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Crap! White moss? While mold? What is this?

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Hi folks-

I starting up my first real planted tank after years of plastic ones and I have a problem that I've never come across.

My tank has been up for about a week now and a couple of days ago I suddenly noticed a few areas of the tank with white mold/moss/spiderwebs/who-knows-what. They appeared in areas about the size of a quarter just growing on the sand and rocks. When I flicked them with an airline, they floated off the sand and an early patch is now yellow.

So far I have only one patch of dwarf hair grass in the tank and the snails that came along with it. I don't suppose that snails reproduce this way? They aren't that big or numerous although I've seen a microscopic baby running around. The white stuff showed up a couple of days after the dwarf hair grass (and it's snails) were put in. As of last night it appeared on the grass itself.

I have an original 12 gallon nano cube with 24 watts of light. It currently contains only black 'Sea Sand' (from the LFS), petrified wood, and the previously mentioned grass and snails. My water is moderately hard and alkaline with a somewhat high ph (image that- chicago water). It sits at about 77 degress and I have the light on about 12 hours a day.

Any help with what this might be, where to look for a solution or if I should even bother with it would be greatly appreciated.

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