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White hair/algae? What is this and how can I get rid of it?

This is a discussion on White hair/algae? What is this and how can I get rid of it? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I decided to do a partial water change (so my wqater is now resting with the declorinator until it reaches the temperature of the ...

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White hair/algae? What is this and how can I get rid of it?
Old 12-20-2006, 09:14 PM   #11
 
I decided to do a partial water change (so my wqater is now resting with the declorinator until it reaches the temperature of the water in the tank - otherwise it would be wayyyyyy too cold).

I took a look in the tank and checked out the filter - almost no water was being pumped out so I took it out and checked on the little sponge-like thing in there. It was FULL of the algae stuff (except all slimy like). I cleaned it off with hot water and put it back it - the filter is back to normal so hopefully this will help clean things up a bit. I plan on checking on it in the morning (when I will be doing the water change).

My boyfriend should be coming by with the digital camera tomorrow so hopefully then I can get some pictures.
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:18 PM   #12
 
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Did you rinse even the filter media with hot water?
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:55 PM   #13
 
All the filter has as media is a "foam cartridge" - that's what I washed. It's what came with the tank.

How often should I change or clean the foam cartridge anyway?

I wonder if I should get a better filter (once I get some kind of money though - Christmas has made me even more of a broke student than I was before!).
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:58 PM   #14
 
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You shouldn't have washed the filter media as you're killing the beneficial bacteria which keeps down ammonia and nitrites. You have to monitor your ammonia and nitrites as you may be experiencing spikes from those two substances.:)
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Old 12-20-2006, 11:24 PM   #15
 
I was afraid of that. But the filter was hardly doing anything, hardly filtering anything since it was full of this stuff... I'll leave the filter alone and just do a water change in the morning.

To think I researched for 3 weeks before I got my fish and I still feel like I am completely lost. :(
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Old 12-20-2006, 11:27 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaiCarInMtl
To think I researched for 3 weeks before I got my fish and I still feel like I am completely lost. :(
Don't worry about it.:) We are still here to help you. Just do water changes and get your lfs' established filter media to seed your tank again in order to restore the bacteria's population. Just monitor your ammonia and nitrites and you'll be fine.:)
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:23 AM   #17
 
Well, I did a partial water change this morning (about 20-25% of the water). I took my betta out of the tank for a bit while I messed around in there. I did not touch the filter! I just changed out some water and then once the temp was back to normal, I put him back in.

I should be able to get the testing kits this evening for the ammonia and nitrites level. Now, here are a few questions:

1- What levels should nitrites and ammonia be? (I think I read it should be at zero but I just want to make sure)
2- What can I do to bring nitrite levels down? What can I do to bring ammonia levels down?

Now, back to the filter: if my filter is all gunked up with this (mystery) algae and is hardly filtering anything, how can I fix this without killing/harming the good bacteria that's in there?

Thanks again for your help, it's really appreciated (by me and my betta Phoenix)!
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:26 AM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaiCarInMtl
1- What levels should nitrites and ammonia be? (I think I read it should be at zero but I just want to make sure)
Yes. You got it right.:)
Quote:
2- What can I do to bring nitrite levels down? What can I do to bring ammonia levels down?
Both can be brought down via water changes. Doing 10% water change daily will help.:)
Quote:
Now, back to the filter: if my filter is all gunked up with this (mystery) algae and is hardly filtering anything, how can I fix this without killing/harming the good bacteria that's in there?
Clean them using your tank water which you remove during water change.:)

Good luck.:)
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:15 AM   #19
 
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Quote:
Now, back to the filter: if my filter is all gunked up with this (mystery) algae and is hardly filtering anything, how can I fix this without killing/harming the good bacteria that's in there?
I don't think it's a mystery and I also don't think it's an algae... It happens when you overfeed, and what you are seeing is a fungal growth over everything in the tank which originated from the uneaten food lying in the tank...The slime you talk of in the filter is also down to uneaten food getting sucked in and trapped and because of the lack of beneficial bacteria there is nothing to break it down so it turns into a sludge... This is a problem I get asked about time and time again with beginners who are trying to get to grips with feeding the correct amount
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:15 PM   #20
 
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It happens when you overfeed, and what you are seeing is a fungal growth over everything in the tank which originated from the uneaten food lying in the tank...The slime you talk of in the filter is also down to uneaten food getting sucked in and trapped and because of the lack of beneficial bacteria there is nothing to break it down so it turns into a sludge
Ok... So either my fish is spitting out his food after he's swallowed it or he's making too much waste? I ask because I feed him those tiny little pellets and I give it to him one by one (I don't leave any lying around). So there's nothing that should be lying/floating around (in theory).
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