Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   help! weird stuff growing in filter. (

Salix 07-12-2010 12:50 AM

help! weird stuff growing in filter.
In my 10 gallon tank over the last few months a brown sludge like stuff has been forming inside my filter intake and when I change the filter cartridge, there's usually some on the back of it. But since I've added a florescent light (I run it about an hour or two a night when I'm in my room) the brown sludge has turned white. Is this stuff normal and even if it is, what is it? I can post pictures if that would be helpful. Just let me know.

jclee 07-12-2010 10:42 AM

Pictures might help. Most of my filters will get sludgy over time, so I've made it routine to scrub out the intake tube with a little pipe-cleaner type scrubber whenever I change the filter. I have to use tap water to get enough pressure to clear the tube, but I don't really worry about messing up the cycle since I'm only clearing beneficial bacteria off of one small part of the filter, and the cleaning is needed to keep the intake clear and functional.

(I will admit that my aquatic salamanders' tanks get very sludgey intakes, while the fishtank is usually pretty clear, except for dead, built-up plant matter that gets caught in there once in a while. I really just think, most of the time, it's debris that accumulates and begins to rot and go squidgy.)

iamntbatman 07-13-2010 04:02 AM

How long has your tank been set up?

If I had to guess, I would say that the brown stuff you were seeing was brown algae, which is common in cycling and newly cycled tanks but usually goes away on its own. The white you're seeing could be calcium buildup, which is common if you've got hard water. So, I think what you saw at first was brown algae, which went away naturally, and now calcium deposits are forming in the same locations, making it appear as though the brown stuff has turned white. Just a guess, though...

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