White fuzz on food in tank. Any suggestions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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White fuzz on food in tank. Any suggestions

Hello.

Whenever I put food flakes or even a piece of zucchini for the scrimp. It will develop this white fuzz which looks like a Porcupine with all the white fuzz on it.

Any suggestions? The 55 gallon tank is maybe 2.5 weeks old with some neon tetras, tons of plants and red cherry scrimp.

Thannks.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 06:57 PM
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how long is this food remaining in the tank?
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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how long is this food remaining in the tank?
maybe 24 hours.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 07:24 PM
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It can either be a type of mould or in the zucchini's case, disintegration or mould too. Also, when feeding food, the item should be removed 2h(for fish food) and 3-4h(for veggies) if they are left uneaten. Otherwise you'll risk bacteria or virus infecting your shrimp and fish.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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It can either be a type of mould or in the zucchini's case, disintegration or mould too. Also, when feeding food, the item should be removed 2h(for fish food) and 3-4h(for veggies) if they are left uneaten. Otherwise you'll risk bacteria or virus infecting your shrimp and fish.

So I have to clean the tank 2 hours after every feeding?

Is this what you guys do to?

I have had goldfish aquarium for yeras and I only clean the water maybe once a month/ 2 months.

This is my first attempt with a planted tank and these type of livestock.

sometimes I go on trips for weeks at a time and use an automated fish feeder. Are there any other options? Maybe more aggressive bottom feeder, maybe a type of snail that does not eat live plants, etc..?

One thing that is different about this tank is that I only have biological filtration(Large sponge inside tank powered by air stone) and I don't have a normal HOB power filter since I heard it could suck in the Shrimp. Perhaps this is why this is happening?

Maybe I should get a very small power filter with a prefilter sponge on the intake?

Please give me some other options. I really can't clean the tank 3 times a day especially when I am away on trips.

Thanks.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 08:31 PM
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No, it is just new tank syndrome and will go away after a few weeks. However, you only need to feed as much as your fish will consume in a few minutes. Other than a piece of Zucchini stuck to a fork there should be no food in the tank for 24 hours. I leave the Zucchini for the Plecos overnight but one day is plenty.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 08:57 PM
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If you have moldy fish flakes/fish food you probably are putting too much in there. You really shouldn't need more food than your fish can eat within ten minutes.

With the zucchini i'd make smaller pieces and only leave it in overnight, and scoop it out the next morning. You could even limit it to only three times a week because your shrimp should get enough food picking at biofilm and decaying plant parts the rest of the days.

You don't have to do a deep clean, you just need to scoop out the zucchini or fish flakes that are left over.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-12-2015, 12:55 AM
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A small net or a turkey baster is really handy for pulling out uneaten food. I have used both and found the net is usually easier to use unless the tank is very shallow.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-12-2015, 02:24 AM
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It's just uneaten food growing mold (fungus?) on it. Means your are feeding to much for the amount that gets eaten. Most fish won't touch the food once it's rotten, unless they are starving, but shrimp and snails would still eat it (not their preference, but will). The uneaten food can pollute your water though, so just learn how much gets eaten and less the amount given so not so much uneaten food.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-12-2015, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by miogpsrocks View Post
I really can't clean the tank 3 times a day especially when I am away on trips.
There is no need to feed adult fish 3 times a day.
Also, there is no need to feed fish so much that food remains in the tank - everything should be eaten in a couple of minutes tops. Even this can be too much - depends on the fish and type of food. The only exception is zucchini and other vegetables, they can be left for several hours - not regular fish food. It looks like you are seriously, very, very seriously overfeeding your fish.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-12-2015, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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There is no need to feed adult fish 3 times a day.
Also, there is no need to feed fish so much that food remains in the tank - everything should be eaten in a couple of minutes tops. Even this can be too much - depends on the fish and type of food. The only exception is zucchini and other vegetables, they can be left for several hours - not regular fish food. It looks like you are seriously, very, very seriously overfeeding your fish.
How can I be overfeeding my fish when they don't eat anything?

How much will they eat in the first 3 minutes? Zero.

The food stays on top of the tank and the neon Tetra won't go to the surface. There has to be food falling right in front of the fish's mouth and it will eat a piece and spit it out.

I am also taking a little flakes as possible when I am feeding them.

