Fungus problem? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-24-2012, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Fungus problem?

I noticed in the last couple days that there are some white cotton (like a dandelion almost) ball like things growing on the bottom of my tank in between the large rocks I'm using as substrate. I'm thinking it's some kind of fungus but I'm not sure. I've been trying to get them out with a turkey baster but will be doing a 50% water change today and siphoning it all up. Is there any additives I can add that will help? I do a water change weekly but I think I might be overfeeding. I have three african clawed froglets and 6 tetras in the tank (20 G). I don't think the tetras are over fed but I feed the frogs on a small dish which is removed after 20 minutes but they get food everywhere.

Thanks for your help, I'm worried about my little guys!
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-24-2012, 12:21 PM
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Are all of your fish accounted for? Could it be that you had a few that died and that's the fuzz you're seeing?

If not, my guess would be the uneaten and unsiphoned food rotting.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-24-2012, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, all the fish are there. Is this something I should be overly concerned with? I've been more vigilant in cleaning up the leftover food since I noticed it and will continue to do so, I'm just concerned it'll be tough to get rid of or have a lasting effect on the fish.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-24-2012, 07:28 PM
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This is one real problem with substrates that are large sized (like pebbles, small rocks). Food falls down and fungus appears. Fish can't get down to eat it, and bacteria can't get going on it in time. In a substrate of fine gravel or sand, the bacteria quickly work to break down any food and fungus is avoided.

To my knowledge, the fungus that usually grows on uneaten fish food is not particularly harmful, but it is a sign that all is not well down there [i.e., unhealthy at best], so I would remove it whenever you see it, but more importantly, consider changing the type of substrate.

We have another thread on this subject, wherein I mention options such as a base substrate of fine gravel or even pea gravel with scattered pebbles on top, for an authentic stream habitat. This would eliminate the fungus issue.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-25-2012, 12:43 PM
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Do you have any Mopani driftwood in there?
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-25-2012, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Nope, no driftwood in the tank. I did a 50% water change today and changed over to a sand substrate. I'm hoping that helps, thanks for the help! I'll post back if I run into any more problems!
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