Dirty leaves. Any idea what this settlement is?


Hi! I'm new to a planted tank. I started a new aquarium about 3 weeks ago... first one with live plants.

I picked up bacopa caroliniana, dwarf sagittaria, anubias nana, and s. repens from my local small business fish store and it's been going remarkably well. The dwarf sag has sent so many **** runners out it's already covered the area I'd hoped it would carpet and I'm having to snip them back already... the bacopa doubled in size to the point it was poking out of the water (18 inches tall!) so I had to trim stems and planted them all over the back side of the aquarium. and the anubias and repens haven't died. whew.

But the one thing I don't understand is why the bacopa leaves... anubias leaves, and one of the flatter rocks have a build up of... something. dirt settlement? algae? It just looks like fuzzy dark dots on the leaves and rock. You can see it, kinda, in the picture here:

I originally thought it was some kind of algae as the lower older leaves are more covered and the new growth at the top is pristine. but it's not attached to the leaves at all... I easily brush it away if I move the leaves or stir up the water or vacuum it up.

Any ideas? It's just kind of annoying and ugly. Maybe its normal. I could vacuum it up weekly with water changes, but then I'm just pulling nutients from the water, right?

For fauna, I just have two ember tetras that have only been there for a few days (long after the issue) and unfortunately the plants did come with some tiny pond snails that have multplied to maybe 20 or so? I feed the tank very little now that the tetras are there and nothing before.


If it's sediment, it's probably food or poop that settled on the leaves rather than the substrate. If you can increase your water flow, that should help a bit to either keep the sediment suspended for the filter to take up or allow it to settle elsewhere.

(P.S. a water change does remove some nutrients but it also removes nitrogenous waste. Plants will use some and since you only have a couple of embers and snails, there shouldn't be a big enough build-up. Once you do more water changes on the tank, supplementing with fertilizers might be necessary if your plants start to suffer.)
  • Thread Starter


Thanks Floundering Around... I cranked up the flow rate to keep it moving. I had it down because my intention was to migrate my betta into the tank. But we'll see how this affects it.

I just wouldn't expect the snails to produce that much poop...

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