White Algae? or Mold?

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Hi everyone!

I just started a tank (10g) and went for a planted one. I got some java ferns and was careful not to cover the rhizomes as I heard this causes them to rot. After a few days I noticed some blackish-gray stuff forming on the exposed roots, but it didn't seem like a big deal and the plants were growing new babies quite quickly so I figured they were healthy.

I also got a single white skirt tetra about a week and a half ago. I noticed it wasn't eating (so naturally a lot of food was accumulating on the substrate) and I got worried after a while. I know they are communal fish but I wanted to be sure one could live happily before buying more. In any case, yesterday I bought a few more because I thought maybe it wasn't eating because it was stressed. Turns out I was right - now it warming up to eating, though it's still not as excited about the food as the rest. There are now 4 white skirts in the tank along with the plants, and they seem happy together for the most part.

Ok so here's the problem: after bringing in the new fish the white stuff on the ferns has grown exponentially to where it is covering all their roots and even attaching to some of the new babies on the ends of their leaves. I'm also getting specks on the wall of the tank and there's a bit of a film on the water. I read around a bit but I'm not sure if its just mold or white algae or what. It doesn't seem to grown on the broadside of the leaves themselves, only on their edges.

Any suggestions? Thanks for all your help

Tank parameters are good, except water is hard here in Orange County, though I'm assured by all the stores around here that it's not a big deal.

(sorry couldn't get the image uploader to work)
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