Having an Algae problem
So some background information.
I have a filtered 5g tank set up with 1 betta, a few mystery snails, and 3 cherry shrimp. The tank as been set up with the betta in it for probably 4-5 months with the snails added 2 weeks ago and the shrimp 3 days ago. The tank so also set to 80 degrees. It also gets natural light from a window but it is not very bright at all since the window is between the house and garage.
I have two lucky bamboo plants sticking up out of the water with the roots in the gravel, floating water sprite, an anubias tied to drift wood, java moss tied to drift wood and a marimo ball.
I do water changes of about 50% atleast once a week sometimes I do water changes more than that though. I add prime and was adding Flourish Comprehensive but when I noticed the algae I stopped.
Other than the snails and shrimp which have come from a very trusted LFS the only really recent changes are a new piece of drift wood (bought 3 days ago with shrimp), java moss (also bought three days ago). The second older piece of driftwood, watersprite, marimo ball and anubias were all added roughly the same time about a month or so ago.
Now the algae is a grayish color that grows on everything. Plants, roots, surfaces, gravel. While I'm siphoning it almost looks like the tank is smokey. The filter has a baffel on it which I'm thinking might be part of the problem because of stagnant water but my betta doesn't like the strong current. Any help or ideas are greatly appreciated.
Any chance of a photo of this "algae"? I can't at the moment recall any grayish algae, this may be something else. More likely a fungus, I have seen that. Did this happen to appear with either piece of wood?
I guess it could have appeared around the time the first wood was introduced but it doesn't grow on the wood. It mainly grew on a dinosaur figurine my niece gave to me for my b-day. It was also around that time that it was added I noticed it. While siphoning it was all over the dinosaur and the gravel not so much on the wood though. Anyway here are some pictures. One to see what the tank kind of looks like, a somewhat close up of the dinosaur and just a funny one haha. With the dinosaur picture you can't really see anything and you can't in person but when the siphon went over it a lot came off real easily and was all over. In place of the dinosaur is a piece of Mopani driftwood with java moss tied to it.
From my experiences when I was a kid up until now. Dont stick the bamboo plant into the gravel. let the roots settle in instead. if you do stick the stem into the gravel, there is a high chance that the stem will rot. be careful of these plants as if you stick them into the gravel they tend to rot without you seeing.
as for your algae, i can barely see them. most likely it would be fungal. simply algae are photosynthetic autotrophs. they need color for photosynthesis. without color (usually green) they cannot photosynthesize. fungal on the other hand tend to be parasitic and leech upon their host. what ever that may be. a host could contain nutrients but not live. but usually would rather grow on woods which can absorb nutrients and be decomposed.
I agree, that is not algae, it is a fungus of some sort. I would do my best to remove all of it.
Various fungi often leech from different woods. Some are highly toxic. Mopani wood is bad for this. I cannot say that is where this came from, but it is one possibility.
Here is a picture of it. Sorry it's a little blurry but you can see it right about the string. It's on the Mopani driftwood with the java moss on it. It did not start there that's where it landed after being stirred up. It actually started before the Mopani wood was even in the tank. Anyway I will do my best to clean it out. I feel like it's actually become a little better since taking the dinosaur out. Being a fungus is it toxic to fish or invertebrates?
That is fungus. If it is on the mopani wood, take out the wood and discard it. It is not worth the risk.
There are many types of fungus. Some are deadly toxic.
The fungus showed up long before the Mopani was in there that specific piece of fungus settled in that spot after a water change. It mainly showed up on the dinosaur which is now gone and I've cleaned about all of it out. I'm still not quite sure what the source could have been but could a plastic figurine have cause that? And if it did now that the source is gone will the fungus die off or keep multiplying until I'm removed all of it by hand?
Fungus needs a host, something on which to feed. It occurs on organic matter, such as wood, leaves, dead plant matter, dead fish, uneaten fish food, etc. It can travel by spores. It is highly unlikely to have come from the decor assuming that is plastic, ceramic, or something non-organic. I don't know if it may have simply come in from the air (some will), or in water from a plant, wood, etc. One would probably have to know the actual fungus species to ascertain this, and as there are so many, this is not easy even for a microbiologist (which I am not).
When I had a fungus occur from wood, the fish in the tank experienced increased respiration and that is what alerted me to the problem. A Betta breathes air as well as using gills for oxygen from the water; have you observed more frequent trips to the surface? Are there any other fish in this tank? Just something to be aware of; different fungi have different issues.
Remember that when you buy it from the store, they are there to SELL not to culture it at its best - although some do try to culture it at their best.
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