitely still a novice with my 10 gal aquarium (it was originally a gift to my then-4-year-old son, but I got way more into it then he is haha).



Anyway - I've recently begun switching the tank from plastic accessories to planted and it's been a struggle. I've had a couple of fish die in the process, sadly, and my plants don't look great. Although it's turned into way more work than I was prepared for, it's still--at least for the time being--a labor of love.


I feel like I've got a million questions but need to start somewhere. Most of my plants have had several dead/dying leaves that I'm working constantly to cut back (more dead then new growth, unfortunately). But what I'm stumped by at the moment is what this white/brown fuzzy debris is that's all over a couple of my plants (see pictures). Any help is greatly appreciated. I'm sure I'll have lots of follow up questions.


If it helps: The tank is an aqueon 10 gallon starter tank kit with the LED lights/hood that those come with (these guys: https://www.aqueon.com/products/aqua...angle-led-kits). No C02 setup (and I'd prefer to keep it that way, if possible, since it's a small tank and small investment/hobby). I've got 5 total plants now, including the 2 in the picture, and none of them look great. I don't want to switch back to plastic plants, but would if this is beyond repair... Last I tested, my pH was a little low and my nitrites were there. Doing a water change this evening. Any other vital info needed to identify the issues, please ask.



Really appreciate the help - thanks everyone!
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:40 PM   #2
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Welcome!

Sorry to hear there is a bunch of inconveniences an some fish loss.

Are you familiar with the nitrification process. If you need some good basic information it is in the article in my signature.

Is there an adjustment on the filter to increase and decrease the flow, if so turn it up.

Maybe reduce the lighting period some.

The white stuff seems to like to grow in new tanks and on wood type stuff.

Is your tank cycled yet?
How long has it been running?

The Java Fern that is planted will not like the rhizome in the substrate. That is the brown stem part the leaves are connected to. You can set the roots in the substrate, but the rhizome will likely rot there.

As for plants and keeping a planted tank, if you select plants for your lighting and plants which are easy to keep alive it will be more enjoyable to start out!

Anubias of all sorts especially A. Nana because it stays smaller and neater growth pattern and doesn't over take the tank.
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:20 AM   #3
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If you could provide the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels so we know what you got going on. Also, as Autumn pointed out, how long is your lights on including light from windows? Are you using LED's?

If you can get a couple of air stones with an air pump that would help. They are fairly cheap on Amazon for your size tank. Lack of circulation can cause problems. What kind of filtration do you have?

Once your tank is cycled there are options for algea eaters such as snails or shrimp.
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:31 AM   #4
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Welcome!

Is there an adjustment on the filter to increase and decrease the flow, if so turn it up.

Maybe reduce the lighting period some.

The white stuff seems to like to grow in new tanks and on wood type stuff.

Is your tank cycled yet?
How long has it been running?

Thanks Autumn! (1) I don't see an adjustment, but I do need to clean the filter pump, I know that, and I removed the secondary cartridge/mini-pad holder, which seems to have helped the flow, too. (2) The lights are probably on too long; close to 10 or 11 hours a day. The tank is in a well-lit room but doesn't get direct sunlight. (3) The tank itself has been set up and running since August, 2017. But like I said, the addition of plants is new, so perhaps it sort of started over? I do feel like I made the mistake of adding too many at once...



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Originally Posted by Autumnsky View Post
The Java Fern that is planted will not like the rhizome in the substrate. That is the brown stem part the leaves are connected to. You can set the roots in the substrate, but the rhizome will likely rot there.

As for plants and keeping a planted tank, if you select plants for your lighting and plants which are easy to keep alive it will be more enjoyable to start out!

Anubias of all sorts especially A. Nana because it stays smaller and neater growth pattern and doesn't over take the tank.

I like the idea of Anubias (thank you), I just have to find some locally, I guess. But is there anything I can do to help the existing plants? Or should I uproot and start over?
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:33 AM   #5
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Once your tank is cycled there are options for algea eaters such as snails or shrimp.

Unfortunately both snails and shrimp are considered invasive species here in Maine and both are illegal...
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:48 AM   #6
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Unfortunately both snails and shrimp are considered invasive species here in Maine and both are illegal...
Aquarium specific "pet" snails and shrimp are illegal? That would suck...
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:25 AM   #7
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Aquarium specific "pet" snails and shrimp are illegal? That would suck...

100% (it's weird, I know)....
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:24 PM   #8
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See if maybe you can get a Siamese Algea Eater
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:20 PM   #9
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New planted tank and it's gone completely wrong (and what's this white fuzz all over)

The white fuzzy debris is just harmless fungus. As Autumn said, it tends to grow on newly submerged organic materials, but it rarely gets very aggressive.

