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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I'm carolynn from the san francisco bay area. I just joined the forums a few minutes ago, and am very humbly (already) asking for advice.

I started two new aquariums late last year. The first i've had in 20 years. This hobby isn't like riding a bicycle. I've forgotten a lot, and i've had to refer to books and the internet quite often.

One of my aquariums is a ten gallon - not my choice, it was a gift. I decided to go ahead and use it to house a few tiger barbs, because i love the little monsters. I already had three small ones in my main tank, so i moved them over, + a platy, and they all lived very happily together, no arguments.

About thirteen days ago, i got two more barbs to complete the little family. Since then, my life has been a nightmare. In 3 days, Ich, and some other white, filmy illness appeared. They recommended Pimafix at the fish store, so i commenced using it. After about a week they appeared fine, so i did the routine water change, and replaced the charcoal in the filter.

Now the "illness" is back. I've been treating the tank for three days with Pimafix. With the illness has come an opaque, white algae-like "organism" which is growing on the walls of the aquarium (mainly near the filter area, but also near the heater, if this is of any consequence). This "organism" has feathery branches which are less than 1/8" long, and in close observation, i see they wave back and forth with the currents of the aquarium water, as if they are a plant?

I called the fish store, and they never heard of this before. They recommended i clean the inside of the tank walls, vacuum and then, of course add fresh water. They told me to use AmQuel and Stress Coat when replacing the water. So i did.

I also had to humanely put two fish to sleep today because there was no chance for them (i felt terrible!). The rest of the fish (only a few left) are either obviously harboring this white filmy illness, and/or acting ill.

My questions:

does anyone have an idea what this white algae-like organism is?

should i put the other fish down, since they are acting ill, rip the aquarium down and start all over again? It really doesn't look like there is a lot of hope for these fish, as it stands.

I certainly appreciate your help and the time you took to read this post. I have scoured the internet trying to figure out what this white stuff is, to no avail.

many many thanks! ~~carolynn
 

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Though it is unlikely, you MAY have hydra. Best way to figure that out is put some of the hairy stuff on a microscope slide and have a look. Otherwise its either the natural nitrogen cycle bacteria building up, or it could be fungus. Best thing to do is take pictures and post them here, or do a GIS and see if you can find a matching picture.



That is a closeup of a hydra. As far as I know they do not harm fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response, Jeffro... i very much appreciate it.

Perhaps i also need to bone up on my 10 gal aquarium care? Some of the issues may have been caused by me -- i've never had such a small aquarium and perhaps i haven't done frequent enough water exchanges as well. In my research, i've started to learn that 10 gallon aquariums need a lot more attention.

all the best!
 

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Thank you for your response, Jeffro... i very much appreciate it.

Perhaps i also need to bone up on my 10 gal aquarium care? Some of the issues may have been caused by me -- i've never had such a small aquarium and perhaps i haven't done frequent enough water exchanges as well. In my research, i've started to learn that 10 gallon aquariums need a lot more attention.

all the best!
I think they are just a lot more sensitive to change since water changes are way way easier to do. I'm working with my 10 gal right now in preparation for my 55 once I have a good handle on plants. Any luck figuring out what it was?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Jeffro,

No luck, but the white "algae" is growing back on the plants in that ten gallon - i cleaned all the plants the other day. Fish look a bit better. I took a couple macros of the white algae stuff today, but haven't looked at them to see if it's clear enough to post. Will do that in the morning!

I don't overfeed them, so i haven't a clue!

I got a 38 gallon yesterday to replace my 20. It's great!

Thank you for keeping tabs on me! ~~carolynn
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I took a picture of the white substance growing on my plant, and am posting it.
The stuff waves in the water with the current.

I hope someone can tell me what this is. Thank you ever so much.

 

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hmm, been looking around and having a tough time finding any easy ID for you. The most similar looking algae I've seen is hair and thread algae. If you have a hospital tank- one of the forums I was on recommended quarantining the fish and dosing with Hydrogen peroxide to see if it stops growing. That would indicate that it's a fungus. Other than that.. not really sure yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My fish still don't act right (but better), and one still has some of the white film left on her. I don't have a proper quarantine tank (nothing with heat).

I"m thinking about cleaning the aquarium out again today (completely). And i could always douse the plants into a hydrogen peroxide bath then rinse them.

Whatever the white stuff on the plant is must have come with the water with a new fish i got a few weeks ago, because my other tank houses the mother plant and everything is fine in there (knock on wood).
 

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Hi Carolynn. I'm also from SF. Which fish shop did you go to? I hope you didn't go to 6th Ave. Aquarium in the Richmond district. Their tanks are probably all diseased and full of all sorts of junk!
That white stuff almost looks like bacterial growth. I think I had some of that when I first started my tank, but it quickly disappeared after the cycling process. But I have no idea if it's the same thing...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi!

I got the new platys in San Rafael -- at Petco. Came to find out they don't treat sick fish. Tanks look clean and everything, but i won't buy fish there again.

Meanwhile, i bought some new medication today, so i'm keeping my fingers crossed it works.

Thank you, Choylifutsoccer.... (what does your nick name mean, if you don't mind my asking?)

~~carolynn
 

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Oh yikes! Whenever you're in San Francisco, you should check out Lucky Ocean Aquarium. I'm pretty sure they can solve your problem pretty quickly!
Lucky Ocean Aquarium - Inner Richmond - San Francisco, CA

Good luck with the medication, hope it works!

There's actually a really long story to my username. But to keep it short and sweet, Choy Li Fut is a style of kung fu, and soccer is the sport I love the most. The name was inspired by the movie called Shaolin Soccer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Choylifutsoccer

I have been to Lucky Ocean Aquarium before - it's been a while, though.

Tank is clearing up, with three survivors.

Thank you, and Jeffro, for all the help. ~~carolynn
 
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