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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I just got a new 10 litre (3.65 gal) acrylic tank 2 weeks ago, filled it with water (treated with salt and dechlorinator), put just over an inch of gravel at the bottom, have a little decoration my fish can swim through, have a fake plant int here too. I also have a small filter that came with the tank. I added 1 betta (the only resident of the tank) a week ago. I've since added methylene blue just incase the fish came home with some nasties from the pet shop. The temperature is around 24-26 celcius (about 75 farenheit).

I didn't notice these white strand-like things (hair-like) stuff until about 3 days after I added in the fish. It was the decoration at first and now it seems to have taken over the tank :( The tank is near a window but there is no direct sunlight (and the blinds are closed). I have this tiny light I put on sometimes, but other than that, the biggest light there is nearby is my desk lamp. I had to cut off one of the 3 fins of the filter because the current was too strong for the betta (he was getting stuck or thrown about).

So, can anyone tell me what this might be? And how to get rid of it? (please excuse the quality of the pictures, I can only do so much with my old webcam)

Thanks for your help!

 

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Hi and welcome aboard.:wave:

I can't say what those white strands are without clearer pics.:shake:

I'd stopped using salt. Salt IMO will have adverse effects on your betta. How do you maintain the tank? What are your water parameters?:)

Don't use methylene blue unless necessary. It can harm your filter's beneficial bacteria. It appears your tank hasn't cycled at all. Yyou'll need a test kit and make sure your ammonia and nitrites stay zero. If they are at detectable level, do partial water changes. Nitrates should never stray off the level of 40. 10-20 ppm would be the safe level.
 

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It looks a bit like fungus that forms when there is uneaten food lying about in the tank,but I can't be 100% sure as the pics are not too clear
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'll try to take clearer pics tonight if I can get someone with a digicam to come over *crossing my fingers*

I've only been able to test the pH and that's at 7.2-7.4 I brought some water to the store when I bought the fish and they said I didn't need to test it... I'll be going to the stores this weekend and picking up a nitrite (and ammonia) testing kit.

I won't be adding any more methylene blue unless I find my fish needs it. I just wanted to make sure he didn't being any nasties home with him. What about aquari-sol?

When I clean the tank this weekend (I need to find some huge container so I can pre-treat the water first), should I clean everything out really well with just hot water (and scrub, scrub, scrub) or as some people suggest here and there: use vinegar or bleach and rinse VERY well?

Thanks again for your help - I just want to provide the best for my baby. :D
 

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Don't clean everything. Your tank should be fine. We just need to know what those white strands are and the causes. The causes can be addressed without stripping down the whole tank.
 

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That's odd. The images weren't working for me.:squint:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I have no pictures yet! I had asked for someone to bring by their digital camera when they came by last night and they forgot it on their desk... :evil: *sigh* Better luck tonight?

I looked at the pics (various pics on the links and done websearches) and I'm not too sure what kind of algae is it. Most algaes seem to be green. Mine is more white or greyish. They almos tlook like little individual strands too (not branching out in y-shapes). I'm stuck between hair algae or maybe fuzz but even then, I'm not sure.

Someone mentionned the possibility of over-feeding. But how do I know if I'm over feeding my fish. I know he's not obese, he seems just the right size for a betta (I usually feed him 6-7 of those tiny little balls/pellets) and on weekends I give him a few freeze-dried blood worms instead.

Thanks again for your help, I really hope I can get some pictures tonight, this is really bothering me! (And get some testing equipment - other than just pH - ASAP!)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The white stuff seems to be everywhere (sides of the tank, plan, gravel, decoration, filter - a little less but still there)... But I haven't noticed any on the thermometer... It seems more concentrate on the sides of the tanks and the (fake) plant.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I decided to do a partial water change (so my wqater is now resting with the declorinator until it reaches the temperature of the water in the tank - otherwise it would be wayyyyyy too cold).

I took a look in the tank and checked out the filter - almost no water was being pumped out so I took it out and checked on the little sponge-like thing in there. It was FULL of the algae stuff (except all slimy like). I cleaned it off with hot water and put it back it - the filter is back to normal so hopefully this will help clean things up a bit. I plan on checking on it in the morning (when I will be doing the water change).

My boyfriend should be coming by with the digital camera tomorrow so hopefully then I can get some pictures.
 

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Did you rinse even the filter media with hot water?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
All the filter has as media is a "foam cartridge" - that's what I washed. It's what came with the tank.

How often should I change or clean the foam cartridge anyway?

I wonder if I should get a better filter (once I get some kind of money though - Christmas has made me even more of a broke student than I was before!).
 

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You shouldn't have washed the filter media as you're killing the beneficial bacteria which keeps down ammonia and nitrites. You have to monitor your ammonia and nitrites as you may be experiencing spikes from those two substances.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was afraid of that. But the filter was hardly doing anything, hardly filtering anything since it was full of this stuff... I'll leave the filter alone and just do a water change in the morning.

To think I researched for 3 weeks before I got my fish and I still feel like I am completely lost. :(
 

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MaiCarInMtl said:
To think I researched for 3 weeks before I got my fish and I still feel like I am completely lost. :(
Don't worry about it.:) We are still here to help you. Just do water changes and get your lfs' established filter media to seed your tank again in order to restore the bacteria's population. Just monitor your ammonia and nitrites and you'll be fine.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, I did a partial water change this morning (about 20-25% of the water). I took my betta out of the tank for a bit while I messed around in there. I did not touch the filter! I just changed out some water and then once the temp was back to normal, I put him back in.

I should be able to get the testing kits this evening for the ammonia and nitrites level. Now, here are a few questions:

1- What levels should nitrites and ammonia be? (I think I read it should be at zero but I just want to make sure)
2- What can I do to bring nitrite levels down? What can I do to bring ammonia levels down?

Now, back to the filter: if my filter is all gunked up with this (mystery) algae and is hardly filtering anything, how can I fix this without killing/harming the good bacteria that's in there?

Thanks again for your help, it's really appreciated (by me and my betta Phoenix)!
 

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MaiCarInMtl said:
1- What levels should nitrites and ammonia be? (I think I read it should be at zero but I just want to make sure)
Yes. You got it right.:)
2- What can I do to bring nitrite levels down? What can I do to bring ammonia levels down?
Both can be brought down via water changes. Doing 10% water change daily will help.:)
Now, back to the filter: if my filter is all gunked up with this (mystery) algae and is hardly filtering anything, how can I fix this without killing/harming the good bacteria that's in there?
Clean them using your tank water which you remove during water change.:)

Good luck.:)
 

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Now, back to the filter: if my filter is all gunked up with this (mystery) algae and is hardly filtering anything, how can I fix this without killing/harming the good bacteria that's in there?
I don't think it's a mystery and I also don't think it's an algae... It happens when you overfeed, and what you are seeing is a fungal growth over everything in the tank which originated from the uneaten food lying in the tank...The slime you talk of in the filter is also down to uneaten food getting sucked in and trapped and because of the lack of beneficial bacteria there is nothing to break it down so it turns into a sludge... This is a problem I get asked about time and time again with beginners who are trying to get to grips with feeding the correct amount
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It happens when you overfeed, and what you are seeing is a fungal growth over everything in the tank which originated from the uneaten food lying in the tank...The slime you talk of in the filter is also down to uneaten food getting sucked in and trapped and because of the lack of beneficial bacteria there is nothing to break it down so it turns into a sludge
Ok... So either my fish is spitting out his food after he's swallowed it or he's making too much waste? I ask because I feed him those tiny little pellets and I give it to him one by one (I don't leave any lying around). So there's nothing that should be lying/floating around (in theory).
 
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