It's difficult to get a good algae eater in a 10 gallon if you can't do snails or shrimp! There are options, though, if you are interested.

For the record, you can acquire a permit to have shrimp in Maine, but it's obviously a PITA. Maine does have native freshwater snail species that you could go with, legally.

As for the plants, they tend to go through some growing pains. Make sure rhizome plants have their rhizomes uncovered and that your filtration is good. Drop down to about 8 hours of lighting a day.

You can also get a water column liquid fertilizer like ThriveS, Flourish, Easy Green, etc.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:49 AM   #10
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The white fuzzy debris is just harmless fungus....

It's difficult to get a good algae eater in a 10 gallon if you can't do snails or shrimp! There are options, though, if you are interested...

Maine does have native freshwater snail species that you could go with, legally....

You can also get a water column liquid fertilizer like ThriveS, Flourish, Easy Green, etc.

  • Thanks! Is there any (non-fish/algae eater) way to get rid of the "white fuzzy debris"? I'm glad it's harmless, but it doesn't look the best...
  • What are the algae eater options? I did have a couple of Otto Cats and loved them, but they were the first to go when the tank went pear-shaped, unfortunately.
  • How do you go about legal freshwater snails in Maine, do you know? That's the first I've heard of it (all the LFS 'round here have just said it's flat-out illegal)
  • I have been using the Aqueon plant food fertilizer. But I'm reading much more about "Flourish", so I'll likely switch to that next. And I'm coming to realize that I should probably dose more often in smaller doses than one big does weekly with the water change, yeah?


Thank you so much, everyone, for all of your help/support!

Cheers,
Luke
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:01 PM   #11
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There are around 40 native freshwater snails in Maine. Big mouth pond snails are the principle species. Invasive mystery snails are more common now, which is why they are restricted for tanks.

If you have access to a body of fresh water, you could just go snail hunting. Just make sure you don't pick up any mystery snails and put any snails you find in quarantine for at least a month.

Otherwise, you could ask around for local hobbyists or local fish stores (not franchises) and see if anyone is selling native snails.

As far as algae eaters for small tanks, I'll just spam you a list. Keep in mind this is not with any regard to your current fish or water parameters.

Chinese/siamese algae eaters, otos (as you mentioned), mollies (aggressive), guppies (inefficient), Endlers (they'll eat algae if it just happens to be in front of them), flagfish, african cichilids (only eats some types of algae).
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:43 PM   #12
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Ah, didn't realize you were in the no snail zone.

Native is a solid option.

Does the Maine ruling specify sharing snails with hobbyists, or only none for sale at pet stores. I read about it a long while back when it was just about or had just passed and people were very angry.

A Mystery snail can eat it up in a day or 2.

So for other options,
You can rinse, use a soft, dust pan feathered bristle brush to brush it off - Only a brush you got new, rinsed well and soaked in prime for a couple hours, and would only use for the tank.

It might come on again but it will die off pretty soon. You can rinse and brush again if it comes back and you can't get a snail.

Most creatures will need the tank cycled to survive well.
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Old 09-20-2018, 10:08 AM   #13
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A Mystery snail can eat it up in a day or 2.

Wouldn't a mystery snail be too big for a 10gal? I know of one local club and was going to ping them on Facebook to see if anyone had a snail to spare (also because I--and I'm sure my son would too--think they're super fun). And there's always eBay, I guess...
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:43 AM   #14
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One Mystery Snail would be okay one Apple Snail would not, but also one large full grown snail dying in a 10G could mean a disasterous ammonia spike.

So one could borrow a MS or keep a small one and get a new small MS when the other gets grown up. Or watch every day to make sure you see him in the tank ). They get about 2 inches, is that 3-4cm?
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Old 09-20-2018, 04:30 PM   #15
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I can only really upvote all of the above. I had the white fungus stuff too when I first put in organic decorations/hardscape/whatever you want to call them. It stuck around for a few weeks than I haven't seen it since.
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:02 PM   #16
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One Mystery Snail would be okay one Apple Snail would not, but also one large full grown snail dying in a 10G could mean a disasterous ammonia spike.

So one could borrow a MS or keep a small one and get a new small MS when the other gets grown up. Or watch every day to make sure you see him in the tank ). They get about 2 inches, is that 3-4cm?

Just wanted to update: I may or may not have ended up driving over the border to New Hampshire and may or may not have snagged a couple of nerite snails and I may or may not love them. If it were true, I would say they've done a killer job cleaning up all the junk on the plants in the pictures
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:23 PM   #17
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Sounds perfect.
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