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HELP! Problematic Growth

1788 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Jason Ksepka
Hello all, I have come to this forum in search of answers. I have recently found this in my Swellia Lineolata tank. I believe it is possibly eating my fry. After feeding the tank baby brine shrimp i notice this plants "bladders" catch individual artemia and then actually grow in size as they eat the artemia.

I don't even know if this is a plant or perhaps something else. All i know is it looks ugly and I want to know what it is. Any help would be appreciated. In my local forum some have said it resembles Utricularia but there are no leaves and nothing is green.


Here are 2 pictures of my 'thing'

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whoah, pretty cool. It could be that carnivorous aquatic plant whose name slips my mind atm.

** found it
Utricularia - Aquatic Bladderwort
whoah, pretty cool. It could be that carnivorous aquatic plant whose name slips my mind atm.

** found it
Utricularia - Aquatic Bladderwort
Yeah that's what we all thought it was up here but there is no chlorophyll at all suggesting that it may not be a plant. However I have not yet gone over the 200+ different species of Utricularia to see if one matches what I have here.

All I know is I clean it off the rocks and glass and no sooner than the next week the stuff is everywhere again.
No one has any ideas on this stuff?
I saw this thread a while back and it puzzles me...
If I had to guess I would say it is some kind of fungus but that is just my opinion.

What is it growing on in those pics? Looks like rock and driftwood but I can't really tell.

I'll bump the thread for you in hopes that someone more knowledgeable can chime in.
It is the base of a fake silk plant. The base is a plastic of sorts and they added a few pieces of wood in there for effect.
It sort of appears to be a fungus to me as well. It was very strange watching it catch and then consume artemia though. Very strange indeed. It seems to be kept at bay when I increase my frequency in water changes, but in order to get swellia lineolata fry to grow successfully I cloud the tank a few times a week with a fine powder food otherwise the fry starve and die. The excess food in the water column surely is what sprouted this growth to take off so fast but I have no idea how I introduced it.
Is there anywhere that you would recommend searching? I have exhausted google and have ran out of creative things to type in the search box.

I did find this, and it looks kind of similar
Have you tried shooting Excel or H2O2 at it? I had bladderwort in my tank. Mine was light green tho. I removed it by picking it out with tweezers. The stems are brittle and its hard to get all of it. It took me several times, waiting on it to grow enough to grab. This is where you could get into an infestation. All it seems to need is a little piece to propagate. It doesnt need to be rooted or attached to anything. Yours probably came in on a live plant like mine did.
If you still don't have an ID, I would suggest visiting your local university biology department... they may enjoy the challenge?
I did some googling and came across this article which indicates that Utricularia (bladderwort) can actually be yellow or white and that there are about 250(!!) different species of this. Perhaps if it walks and talks like a duck, this could just be white ones in their infant stages?
I just sent the image to the U of M biology dept. We'll see if I get a response.
This is the unidentifiable growth that has attached itself to a Java Fern leaf in which I have isolated in an empty tank. When there is no food present the bulbs actually shrink and the fine hairs get very long.


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It's probably just me but I think it's actually pretty cool looking! It's unfortunate that it grows SO rapidly and pervasively though, I can see how that would be frustrating.

I have no other ideas what it could be but I'm interested to see if you hear back from the Bio Department! :)
Well, she got back to me fairly quickly and has suggested this:

"a type of ciliate, probably Vorticella"
Interesting. In my very humble opinion, it looks more like the bladderwort, but could certainly be this Vorticella as well.
Well, I am still in search of an answer to these things. I have tried to find a picture of these thing son the we somewhere but have not been successful.

In my test tank I have been watching this thing grow. The tank is little more than an unused aquarium with no heater and no water movement other than a few small MTS snails crawling about.

I have attempted to kill it off by means of a few different things and none have been successful. I have filled a pipette full of super salted water and doused the growth with it. I have also tried dousing the growth with flourish excel and once more with hydrogen peroxide. None of these attempts have had any effect.

I am sure I could try more lethal concoctions but it may have an ill effect on my fish in the main tank.

I did feed the growth today which was pretty crazy to watch. It has long tentacles that grasp food and bring it in to a mouth of sorts. I fed live Artemia and as soon as the Artemia touched the long tentacles they died and succumbed to being eaten. I can only imagine these have nematocyst in the tentacles which bothers me because if it can kill Artemia it can kill newly hatched Sewellia Lineolata.

I will keep you up to date with any progress I may come up with but as of now I am still pulling it off the rocks during water changes and have yet to find a faster cure for my problem.
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this may be a shot in the dark and I don't know how your fry would react but try dosing Fenbendazole .1 grams per 10 gal is recommended. I'm curious if this would work as it gets rid of many aquarium pests without harming mature fish/shrimp (sans snails... :( )
I can assure you that this is NOT any type of Bladderwort, (Utricularia). I have a good deal of experience with carnivorous plants and have seen many species of utrics in teh wild and captivity. I assure you these are not them. The yellow or white color referred to in an earlier post is in reference to the flower color.
My opinion is some kind of fungus, other than that, I don't have any ideas.
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