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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering if anyone has seen this before? My manzanita driftwood in my betta's tank has these tiny black balls on it. He has no sand, it's red flourite. The tank holds him, a few shrimp and a Nerite snail and some pond snails.
The wood piece has been in his tank for about eight months now, but this has only appeared in the past couple of months, I believe.

I noticed that in a second 5 gal that I've been cycling for shrimp, the manzanita there has something like this as well. There is nothing in the tank now (maybe a few baby snails), and the tank is only about a month old. That tank has black sand so at first I thought it was sand, but it doesn't come off as easily. Sand can be blown off, but these balls need to be physically touched to remove.

No one seems negatively affected. I just couldn't figure out what this is, and was wondering if anyone knows?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would suspect beginning algae?
I was thinking that, but I suppose it would have to be something the shrimp don't eat? They walk right over it...


Snail poop?
The snail poops in there are more... cylindrical, and long. Like teeny tiny brown noodles haha... I thought it was poop at first as well but then I watched the snails a bit and realized it looked different...

(Although it does look like rabbit pellets doesn't it? Maybe I have tiny underwater rabbits...)
 

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It could be some form of fungus, etc. but I tend to think of those as growing pretty quickly after you add the wood and not lasting very long. Since this is late getting there, I'm thinking algae and of a type that shrimp don't eat. I might suggest two ways to go.
If the wood is something that can be pulled without total crisis, I'm a big fan of bleach soaks to clear stuff like this. I soak almost everything before adding it to the tank as a way to rest it all and know that I'm not adding any wild cards from fungus, bugs, pollution like oil or pesticides. I just don't like dealing with unknowns when they are easy to clear before adding the wood. Just make certain to dry the wood totally to clear the chlorine. When the smell is gone, the chlorine is done gassing off.
But then, if the wood is not something easy to remove and replace, dosing hydrogen peroxide is okay. Kind of tedious on large areas but does kill most algae.
Study a bit before using either if it is a first time!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It could be some form of fungus, etc. but I tend to think of those as growing pretty quickly after you add the wood and not lasting very long. Since this is late getting there, I'm thinking algae and of a type that shrimp don't eat. I might suggest two ways to go.
If the wood is something that can be pulled without total crisis, I'm a big fan of bleach soaks to clear stuff like this. I soak almost everything before adding it to the tank as a way to rest it all and know that I'm not adding any wild cards from fungus, bugs, pollution like oil or pesticides. I just don't like dealing with unknowns when they are easy to clear before adding the wood. Just make certain to dry the wood totally to clear the chlorine. When the smell is gone, the chlorine is done gassing off.
But then, if the wood is not something easy to remove and replace, dosing hydrogen peroxide is okay. Kind of tedious on large areas but does kill most algae.
Study a bit before using either if it is a first time!!!
Thanks for the info! It's really easy to remove, so I'll look up some information on that bleach dip and possibly try that.
 

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It doesn't need to be strong or long term so I just make it easy on myself when I soak. Step one is cheap bleach without throwing any wild cards like scent or colors into the mix. Amount is not precise so a tablespoon or so per gallon is logical. If you suspected something hard like snails, a stronger mix will eat through to kill them but just algae is low level. I don't time it other than put it in to soak and pull it out after a few hours. If it was a piece of wood 6" thick and I wanted it to soak in, I might go longer like overnight. Most cases, My soaks tend to run longer and stronger than needed. I pour some in, let it soak till I get back to the project and hope that is not too long. If I wait too long with soaking tubs outside, the chlorine all gasses off and I find mosquito larva ! YUCK!
To remove the chlorine, we can do a rush job by soaking then rinsing and use Prime to remove the rest. If not in a rush, just setting it out to dry will do the same job.
Big warning??? Don't splash the bleach on your clothing!
 

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This looks like the beginning of black beard algae. I have never seen anything eat it while it is living. My amanos will eat it when it is dying or dead. Try spot dosing some excel on it. If I am right, the spots will turn purple in a day, and be gone within a week at the longest. Good luck
 
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