Is this cyanobacteria?
I did a water change last weekend and then this stuff appeared and my sand is starting to turn black in spots... So I have been doing daily water changes and cleaned my canister filter last night (it was gross... really really dirty... :shock:). I didn't test the water yet but I'll do that tonight and post results. I've lost two loaches. Immediately after last night's water change and filter cleaning, all fish started behaving normally again but this morning, a couple loaches and most of my platies were back to hovering just below the surface. With every water change I've done, I've been scooping out any plants that have the white fuzz spots visible on them but there is always more the next day.
Lights out for awhile, cut back on feeding, and continue with daily water changes? I'm changing about 50% daily.
There may be cyano in the plants (green slime) but the white is not. Probably a fungus. And if you are seeing fish respirating faster and near the surface, get all that out immediately, even if it means removing those plants or leaves, and do another major water change. I had a white fungus appear on wood that killed fish quickly with the same symptoms. Any idea where this came from? Has any new wood gone in recently?
Eep! Yeah I will do my best to remove everything that has that stuff. Do you think I should try to switch out the sand as well?
I'm not sure where it came from... I haven't added anything new to my tank. I don't know if the timing was just a coincidence or would it have something to do with the water change last weekend? At that point it had been about a month since my last water change because of all the crazy overtime I worked all through May (the joys of seeding season when working for a seeding equipment company). The stuff appeared a couple days after the water change. But my filter was honestly disgusting... sludge of decaying plants when I opened it up. I'm willing to bet that was the main culprit...
If I add pimafix to the water will that help at all with the fungus? Does it actually help to get rid of fungus?
As I said, I saw something like this when I put a new (previously dry) piece of either Mopani or Manzanita wood, or it may have been grapewood, in my 90g. It took maybe a day or two, then the fish began respirating fast, the corys became lethargic, and the water was slightly cloudy...I did a 75% water change and took out the wood (which had some whitish fungus leeching out from it), things went back to normal. I know of other local aquarists who had fish losses from this.
No idea where yours may have come from; the sludge in the filter might be part of it, I had a fairly sudden outbreak of cyano bad and traced that to not cleaning the filter often enough. Cyano is organics-related, this stuff may be similar.
I've never used Primafix, and I would want to be certain it would target whatever this is before subjecting the fish to more substances, and that is something I cannot say.
Ok. So I tested my water and it's definitely wonky... I don't remember the last time I saw an ammonia reading in this tank, and using the API Master Freshwater liquid testing kit, the ammonia is in the dark green range. I couldn't tell which one it matched the closest, but it's definitely dangerously high. Nitrites are zero, and nitrates are 5.0ppm. I have done 3 50% water changes (one each day since the weekend) and my ammonia is still that high. I'm assuming it's due to the mass decay that's taking place in my tank as the white stuff coats the plants? And also there is a lot of food left at the bottom every day so obviously my fishes are feeling crummy and not eating... :cry:
I will continue to do daily water changes and manually remove any of the white stuff that I can see. It seems to be found on my water nymph and nothing else (or was that water sprite? whichever plant I posted the picture of... :oops:) Do you think it would be wise to remove all of my floating plants and put them in a weak bleach solution as a precaution? If so, what ratio, and how long should I let them soak in water treated with dechlorinator before putting them back in the tank?
P.S. When I cleaned my filter, I rinsed the coarse sponge and the wool in tank water and left the ceramic balls alone. I don't run carbon in my filter... should I put some in for a few days?
Oh and maybe I can try putting some plants in a bucket with water treated with Pimafix and see what happens? If it makes the white stuff go away, then I'd try adding a half dose to the whole tank. I don't want to stress out the fish any more by adding unnecessary stuff to their home, but at the same time, if I see that it gets rid of the white stuff, and nothing else seems to work, then I would add it since without it my fish will end up being goners anyway... But I'll keep that as a last resort.
I can vouch for Pimafix. I had a huge mould build up during fish food cycling and it cleared everything out perfectly. You should see results within a few days.. Pimafix is all natural and will have little/no effect on plants, any BB, inverts, or fish (though there's some concern using it with anabantids). It's main ingredient is the same as Melafix, an oil extract from a certain tree. It's quite similar to tannins in the way it's antifungal, just at a stronger concentration I believe. From my research and experience with it, it's kind of crummy for treating fish fungal infections that are more than minor, but seems to tackle tank mould/fungus really well. I believe it has -minimal- stress on fish simply because it's a pretty weak drug, but I cannot back that statement up.
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So I dosed my tank with Prime to try to bring the ammonia levels down since I had to leave for awhile shortly after testing my water earlier. Got home and did another 50% water change, moved everything around (found a huge pile of the white stuff under my driftwood) and sucked up all the stuff I could see. Tested ammonia again and it's now down to 1ppm. I'll do another water change and then try Pimafix tomorrow if the stuff comes back... a fishkeeping buddy of mine who's had fish for many many years recommended I try it, and with Olympia's recommendation in there as well I think it's worth a shot.
Thank you both so much for your very helpful posts... I think I would have lost my mind by this point if it weren't for you two!
I think you're on the best track, keep us posted.
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