White/clear algae? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-14-2012, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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White/clear algae?

I have a 10 gal brackish tank that I'm using to house cherry shrimp.

The driftwood and java moss seem to have this white/clear algae buildup.

Is this normal?

Here's the picture (I didn't shrink the photo before uploading it):
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-14-2012, 01:19 PM
I've seen that on driftwood. I believe it is something rotting. Placing the driftwood in a tub outside for several months took care of the problem for me.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-14-2012, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, several months?! Is there an alternative way I can prevent this before I leave it outside?
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-14-2012, 06:42 PM
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Some types of wood tend to get funky. I don't remember which do and don't. Id try putting it in the sink and lightly scrub it and rinse with boiled water. If that doesn't fix the problem then try taking the wood right out as cwmorrow advised :)

I just junked some local lake driftwood I had been soaking for several months. It started getting a slime like that.

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post #5 of 8 Old 08-14-2012, 07:25 PM
Originally Posted by JSPK View Post
Wow, several months?! Is there an alternative way I can prevent this before I leave it outside?
You can scrub it and soak it for a month, put it back in the tank and see if it gets scummed again.
It's not killing anyone after all, it just looks nasty.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-14-2012, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a bunch guys. I'll try scrubbing it down and see if it'll grow back within a week. If it does, I'll set it in a bucket for awhile.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-15-2012, 03:18 AM
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Does it look like the photo I posted here?

If yes, it's a fungal growth. In my experience it died out on its own after about a month. In the white rapid growth stage, it's possible that it can cause harm to fish, according to Byron.

My tank is relatively new - As my driftwood was growing this fungus, I left the tank fishless for 3 weeks, since I was going on vacation anyway. I came back home and the fungus was no longer white, but brownish and had stopped growing. It was easy to remove at that point. Since then I've introduced fish and they show no ill effects.

There are different types of fungus though, and some are deadly to fish and some not. If it is clouding your water (it didn't in my case), be very wary, as this nearly killed Byron's fish.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-15-2012, 10:59 AM
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That appears to be a type of fungus, but there are many species of fungus and identifying which one would take a micro biologist with a microscope.

Some fungi are basically safe, some are highly toxic. This cannot be determined without identifying the fungus, though with a toxic species it will possibly kill fish/invertebrates.

What you have may not be toxic, or it may; it may be toxic to fish but not invertebrates, this is something I know nothing about.


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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