What is that stuff?

juniperlea

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A true newbie here. It's now been about four months, and I've never had algae. I've always assumed algae is green. Then, I found out it can be brown, and worse, Black Beard algae! There's a lot of information out about algae magnets, cleaners etc. But, in all this time, I've never found out what that not quite invisible scummy stuff is that grows on the inside of the glass. Is that algae? The otos love to eat it, so it must be algae. I take a blue scrubby thing and clean it off now and then, because I want the otos to have food. Or, I grab a Marimo Moss ball, which works with much less pressure than the scrubby thing. But, is it algae? Place a plastic container filled with water for a week or so on your kitchen counter and there will be a build up of this stuff!!! I don't object to it. I just want to know what it's called and if I'm doing something wrong!!! :p
 

Das Junge

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I’d like to see an image of the algae if at all possible. Also, I wouldn’t scrub it off the side, unless you’re scrubbing it off and using a vacuum simultaneously to prevent it from spreading throughout the tank.
 
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juniperlea

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I’d like to see an image of the algae if at all possible. Also, I wouldn’t scrub it off the side, unless you’re scrubbing it off and using a vacuum simultaneously to prevent it from spreading throughout the tank.
I don't have a picture. It's just opaque slimy stuff. I can tell when it builds up because the glass looks dull, or not clear. Maybe it's this thing called bio-film or bio-slime and that it's perfectly normal to build up on the walls of the glass?
 

Amya

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Is it clear hair like slime? It could be

The fuzz growing on the driftwood is some sort of bacterial fungus or mold which is harmless to the livestock in your fish tank. It can grow right away, few weeks, or a months after you introduce a piece of new/old driftwood. ... There may be some organic matter on the wood that the bacterial fungus maybe feeding on. "Quoted from fishlore"
 
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juniperlea

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Is it clear hair like slime? It could be

The fuzz growing on the driftwood is some sort of bacterial fungus or mold which is harmless to the livestock in your fish tank. It can grow right away, few weeks, or a months after you introduce a piece of new/old driftwood. ... There may be some organic matter on the wood that the bacterial fungus maybe feeding on. "Quoted from fishlore"
It's on the inside of the glass. It's not really visible, but does detract from the visual clarity of the water. The best thing I can advise, is for to fill a glass with water and leave on the kitchen counter for a week or so. The glass will develop an opaque slimy substance and the glass won't appear quiteclear. Is it weird that my tank walls are slimy?
 
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juniperlea

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Sounds like bio film yes.
Is that bad? Am I doing something wrong? Is the filtration insufficient so that the bio film keeps building up? Sorry. Am new to the hobby. I currently have four active tanks. Two of the tanks have powerheads and two do not. The two with powerheads, have less bio film. Does that make sense?
 

Donthemon

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Biofilm isn’t bad. But yes you need water circulation in the tank. It helps stop algae also.
 
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juniperlea

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Biofilm isn’t bad. But yes you need water circulation in the tank. It helps stop algae also.
Thanks! I noticed that it was worse in my 20g long ADF community tank because there's not much in the way of water agitation. The filter is pretty awful, so I'll rig up something new that will circulate better without disturbing them, but which will entertainment for their tankmates! :emoji_wilted_rose::emoji_butterfly:
 

kallililly1973

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Any algae i find on my glass i use a used up gift card it'll never scratch your glass and will clear pretty much any algae from your glass with a swipe or 2. Always do it right before a good size WC.
 
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juniperlea

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Any algae i find on my glass i use a used up gift card it'll never scratch your glass and will clear pretty much any algae from your glass with a swipe or 2. Always do it right before a good size WC.
Excellent idea. Never thought of that. But, I started abusing Marimo Moss balls to clean the film instead of the blue sponge thingy. Little or no pressure required. I rinse them out and plop them back in the tank! Some of the Moss balls don't look pretty anymore, but the ADFs prefer to hang out under the flattened ones vs the nice round ones!!!
 

TankGeek

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It sounds like biofilm. Completely normal. Hosts a number of minute organisms that shrimp snails and a variety of fish enjoy snacking on.
 
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juniperlea

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It sounds like biofilm. Completely normal. Hosts a number of minute organisms that shrimp snails and a variety of fish enjoy snacking on.
I love this hobby! I learn things, then forget to apply them to different situations! The film is worse in the 20g long, because of poor circulation and only one BN. I'll rig up a better filter. Because it's ADF primarily, no snails or otos from what I've read. But neither of my ADF clans go after any of their tankmates, including the bettas, so maybe I'll get some otos.
 

GumYu

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biofilm (includes beneficial bacteria) will grow on any surface. its just more noticable on glass. my snails eat it. but on the front of the tank, i will take a handful of polyfil and wipe it during my weekly water changes. the sides and back glass i leave it for the snails to eat, since i can't get any algae to grow even though the tanks are right next to an East facing window.
 

Magicpenny75

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You can also get a mag-float. I have one on my 75 and I have to use it a couple times a week to clear the film and also some algae (my lights are too bright). It's convenient because you don't have to put your hands in the tank.
 
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