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White Stuff Help

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#1 Elaisan


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Posted 10 July 2011 - 10:52 AM

Hi UB peoples! It's been a long time - sorry I've been away, but my one year old has me busy as can be. Lurked occasionally, but never been able to post; what can I say... I've missed you guys! I'm awful at reintroductions, so just going to just straight into my prob and cross my fingers and hope someone can help. :fingerscrossed:

40g tall fully cycled, planted about two weeks ago
Temp: 78*F
pH: 6.7
Ammonia : 0
NitrItes: 0
NitrAtes: 5ppm
gH: obnoxiously high, took 12 drops to turn the liquid test the right color - forgot the number and the baby's sleeping downstairs, so I can't go look ATM :P
kH: really low - working on that with the Wonder Shell

(9) Dime to Quarter sized Angelfish
(1) Tiny Pleco
(2) Cory cats
(3) Nerite Snails
(3) Trapdoor Snails

Filtration & Other Tank Stuff:
(1) 350 Penguin Biowheel
- (2) carbon filter cartridges in each slot (so 4 cartridges total)
- (1) Sheet of micro mesh filtration media stuff to filter in between the carbon
(1) Seachem bag of peat floating in the bottom of the tank - not really filtration, but helps with the pH and hardness of the water a bunch, since we have liquid diamonds coming out of the faucets here in Pittsburgh.
(1) Big chunk of driftwood
(1) Wonder Shell for calcium for the snails and to raise the kH
(1) Big heater, pretty much not running at all right now since it's summer and hot as heck
(1) Thermometer
(1) Tank Hood
(1) Fancy Plant Light
(1) LED color strip from IKEA, because it looks cool at night :coverlaff:

(2) Micro swords
(2) Anubias nana, tied to driftwood
(1) Anubias coffee, tied to driftwood
(2) Sword crypt thingies
(1) Red lilly, which is melting due to low iron in the tank
(1) ...it's not an onion plant, but it looks similar. Forgot the name. Grows up to three feet long and has thin blades about half an inch wide. Currently melted, but the root system is still there and it's starting to grow back.

(1) Fake rock
(1) Ceramic Pot

Ratio of 2:1:1
2 parts black gravel
1 part Onyx sand
1 part Flourite black gravel

Food for the fish:
Sprinkling of Cichlid Gold pellets every other day
Sprinkling of TetraMin Max flake stuff, twice a day
(3) Algae Wafers for the cories and snails, once a day
(1) cube of bloodworms, once a week in place of Cichlid pellets
Sunday - no food
(note: after about 10min, there is no food left on the bottom of the tank)

Food for the plants:
5ml Flourish (regular) every week
5ml Flourish Excel every three days
5ml Flourish Potassium every other day

Are you guys bored yet from all the details? I need another cup of coffee after typing all that, jeez. Ok, so here's what's going on.

The problems started when I tossed in the Onyx sand. I didn't rinse it beforehand since the silly girl at the LFS didn't warn me it would be dirty as heck. The tank was cloudy as heck for a day before I went back and got the super duper white micro filter and stuffed it between the filter cartridges. That helped tremendously... for a while. The water never has cleared completely, and it's remained a little cloudy despite rinsing the microfilter pad a number of times.

After about a week of the tank planting and the fish going in, I noticed little tiny white specks floating in the water and growing on the sides of the tank. I scrubbed them off with one of those magnet brushes, but it seems to come right back.

Few days after that, one of the angels had a tuft of cotton near the top of its head. Netted him into a hospital tank with M. Blue and Maracyn liquid stuff (forgot the exact kind - treats both gram + and - bacteria), and gave him Jungle Anti-fungus food to eat, since I couldn't tell yet from the little tiny tuft whether it was columnaris (it isn't - he's still alive today and it's been almost a week) or fungus or bacteria or what. He was also rubbing his head against whatever he could smoosh himself against. As of today, he's still alive and the cotton hasn't grown or shrunk, though he's definitely sulking and not eating happily like a normal angel should.

The nerites are laying eggs like they're the last snails on earth - heck, there are even eggs on the backs of the Trapdoors (AWKWARD!, lmao). The white specks I'm referring to are probably a tenth of the size of the snail eggs.

Friday morning I noticed that several more of my angels have the cottony tufts about halfway down their ventrals. I don't know if it's the same thing as what the hospital angel has, but I'm wondering if they've rubbed their fins against snail eggs that have gone to fungus, because this morning I checked and though some of the angels' fins are suddenly shorter (basically lopped off below where the fuzz was), the tufts are either gone or significantly smaller.

I don't know what the white specks in the water and on the sides of the tank are. The snail eggs are very discernible from the stuff, but I don't know if the eggs are also contributing to the problem. Debris is obviously coating the plants and decorations, but I don't know if it's a bacterial bloom or fungus or what, or how to get rid of it. The driftwood was in near scalding water for two days before I put it in the tank. In addition to the floating/growing specks, there are kind of sticky looking bubbles forming in the corners of the top of the tank.

Without further ado, it's photo bomb time.


Woops, my bad! How did this slip in? :coverlaff:

Thanks bunches, you guys. It's nice to not be lurking anymore, and heartycakes in advance for any help you might be able to give. :grouphug: :notworthy:

ETA: The photos are being grumpy, so I turned 'em into links. Hope that's not too much of a hassle... :puppyeyes:

Edited by Elaisan, 10 July 2011 - 11:03 AM.

#2 Elaisan


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Posted 10 July 2011 - 10:53 AM

Errrrrr... photos aren't working. Going to try to fix that.

ETA: Pics now URLs. Been away from the board too long apparently.

Also, before anyone starts throwing WC buckets at me, I just bought a gorgeous 72g bowfront for all those fish yesterday, and we're going to be setting that up within the next few weeks, so the itty bitty tank is definitely temporary for all my lovely and soon-to-be rather large Angel babies. Oh! Speaking of WC's - about 10% every day.

Edited by Elaisan, 10 July 2011 - 10:57 AM.

#3 Elaisan


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Posted 11 July 2011 - 09:20 AM


The hospital tank fishie didn't make it through the night. His condition got worse very quickly yesterday, and when I was doing a WC, finally saw little pinholes and ulcers on his head. Definitely HITH disease, so I'm treating the fish in the 40g with Jungle Anti-Parasite food to hopefully cure them of any Hexamita still left in their systems as well as raising the temperature slowly to what will be about 90 tomorrow. I know where the parasite came from; the hospital fish was from Petco... yet another sick fish I've picked up from our local Pitt store. Sigh. Anyway, none of the other fish are showing symptoms, and I'll post photos of the passed fishie just for reference in the future.

I still don't know what the white stuff floating in the tank is, so any help in that area would be super duper greatly appreciated.

#4 brianjim


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Posted 13 July 2011 - 12:21 PM

I would suspect the Wonder Shell first. Remove it and do a 50% water change. If it still happens then the drift wood. It will sometimes grow a white bacteria on it and it may sluff off in the water.

#5 Strick


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Posted 13 July 2011 - 01:15 PM

Do your fish show any interest in these white specks? Do they (stupid question) move at all? Does your tank smell funny?

If the answer to all these is "no", I'd also suspect the Wonder Shell...

#6 Solitarianknight


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Posted 16 July 2011 - 07:26 AM

wonder shell.... i thought nerities only layed in brackish water? or do they only hatch in brackish water, any who a WC will help.

#7 Maryanne


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Posted 16 July 2011 - 01:14 PM

wonder shell.... i thought nerities only layed in brackish water? or do they only hatch in brackish water, any who a WC will help.

Nerite snails can live in both brackish and fresh water, but the eggs only hatch in brackish.

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