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I am a beginner. I have had my freshwater fish tank for a month now. My tank has a filter and heater. I have three female platys. I also have two plants, a ship, barrel and one plastic plant in it. I treated my water with water conditioner. I also test my water, quality is safe and is where it needs to be. I've have changed the water three times so far. I also feed them twice a day. My platys recently started hiding in the ship and behind one of the plants. They do swim around sometimes and eat just fine. Today I have noticed white cotton like stuff growing on the base of my java Fern and the stuff is also on the uneaten food floating around the tank. I believe I am overfeeding. My question what is the cotton like stuff in my tank? Is it harmful? What do I need to do to get rid of it? I will post a picture of it. I have researched a little and some say it is fungus and I need to get rid of it and some say it is safe and not to worry about. Very confusing.
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biOrb LIFE 45 L, planted, EI dosing, CO2 injected; ADA Cube Garden 45F, planted, EI dosing, low tech
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Fungus growing on the extra organics from overfeeding I'd guess. It's not harmful but the overfeeding can cause a bunch of bad downstream effects.
 

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You can go crazy and tear down your tank boiling and scrubbing everything, treating the tank for fungus. Or you can manually remove as much as you can and start doing more maintenance. Think bigger water changes, more gravel vacuuming, less feeding. Sorry Platys. Bad man wants to cut back on your food
 

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It is a mold-- a natural byproduct of decomposition. You will also see this in an aquarium if a fish has died and been left long enough to start to decompose.
Leftover food tends to accumulate around plants and decorations so make sure to vacuum well to pick up all this decomposing food.
 

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I had it a few months ago before I added fish. Mine floated on the water. Then it went away. I wonder what caused it since I didn't have any fish?
 

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Did you have wood in the tank?
Oh boy. I had a 13 year old centerpiece driftwood that was decomposing. Your post reminded me that the white stuff started on the driftwood before I saw it in the water. The mold went away. There might have been some left that I didn't see. I took the driftwood out a couple of weeks ago to try to lower my high TDS.
 

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I am a beginner. I have had my freshwater fish tank for a month now. My tank has a filter and heater. I have three female platys. I also have two plants, a ship, barrel and one plastic plant in it. I treated my water with water conditioner. I also test my water, quality is safe and is where it needs to be. I've have changed the water three times so far. I also feed them twice a day. My platys recently started hiding in the ship and behind one of the plants. They do swim around sometimes and eat just fine. Today I have noticed white cotton like stuff growing on the base of my java Fern and the stuff is also on the uneaten food floating around the tank. I believe I am overfeeding. My question what is the cotton like stuff in my tank? Is it harmful? What do I need to do to get rid of it? I will post a picture of it. I have researched a little and some say it is fungus and I need to get rid of it and some say it is safe and not to worry about. Very confusing. View attachment 1029531
You cannot bury this plant, it must be tied to a stone or wood, maybe the rhizome of the plant is rotting.
 
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