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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
I setup this 10 gallon tank about 2 weeks ago. I tied willow moss to the wood, placed in the tank and planted dwarf hairgrass and AR mini at the same time. I noticed white fuzzy growth on the wood that I had seen before in my other tank and thought it was just fungus that grows on the new wood and goes away on its own. This time it covered most of the moss and spread across the tank. It also grew on the glass as long thin strings.

To make the long story short, I took the wood and the plants out of the tank, cleaned well and replanted. I also added some amano shrimp and a zebra nerite to the tank since I thought it might be an algae growth at this point. Now it is brown in color and does not go away although stabilized in spread.

Here are my specs:
Ammonia: 0.5 ppm
Nitrite and nitrate minimal (tank still cycling prob)
Phosphate 0
Temp~75F
PH~7.6
KH 124 (per water company)
Substrate: Sand
Aqueon 10 gallon filter w carbon
Dosing w Excel, Flourish (smaller dose than recommended bc of shrimps), Stability (bacteria)
Added airstone 2 days ago for better circulation

Does anyone know the nature of this growth and how to tackle it without tearing the tank apart?

Many thanks in advance
 

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Notg2009,

there is no such thing as a "white" algae. Algae HAVE to have color, because they need chlorophyll to harvest light in order to grow. Chlorophyll displays a green color, but that can be covered up by any other color depending on the type of algae and whatever other colored compounds it produces.

Unlike algae, fungi do NOT need light to grow since they don't photosynthesize, they get all their energy from surroundings such as substrate, detritus and ,most importantly, plant material especially drift wood and decaying plants.

So when you observe "white fuzzy growth" that is ALWAYS a fungi. The only sure way to get rid of fungi, is to get rid of their food source, which primarily is the cellulose in dead plant particles (such as drift wood).
Once the outer layers of cellulose is digested, the cellulose in the remaining driftwood is inaccessible to the fungus and it "disappears" to the extend that you don't notice it anymore.
 

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Notg2009,

there is no such thing as a "white" algae. Algae HAVE to have color, because they need chlorophyll to harvest light in order to grow. Chlorophyll displays a green color, but that can be covered up by any other color depending on the type of algae and whatever other colored compounds it produces.

Unlike algae, fungi do NOT need light to grow since they don't photosynthesize, they get all their energy from surroundings such as substrate, detritus and ,most importantly, plant material especially drift wood and decaying plants.

So when you observe "white fuzzy growth" that is ALWAYS a fungi. The only sure way to get rid of fungi, is to get rid of their food source, which primarily is the cellulose in dead plant particles (such as drift wood).
Once the outer layers of cellulose is digested, the cellulose in the remaining driftwood is inaccessible to the fungus and it "disappears" to the extend that you don't notice it anymore.
Actually, water mold is considered an alga. I haven't examined any of the common aquarium stuff under a scope, but I'd be willing to bet many of them are water molds and not true fungi. Not that this matters, as they act almost exactly the same from our macroscopic perspective, but just an FYI.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks a lot for the info. Considering the new info, the fact that the spread has slowed down and the color is now brown vs white, is it safe to assume that the fungus is dead and the remains are just decomposing now. I don't want to disturb the system too much by trying to remove plants, scrubbing, replanting again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No improvement yet, and if anything, I think it is getting worse. Why is the fungus growing on plants? Is it surviving on live plant cellulose now??!!
 

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