New tank syndrome is for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates not fungus?

I am wondering if I should run a UV sterilizer for a week in the tank maybe?

I have a sponge filter design for a 125 gallon tank in a 55 gallon tank. It should provide the biological filtration needed and then some.

I have also had 6 neon tetras die in the last week probably from starvation because I can't get them to eat.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-12-2015, 04:12 PM
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Have you tried other types of food? Like pellets or frozen?
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-12-2015, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by miogpsrocks View Post
How can I be overfeeding my fish when they don't eat anything?

How much will they eat in the first 3 minutes? Zero.

The food stays on top of the tank and the neon Tetra won't go to the surface. There has to be food falling right in front of the fish's mouth and it will eat a piece and spit it out.
Try different type of food then, the one that sinks slowly. Something like Hikari Micro Pellets.

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Originally Posted by miogpsrocks View Post
I have also had 6 neon tetras die in the last week probably from starvation because I can't get them to eat.
This is possible if they didn't eat for really long time (weeks). Unfortunately, this may also mean that fish were sick (and this may also be the reason they don't eat well).
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2015, 12:12 AM
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Its definitely fungus- and I agree with all of hte other commenters, you are definitely overfeeding.

It may be a resonable amount that a healthy fish WOULD eat, but your fish aren't eating it, either way it doesn't matter, you are overfeeding - a lot. To oversimplify- Uneaten food kills fish.

Adding more food is not the solution, it is actually doing more harm. Healthy fish will voraciously go after food. If they do not aggressively go after the food, it is becasue they are sick or your water quality is bad- adding more food is not the solution. Its not your food type, a healthy fish may spit out a new food type for the first day or two while they get used to it, but they will still go after it.

Its very possible that overfeeding is resulting in poor water quality, making your fish feel sick, which is causing them not to eat. It seems like you are in a viscous cycle, fish won't eat, so you add more food, which makes water quality worse, fish feel worse, eat less, you feed more, etc etc.


Do not feed more than once a day and you should never feed more than they eat.. Please test your ammonia and nitrates. If you have food growing fungus, fish not eating, new tank, all of these are classic signs of a cycling tank with ammonia problems.

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by turbosaurus View Post
Its definitely fungus- and I agree with all of hte other commenters, you are definitely overfeeding.

It may be a resonable amount that a healthy fish WOULD eat, but your fish aren't eating it, either way it doesn't matter, you are overfeeding - a lot. To oversimplify- Uneaten food kills fish.

Adding more food is not the solution, it is actually doing more harm. Healthy fish will voraciously go after food. If they do not aggressively go after the food, it is becasue they are sick or your water quality is bad- adding more food is not the solution. Its not your food type, a healthy fish may spit out a new food type for the first day or two while they get used to it, but they will still go after it.

Its very possible that overfeeding is resulting in poor water quality, making your fish feel sick, which is causing them not to eat. It seems like you are in a viscous cycle, fish won't eat, so you add more food, which makes water quality worse, fish feel worse, eat less, you feed more, etc etc.


Do not feed more than once a day and you should never feed more than they eat.. Please test your ammonia and nitrates. If you have food growing fungus, fish not eating, new tank, all of these are classic signs of a cycling tank with ammonia problems.
I am not sure if you ever had Neon Tetra as the only fish in the tank but here is the deal.

They refused to go to the surface to eat the food the way most fish do. They refuse to go to the gravel and eat the food the way some fish and bottom feeders do.

They will only eat the food which falls in front of them in the MIDDLE of the tank.

If I place food in the tank and make it sink, there is maybe 5-8 second window in which the food is falling to the bottom of the tank.

I have a 55 gallon long take which has a lot of hiding places and rocks, plants. So the neon may not even see the food during that time period.

If I place food into the tank and don't make it sink, they will not eat any food during the first 3 minutes because its still floating on the surface. The food takes forever to eventually sink. Sometimes I leave it over night and come back in the morning and the food is still on the surface. I don't have a power filter so maybe that is why.

I am not sure if Beta mix with red cherry shrimp but maybe the solution would be to get a fish that can grab the food at the surface and make it fall for the other neon tetras fish.

Last edited by miogpsrocks; 09-16-2015 at 07:55 PM. Reason: add additional information
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