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post #1 of 5 Old 02-13-2012, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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wood fungus or other?

As I was looking closer at the aquarium I am noticing this white stuff on some of the driftwood. Now, I have had this wood in the aquarium for likely a year now and it hasn't been an issue. Water parameters all look good. I am wondering, since I had the whole yucky plants situation that cost me the bulk of plants in a heavily planted tank, Is this a fungus? Could it have been a fungus on the plant leaves as well?

I hate to pull these pieces of wood as the one is holding back the substrate so it isn't in the intake area. The other is holding plants in place. Is this something I should be worried about or no?

In the past I had some fuzz on my fairly new Mopani, I took it out and boiled and scrubbed it but.. .this is normal driftwood and was heavily boiled before adding to the tank. In other words, for a long time. Where could the fungus come from if that IS it? Like I said, it has been in there for a year.







Also if you look very close there is something on the plant leaves around it. That is what the entire plants were taken over with and seeing it now by the spots on the wood in the last picture, it looks like the same stuff. Am I seeing things? Could it be a fungus that killed my plants? None of my fish seem out of sorts. Thank Goodness.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Mahatma Gandhi
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-13-2012, 02:07 PM
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To get the plant leaves out of the way first, what I see on them is brush algae.

Now to the white stuff, yes, I suspect that is some sort of fungus. Not all fungus is toxic, but some is--to fish. No idea about plants. And fungus can occur from within wood long after. All the preparation we do to wood cannot possibly ensure it is completely safe. Most of it is, fortunately, at least what we buy in the fish store. But some may not be, as I have twice found out.

The wood called Mopani can harbour toxic fungus. Grapewood is much worse; Mikaila recounted a terrible experience with that, and I have read of other similar problems. I have never had an issue with the dark brown/black wood called ironwood, Malaysian Driftwood, or Mangrove wood, and I believe you have one of these.

Now, this fungus may or may not be toxic. It may come from inside the wood, or it may have come externally. I would remove it from the wood as best you can, to be safe.

Byron.

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 #3 of 5 Old 02-13-2012, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Crap! This is Malaysian Driftwood and I boiled the heck out of it for over an hour. I wonder why it would show up so much later? It has been in the tank (in a different position) for over a year. The fact that both pieces suddenly get it suggest that something else in the tank is contributing to the growth? Maybe it enjoys the plant fertilizer?

When I got fungus on the Mopani wood I took it out, scrubbed it real hard with a brush and boiled it again. Do you have any other suggestions? I wonder if wood in the water in nature gets these fungus? How does nature take care of that I wonder? I mean, if it is toxic and it happens in nature, what stops the spread and the fish from getting ill?

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Mahatma Gandhi
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-13-2012, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inga View Post
Crap! This is Malaysian Driftwood and I boiled the heck out of it for over an hour. I wonder why it would show up so much later? It has been in the tank (in a different position) for over a year. The fact that both pieces suddenly get it suggest that something else in the tank is contributing to the growth? Maybe it enjoys the plant fertilizer?

When I got fungus on the Mopani wood I took it out, scrubbed it real hard with a brush and boiled it again. Do you have any other suggestions? I wonder if wood in the water in nature gets these fungus? How does nature take care of that I wonder? I mean, if it is toxic and it happens in nature, what stops the spread and the fish from getting ill?
Remember Inga, I said that this fungus (if that is what it is, I'm not a microbiologist] could come from some other source. If you leave food particles sitting on the bottom, they will fungus quickly. The fungus does not come from the food, but from the water. Could be similar here. Or this might be some form of bacteria. From the photos it has a slimy look, like cyanobacteria, only white instead of green. But there are many bacteria out there.

I've never had fungus on my Malaysian Driftwood, and I have a lot of it, but that doesn't mean it can't.

As for nature, the fish are in such vast volumes of water that most of these issues are not significant. Like ich; it occurs in all freshwaters, yet we don;t see fish covered with spots. They fight it off. In an aquarium we are creating a very artificial closed system. We use nature to make it work, but we have to intervene now and then (as with water changes, treatments, etc) because the closed system is far too small to do otherwise. Another thing about nature is that every problem often has a solution. This fungus may appear, and some creature may be there to deal with it. Or different bacteria.

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 5 Old 02-13-2012, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Well I think as I always do, I will do another very large water change maybe 80% and try to clean off the white spots. It is just too strange. I always want to know why something happens and there isn't always an answer. I don't wish to add anything to the tank to try to get rid of the "possible fungus" as it could cause other issues more problematic then what is there now.

What I wonder is how long this stuff has been there. With all the pants, I wouldn't have noticed it. I just pulled most of them out recently and honestly didn't look close at the wood. I was just looking closer wondering if I should move my plants around to make a more aesthetically pleasing look. IF you have any educated suggestions there, I am willing to listen. Remember the ugly plastic log has to stay for the happiness of the rainbow shark.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Mahatma Gandhi
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