Odd driftwood fungus and tiger snails - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-18-2013, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Odd driftwood fungus and tiger snails

My driftwood progression went from the nice light and dark mixed mopani driftwood piece, pic one.

Then I boiled it and it turned all red, not so nice as the blonde wood colour that it had.

Put it in the tank and it very quickly grew some sort of fungus, at least I am assuming that it was a fungus by the look of it. I was considering that the wood may have to be removed and relegated to a dry display piece. pic three but with some clean spots. The pond snails wouldn't touch it and the trumpet snails like the sand better.

In pic three the clean spots are thanks to four tiger snails. I dropped them on it specifically and have only had to move two back on as they seem to really like the stuff growing on the wood.

Pic four is the end result, the tigers are still working on the last of it and it is looking much better. If it doesn't keep growing back then the wood may stay. Otherwise I have two lattice rock pieces that may get substituted. It's a shame if that is the case as I like that white quartz egg shaped rock that I wedged into the wood.

Yes, this leads to a question... if the snails eat the fungus is it reasonably safe to assume that it is not some harmful to the fish fungus?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Driftwood.jpg (39.6 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg not so clean wood.jpg (93.9 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg clean wood.jpg (117.7 KB, 22 views)

Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-18-2013, 11:27 AM
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That's the bad part of Mopani wood it leeches tannins like crazy and then a lot of times it produces fungus. Obviously there are many kinds of fungus and some are toxic and some are not.

If it was toxic you would know usually with in the first week (maybe less time) as your fish would show sign of it. Gasping for air at the top of the water, swimming funny, breathing fast, or not swimming or even be dead. If I had to guess if the snails are eating it and there are no signs with your fish then I would say its safe but would still keep an eye out.
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post #3 of 3 Old 01-18-2013, 12:01 PM
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I agree. And I had one such piece of wood with a toxic fungus that kills fish. What you had seems not to have been toxic. And as the snails ate it, even better.

I would leave this, just keep an eye on things.

There are many types of fungus; a microbiologist I consulted over mine said that without microscopic examination to determine the species we cannot say whether a fungus is toxic or safe. Some types of wood seem more prone to toxic fungus, grapewood and manzanita wood being the two I know of that have killed fish. Mopani is a similar wood, but this doesn't mean all fungus is toxic, obviously.


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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