help! mystery gunk!? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy help! mystery gunk!?

the quarantine tank where i work was recently covered in this white, fluffy, gelatinous gunk. it coated everything but the fish.

the tank is regularly filled with ick meds and the temp is around 82. it is usually overstocked with sick fish but the other day one of my co-workers overdosed the tank with meds and killed them all. (i did a big water change to get it safe again.)

when i found it monday, there was only one fish in there (whom i gave a salt dip and returned to the main tanks) and of course the gunk. i then emptied the tank, dismantled everything, and scrubbed it all with very salty water. i then reassembled the tank and filled it with very salty water left it to run until i return on wednesday when i'll do a 100% water change. (i also left a note not to add fish).

can anyone id this gunk and give advice on how to keep it away? i'd rather not spend another morning up to my elbows in the stuff, scrubbing a filter with a toothbrush.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 08:18 PM
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Weird question, but when you touch the slime, does it kind of squeek? I'm trying to find a way to describe this.... Like when you wash your hair in water that doesn't have a water softener and it squeeks when clean? Or if you have ever pinched corn starch between your fingers and kinda rubbed them together and it kinda creeks and squeeks? I hope you get what I'm asking.

I've heard that it's possible to get precipitants to come out of solution in water. I've seen it once, about 8 long years ago when I was working at PetsMart and they did SOMETHING and every tank in the system was covered in squeeky white slime. It eventually dissolved back in, but not without us scrubbing and syphoning quite a bit.

I didn't find much literature on the phenomenon at the time, but I believe it has to do with the buffering capacity of your water. I think it's the carbonates coming out of solution, but until I find that answer again, don't quote me.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 08:43 PM
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The only gelatinous stuff in an aquarium that I can think of is brown diatom algae, but it's light brown/tan in color instead of white.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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it didn't squeak exactly. it was mostly just slimey. it could be the same stuff though. i hope that's what it is anyway, i was concerned it might be some type of fungus or mold (thus all the salt). i wasn't able to get it all out of the fake plant, but if you're right it shouldn't be a problem. i'm just hoping i won't show up tomorrow to another giant mess. it could be related to the meds... we just got some new medication for the tank (the one will overdosed the tank with) it turns everything blue (or atleast it does when you use too much). i think it was all removed since there was no blue left; but it could have been the trigger or something.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 05:01 AM
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Hopefully it was just brought on by the meds then. I can't really speculate as to what caused it, but I'm guessing that your cleaning will prevent that in the future. Between dosing medications, it's a good idea to do large water changes and give the system a reset (activated carbon is a good idea between doses also, as it'll suck meds out of the system). When you get a chemical soup of salt, methylene blue (which it sounds like you're using?), ich meds, fungus meds, antibiotics, etc. + fish food, dying parasites, and ammonia from floaters - who knows what kind of nasty chemical soup slime you'll end up with. Whatever it was, you went the right route giving it a good cleaning.


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 07:07 AM
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I have a white, translucent, almost fuzzy looking thing that came from my driftwood. It's a new piece of driftwood and I was concerned what it was. A long search for such issues with driftwood concluded that it wasn't harmful and would go away after time. Also, that otos sometimes eat it, although mine don't seem too interested.

Probably not the same thing as yours, but hopefully it isn't harmful either! Maybe otos or a pleco will eat it?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 07:34 AM
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I think you've got some kind of fungus, moogoo. Plecos eat it, sometimes.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 03:30 PM
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Do you have a DIY CO2 setup without a gas separator? It could be possible that some of the yeast got in to your tank and that's what is creating the gunk.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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well, when i went to work this morning the water was crystal clear. i did a 100% water change to remove the salt and everything should be fine now (i hope). i found out my boss (who knows nothing about fish) had been keeping a carbon filter in the tank for quite awhile, so i replaced it with some extra sponge that was for the turtle filters. i'll prolly put the carbon back every once in awhile to suck out the buildup of meds. i also put a note on the tank that says to do 50% water changes daily.

in the end, the mini crisis that the gunk caused was probably good for the tank. my bosses never seem to think there is a problem unless something looks bad, but the water in that tank had been pretty awful for awhile; everyone just told me to ignore it because there were more 'important' things to do like agea scrubbing. but because there was visual evidence that something was wrong and nobody else wanted to touch it with a ten foot pole, i was able to set the tank back on track without interference. yay gunk.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2008, 05:49 AM
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pics?????????????/

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