Help! What is this? It’s so annoying!

Cichlidkid09

When I ask people how to fix this they always say “siphon it” but here’s the thing, I do siphon it frequently and get most of it out each time. I normally siphon once a week sometimes more but it always comes back a day or two later. This is in a 5 gallon tank with a betta. Is this from my spider wood? Is there any way to get rid of it more effectively? It’s driving me nuts! I know it’s not algae bc I do lots of blackouts and it still happens! My water parameters are good with 0 ammonia and nitrite and it always stays between 5-10 ppm nitrates. Also is that enough nitrate for plants? I think I have a nitrogen deficiency bc my plants have yellow old growth. But here’s the thing, I can’t go more than a week without water changes or else my tank looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in years bc of this stuff. How can I completely rid this?!?!
 

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MacZ

Detritus, Mulm, Aufwuchs, Biofilms, Algae... All of it.
The normal signs of life being present. May not be sightly, but shows the system works.
Embrace it, don't fight it.

A spotlessly clean tank is a dead tank.
 

Cichlidkid09

Detritus, Mulm, Aufwuchs, Biofilms, Algae... All of it.
The normal signs of life being present. May not be sightly, but shows the system works.
Embrace it, don't fight it.

A spotlessly clean tank is a dead tank.
Thanks! I did figure it was healthy and unsightly like a lot of other things in aquariums, I just with it would leave my plants alone lol
 

MacZ

I just with it would leave my plants alone lol
That's your personal preference. In the amounts I see in the pictures it's nothing that impacts the plants negatively.
 

Fishnturtleguy933

Macz is right on all accounts. It will eventually go away, just keep up with water changes. i never bothered siphoning it, just went away with time.
 

Cichlidkid09

Thanks! I did figure it was healthy and unsightly like a lot of other things in aquariums, I just with it would leave my plants alone lol
Thanks so much! It’s just that sometimes I see crystal clean tanks and it makes me think something is wrong with mine! But then I remember that clean looking ≠ healthy
 

Lucy

Hi welcome to FishLore!
Looks like diatoms. Since it bothers you, you can try to increase circulation as long as it doesn't affect your betta.
My 29g used to have it really bad years ago. It drove me crazy.

People do have crystal clear tanks and that doesn't necessarily mean unhealthy either ;)

Good luck!
 

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