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Fungus problem - thankfully not on the fish

Posted By: Tibor <tibor@tiborsrealm.com>
Date: Saturday, 23 September 2000, at 11:02 a.m.

Hi all,

You know I just checked out all my clowns with the lights off and food a sinkin', and can you guys believe that "little" Sebastion is now noticeably larger than Frans? Maybe I should rename the latter "Munchkin Boy".

Anyways, the cycling 55 is starting to worry me. It all started a few days after put water and livestock in it (producing barely enough waste to cycle). There appeared clumps of small white stuff on the top of the black sand. Some of them were somewhat elongated; none appeared to be living organisms so far as I can tell. And they just seem to randomly appear on the bottom, though I haven't noticed any new formations lately.

I have three ghost shrimp, a black apple snail and my betta Morgan in there right now; they're my cyclers. I also have a wooden model ship in there that I built long ago and, having sufferred major rigging impacts throughout numerous moves, is only fit to play the sunken ship now. I suspect that perhaps it came in with fungal spores, as the entire deck is covered. Before I noticed this little problem on the ship, however, fungus was already a problem. I'd drop in a spirulina disc on my way out the door and arrive home from work to vacuum out the fuzzy remains. The same happened when I had just the shrimp in a 1.5-gallon, though I believed the problem to be shrimp bits when all killed each other and even a gravel vacuum couldn't scour the gravel clean. The 1.5-gallon used gravel that used to be in the 20, and the 55 uses black sand like what I put in my 20 a couple months ago. The 20, though the amazon swords simply cannot overwhelm a little bit of brown algae, is doing just fine and fungus free, and the shrimp even stayed there for a couple weeks between the 1.5 and the 55. So I cannot come up with anything related between the two fungal problems except that there was fungus in both.

So now that I've bored you all to tears, what the heck do I do? Do I get a fungicide for the 55? I guess I can treat now if ever, since it's not done cycling and houses no live plants, but I really hate the idea of treating with the betta in there, and don't want to start at the beginning with the cycling again. Will live plants combat fungus; is that why it's not in my 20? And what in the world was that white stuff?? There's no ammonia in my tapwater, FYI. And I'm using AquaSafe to condition it. The 1.5 gallon fluctuated out of direct sunlight but near the window, while the 55 was at 82-83F before I nudged it back down 80. Can the temperature be the problem, maybe because it's early in the cycle or something? The 20 is at 78.

Another problem is that I have flea-like insects living in my 20's filter box; they jump out (and usually land in my goatee) when I open the top to check the filter's condition. But I'll tackle that one later.

When it rains... I always end up getting drenched.


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