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Old 08-28-2012, 08:58 AM   #1 
Jupiter
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Driftwood help...

I set up a tank for one of my HMPKs late last week, with two pieces of driftwood and anubias attached to them.

Yesterday I noticed the driftwood has this thick sort of whitish-clear stuff over it...looks kinda like slime or film.

My betta is acting perfectly healthy, he's loving the tank...but...is it harmful to him? What the heck is it?

Last edited by Jupiter; 08-28-2012 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:02 AM   #2 
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I think it's sap or something coming out of the driftwood. I used an old toothbrush to take most of it off, it may grow back. It will go away completely eventually. All 3 of my mopani pieces got it in one spot or another.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:14 AM   #3 
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This seems to be covering most, if not all, of the driftwood...

Thanks though. I will scrub it next time I clean the tank.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:31 AM   #4 
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It's white mold, pretty common. And not really a problem unless your fish has open wounds or sores and sickly - the spores can infect the dead tissue, and become a problem if the mold starts growing on the wound.

No threat to a healthy fish, however, and it usually goes away on its own in a couple of weeks.

I like to keep shrimp (cherries and darwins) in my betta tanks, and the shrimp usually deal with the mold pretty quickly, unless it gets too 'big' - in which case I siphon it off when cleaning the tank and the shrimp get to munching it again. Some snails like to eat it, too, but not all. The trapdoor snails in my tank ate some, as did my pleco. Between them all, there's hardly time for mold to grow before it;s all eaten.

In my small tanks, a half dozen cherry shrimp will clean mold off the wood in no time, I just give them a handful of moss to hide in so my fish don't eat them all too quickly.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:12 PM   #5 
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That's a relief! Thanks guys.

I'd love to add shrimp, but my tank is only 3 gallons and uncycled. I'm not sure if shrimp would be able to tolerate an uncycled tank. :s
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:43 PM   #6 
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They sure would, as long as 'uncycled' doesn't mean 'lots of ammonia'. =B

Shrimp don't tolerate ammonia/nitrite spikes very well, but I stuck half a dozen in my 3.5 gallon before it was cycled and the tank cycled with them in -- all were fine (except the ones my betta girlie ate..). I was pretty scrupulous about keeping the ammonia down, though, and the tank is way heavily planted, which helps shrimp in several ways. (if you look at the album for my dymax 3.5 you'll see what I mean)

They do require a filter and a little bit of water movement - mine do fine on sluggish betta-friendly flow.

If you have a filter, then your tank WILL cycle. The problem with small tanks is that the cycle is very hard to keep stable. I find this is a great deal easier if the tank is stuffed with plants, primarily mosses and other ammonia sinks.

You can expect your betta to eat a few shrimp. Some are better at hiding than others, and they're much easier to catch, apparently, when larger and thus more visible, I'd assume.

Lots of java moss/hidey places is highly recommended. And when they run out of wood gunk to eat, they might need some shrimp pellets, though mine prefer to eat algae and barely touch the pellet food. :)
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