Slime on Mopani Wood - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 13 Old 04-03-2010, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by stephanieleah View Post
I wonder if this fungus could infect the snails in the tank, which could then house the fungus and infect future fish stock.
It's possible I suppose, but my understanding is that these fungi are pretty much universally found and the spores are pretty much everywhere. THey will simply start to grow in the right conditions (eg. a nice fresh bit of wood in a tank with traces of sap oozing out of it).
I would guess that healthy snails would not act as a host for these types of fungus, but that is just a guess.
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post #12 of 13 Old 04-03-2010, 06:17 PM
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Thought I should share this with you, on this topic. I was in one of my local fish stores earlier today, and I happened to overhear a question from another customer. He had bought a piece of manzania [spelling?] wood (which I think is mopani wood under another name, it looks the same to me) last week, saw this fungus develop, cloudy water, and two of his three Corydoras keeled over and died within a couple days; the third is still "sitting" on the bottom. I mentioned to him of my experience last week that I've already recounted in this thread, and suggested he pull the wood out and do a major water change to save the cory. He said he had already done this, fearing something on the wood.

This is too much of a coincidence. It only serves to remind all of us that wood, even purchased from reputable stores, can have substances and vigilance is needed. Proper soaking, boiling, scrubbing, or whatever may be the best for the particular wood is a sensible precaution.

Another personal experience: back around 1997 I had a situation where fish were slowly but daily dying in my 115g, and I spent weeks testing and trying to figure out what was doing it; the corys again were the first to develop symptoms--laboured respiration, lethargy for days, then rolling over dead. Finally with the help of the Curator of Freshwater Fish at the Vancouver Aquarium I found the origin of the problem to be a large piece of wood that had leeched something toxic (still don't know what it was). Removing all the wood, scrubbing the tank, replacing the filter, cleaning the gravel, washing the plants--had to remove every trace of it, as it obviously had permeated everything slowly over time. That was also a piece of wood from an aquarium store. We don't know where this stuff comes from, or what may have sometimes been in contact with it, or what species of wood it may be. Caution is prudent.


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 #13 of 13 Old 04-04-2010, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by hamfist View Post
I am led to understand that it is a Saprolegnia sp. fungus growing on the wood. It will probably be best NOT to scrub the wood, as the fungus will disappear once it is replaced by a bacterial/algal biofilm, and this is what you are aiming for. The fungus is just the quickest organism to colonise it. One just needs to be a bit patient to let the bacteria/algae displace the fungus. If you keep on actually scrubbing it you will be removing any desirable bacteria/algae too.
I suspect that, as iamntbatman mentioned, the fungus is attracted there by sap leaching out of the wood. The piece that I had problems with very obviously had this fungus at all the cut ends of the wood, and not on the "outer" surface where there had been bark.
I have never had it so bad as it actually clouded the water (I agree, heavy water changes would be needed then). I have only seen it on one piece of wood, which lasted about 5-7 days until it disappeared. I just removed the worse of it with a syphon tube.
I did notice that my bristlenose and oto's definately did NOT like to at it. It clearly tasted revolting to them ! If it gets as bad as to cloud the water, I'm guessing that it could be very unpleasant for the fish.
Thank you for this post - that's interesting. Saprolegnia sp. also causes cotton wool disease, I've read. I suppose that the fungus is always present and colonizes whenever an opportunity presents itself, whether it's new wood or a sick fish.

Strange how sometimes the growth on the wood causes cloudiness and fish illness (as in Byron's case) and sometimes it is just a harmless growth that goes away (in my and iamntbatman's case). Caution is prudent, indeed.
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