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Old 03-01-2013, 10:53 PM   #1 
AyalaCookiejar
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Question Brown spots? What is this?



This is in a 5.5 gallon tank that's been set up since the end of November. It started a couple weeks ago and the spots are growing in numbers. It's near the middle of the tank and is mostly on this plant. All the plants are silk. There's a small spot or two on the dark purple silk plant next to it and a bigger spot on the rainbow cave on the side closest to this plant and also on another coal cave decoration, also on the side closest to this tank. It looks like this brown stuff dripped all over the plant. It scratches off of the hard decorations easily like dust. It looks dusty, sort of.

The tank is at 80 degrees and houses my blind male CT. It is filtered but not yet cycled and gets two 50% water changes a week with Prime, VitaChem, and Epsom salt at 1tsp per gallon for his chronic bloat and buoyancy issues. The lighting is just a very small LED light but the entire set-up was brand new when it was set up in November and it doesn't have natural light from a window hit it and all the plants are silk. Also, since he's blind, a lot of the time his food will sink before he finds it. This is the only tank that has it.

I don't know if all of that is relevant but I want to know what this is and if it could harm my Betta.

Thank you.

Edit: I forgot to mention the lights are on a light timer and are on 10 hours a day. The plants are all from Petco. I looked at threads of others who had brown spots on silk plants but the spots on mine look to be darker and more like something's dripped on them, but the tank is covered and I don't see anything on the lid 0.o

Last edited by AyalaCookiejar; 03-01-2013 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:00 PM   #2 
tekkguy
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It looks like algae.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:02 PM   #3 
AyalaCookiejar
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Is that normal and harmless? Does it have something to do with all the pellets that sink? I don't feed him often because he is less active (blind) and bloats easily so I try to feed him before water changes because I always use a siphon.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:06 PM   #4 
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If you have pellets that are in there that aren't getting found you may just have some excess nutrients in the tank. You might consider some plants that do ok with hard water (you need hard water plants because of the salt you're adding) ... they'll soak up the nutrients before the algae can. Guppy grass might be a really good idea ... you can just float it, it grows like crazy, and it'll give him some places to feel secure, too.

Other good hard water plants would be vals, swords, and pennywort. Some floaters would do pretty well in hard water, too. Salvinia, I think.

Plants are the easiest algae solution out there for me.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:17 PM   #5 
AyalaCookiejar
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The only problem I have is that he's blind so I don't want to confuse him too much. When my sorority tanks live plants grow out, I was planning on putting some of the silk plants in his tank, though, because I'm not too find of decorations anymore since I had one rust on me.

Also, the light in the tank would not do anything for live plants and its not an interchangeable light. It's a plastic hood with an insert for the tiny LED light. I can't say I always get all the sunken pellets because there are often quite a few of them... I keep the turkey bastor nearby when I feed him to try to remove uneaten food before it sinks but it doesn't always work. Sometimes it takes me several tries to get him to find one pellet and I have to keep attempting to drop them right by his mouth -_-
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:35 PM   #6 
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You might try adding a couple shrimp to clean up the left overs. They won't help with the algae already there but they will help keep the gravel clean.
You can wash the algae off of the silk plants with some warm water and gentle rubbing.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:37 PM   #7 
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Shrimp are definitely a good option. I didn't see your note about the light. The only concern with shrimp would be if the poor guy lets his food fall and they get to it before him. On the plus side, he probably wouldn't attack the shrimp unless he did it by smell ... but they could probably get away pretty easily.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:43 PM   #8 
AyalaCookiejar
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Yeah he's blind as a bat but he's my most aggressive fish as well. He attacks his pellets viciously (if he ever finds them, lol). I won't put shrimp in that tank until its cycled, though, and I'm completely unsure if he would find them and kill them.

The pellets aren't an issue. If they sink, he will never find them. He eats off of the surface. A lot of the time, I find him trying to eat the bubbles on the surface of the water, lol. Also I'm not sure if his sense of smell is that great since its so difficult for him to find his food! Lol.

Thank you :)
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:00 AM   #9 
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Hi, sorry to jump in, but I got here from a search on the brown spots issue, and had an idea that might help you. My betta lives with 5 rasboras, and at feeding time, I cup him. He eats at his pace, and the rasboras eat at theirs, and everybody's happy...including me, as I know betta did not overeat. It took a couple of weeks for him to get used to being gently cupped, and I always tap on the lid first to give him a signal, but now he's accustomed and it's working out great. I thought I'd mention it in case it might be an option for your boy as well...maybe with a signal tap, he could become accustomed to the process even though blind.

If that doesn't fit his temperament, please ignore. Just wondered if that might help.
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