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Old 12-19-2012, 03:49 PM   #1 
KriStellar26's Avatar
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Location: Henrietta, NY
what is this? does i need to "rinse" it off?

Do I need, not does i need :)
Hi... I am new to fish keeping.. and my tank has been set up for around a month. I noticed on the piece of drift wood a blurry/fuzzy material has been accumulating. Does anyone know what this is? Is it safe, and should I clean it off? My tank is currently still cycling, 10 gal. Houses one betta. Let me know if anything else is needed. Thank you!
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:02 PM   #2 
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Looks like algae, I would take it out and do a water change and rub it off in am the old water
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:12 PM   #3 
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I actually had this very same problem with a piece of Mopani driftwood I recently purchased, so I did a little looking up on it. It seems to be a common problem, and I believe its some kind of fungus/mold stuff that starts to grow as the sap leeches out.
Its not harmful, thankfully, and you can rinse it off if you want. Some people reported it came back afterwards and some didn't, but most say it goes away after a while. My mopani was much worse, so I just took it out and am now soaking and rinsing it in near boiling water regularly.....and hopefully when I set the tank up again Friday it won't come back.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:14 PM   #4 
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Yep this is normal as the wood adjusts to being submerged. Every time I've had it in my tanks, it goes away within a couple of weeks without me doing anything. The snails love to munch away at it. In any case, it is not harmful and if you don't think it's out of control you can leave it to its own devices.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:07 PM   #5 
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Agree, it's fungus and not algae.

However on the toxic issue ... not always. Some is toxic, some is not, and there is no way to tell. Grapewood if far worse for this than others, but Mopani is known for getting fungus as well (I've had this, and it did have fungus for ~2 months).

I have heard from multiple people who had Grapewood and lost fish when fungus on the wood started showing up.

Scrubbing/boiling may help, but often not as boiling will not kill the spores.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:49 PM   #6 
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From personal experience, sometimes that Mopani fungus is harmful. I had a piece that was boiled and placed in a 3 gal tank. It got that same fuzzy fungus coating, then everything in the tank got it. Two days after a water change, the water was getting cloudy. By the end of that day, after I got home, the water was very cloudy with long strands of fungus suspended in it and my betta was curled up and gasping for breath at the surface. I did a 100% water change and took the wood out (it smelled awful). I had to cup him for the night because he was too weak to get to the surface. I have never seen a fish that was in that much distress survive, and I thought the right thing to do was euthanize him, but the next morning he was still alive and he eventually recovered. I boiled the wood for a few hours and gave it to my dog to chew on. He likes it
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:33 PM   #7 
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I have that as well on all the new decorations in my tank. It doesn't really seem to spread anywhere else... Just the new decor. I have taken them out and scrubbed the stuff off but it comes back. The poster above me must have had a different type because mine definitely doesn't spread that quickly!
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:48 PM   #8 
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i have mopani and it eventually went away. soaking it in boiling water numerous times helps.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:11 AM   #9 
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Thanks everyone.. i did a quick search, and it appears that mine in Malaysian.. Its only on the wood, and the Anubias roots. The rest of my tank is fine. I soaked the wood for about 24 hrs before adding it to the tank, but I did not boil it. This stuff has been there about a week or more, and my fish appears fine. If I notice anything I will remove it, but i have my live plant growing into it. So I think I will leave it for now.. Thanks everyone for your input!
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:12 PM   #10 
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Slime mold - common, not dangerous.. just keep washing it off and as your tank matures it will stop growing.
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