What is this white web-like stuff in my aquarium?

weedwoman(z6 NJ)November 30, 2005

It's a 4 gallon tank with a filter, some java moss and a few other plants, a bunch of snails (unfortunately) and one betta fish. It's been set up for almost a year, and suddenly I am seeing this white web-like stuff all over the gravel, and some on the glass of the tank. The amonia, nitrites, etc, are 0 or close to it. What is this white stuff, will it hurt the fish, and how do I get rid of it?

WW

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
skygee(z7NY)

how often do you clean your tank? (meaning gravel cleaning and wiping down the sides) Sounds like mold/fungus that grows because of leftover food. A good cleaning and water change (or two) should take care of it.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 8:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
weedwoman(z6 NJ)

Not very often, but there's only one fish in it, it doesn't get that dirty. I thought it might be some kind of mold, but does mold grow in water? And it's on the glass, too, where there isn't anything organic for it to grow on... It doesn't seem to be bothering the fish.

WW

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 1:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
birdinthepalm

I can only guess it's a type of filamentous algae , which tends to grow into fine threadlike colonies, but those usually are a very light green all the way to dark green, and usually would come with high nutrient levels in the water. Under lower light conditions , they'd most likely have less chlorophyll , so they could appear almost white. In generally they're totally harmless in an aquarium, though sort of unsightly.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 7:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woeisme(z7b NC)

Even small aquariums with few fish need gravel vacuumed. You can get away with it in a planted aquarium with rooting plants for longer then a nonplanted. Nonplanted should be vacuumed every week (because it is a small tank) with 15% PWC. I think bird hit the nail on the head. If you dont change water at least bi-weekly the nutrients and organics will build causing enabling the algae.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 2:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woeisme(z7b NC)

Are you sure you didn't get any bong water in the aquarium?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 10:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
skygee(z7NY)

How often is not often? Even with just one fish, say he doesn't eat all his food - even if it's a pellet or two every day. All of that will build up and there's the environment for mold (or maybe it's just a mold-like organism?)

Here is a link that might be useful: overfeeding

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 6:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
weedwoman(z6 NJ)

Hm, their mold/fungus description might be it. Alhough it's more web-like than cottony. Guess I need to vacuum more often. I have been feeding more than he eats, he's got a swim bladder problem and tends to go after what floats down past him rather than swimming up to the surface like he used to. I'm afraid he's not getting enough so I've been overdoing it a little.

Don't snails eat leftover fish food?

WW

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 1:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
skygee(z7NY)

Not necessarily. Snails may simply go after algae first. Don't count on snails or even bottom feeders to always eat up old food. If the food is old and decomposing, they won't want to eat it either.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 7:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vaderbanger(Z6 SE PA)

snails leave a mucus trail behind them could this be it?
or perhaps the snails are breeding?
the 4 gallon issue always bugs me. no animal should be kept in anything under 10 gallons, and even 10 gallons is far from ideal. a 4 gallon mini aquarium is just as bad as a fish bowl, it may have filtration but there is not enough water to support a healthy colony of beneficial bacteria.
a tank that small should be syphoned at least twice a week.
even my 220 gallon tank gets syphoned once a week (30 percent) and thats a huge tank!
a tank that small is a living toilet. drain the tank clean it thoroughly get rid of the snails and replace your filter media and gravel. start all over. the fish will finally be able to breathe again. he will survive the cylcing period 99 percent of fish do. but you must and i mean must syphon that mini tank twice a week, there are no ways around it.
for 50 dollars you can get a complete 10 gallon setup, id go with that
4 gallons=cruelty

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 11:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kg4irn_gmail_com

When it comes to Betta fish, you have to remember they are one: territorial fish, that live in SHALLOW waters. I don't believe this person is being cruel to her fish by having it in a 4 gallon tank. Lots of people can't afford the luxury of having such a large tank as you have. Not to mention, a lot of people start off small just to see if they can handle it. Also, like those who kill plants...there are those who unfortunately kill fish. Due to lack of knowledge and practice. You have a right to your opinion however, you do not have the right to judge someone and telling them they are being cruel to their fish based on the size of it's tank.

Betta fish do no require huge tanks nor do you have to have one that's filtered. They can be happy in just a large bowl. Their water doesn't have to be oxygenated because the tend to grab air from the surface. I'm not saying they don't use their gills...I'm just saying they don't require pretty plants to oxygenate the water.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 12:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
petiolaris(Neutral)

Sassy: I agree with your assessment of Betta cultivation but would like to add that life in a rice paddy, with all the elements of rain, sun, natural intercgange of gases, food, filtration, etc... needs a little help in the small, artificial environment that we hobbyists provide. I would recommend a small sponge filter to remove Ammonia and Nitrites, even though their labrynth system can inspire atmospheric air. They are territorial but also shy. Rpoviding plants for their comfort would also be helpful. It would help toward providing less stress and susceptibility to ich or bacterial infections.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 1:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sdibenedet

I also have this white web-like stuff in my small tank. This is my second round with this stuff! The first time I had just put 3 red tail platy fish fry into the tank from a nursery in a 10-gallon. After about three days, this stuff formed and ended up killing 2 out of the 3 fry. I put the one fry back into the nursery, completely cleaned out the tank (replaced the gravel too), and re-established it for two weeks. Than I tested it, found it to be fine, and put some more platy fry into the tank. Again, after a few days, this white stuff formed. This time, I immediately removed the fish back into the original nursery after loosing one. I went to a nearby Petco and asked their advice. They were stumped! All they could recommend was cleaning out the tank and using bleach to kill any living fungus, bacteria that might be in the tank. There was some left-over food in the tank both times as well. So, I am stumped too! Does anyone know what this stuff actually is?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 1:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nataliecremeans_live_com

III................ THINK I HAVE MOLD GROWING OFF MY ROSY RED FEEDER FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CAUSE I GAVE THAT SAME FISH PELLETS BUT HE DIDN'T EAT HIS PELLETS AND ONE DAY WHEN I CAME HOME FROM SCHOOL THERE WAS SOMETHING GROWING OFF THE PELLETS AND I THOUGHT FOR A MOMENT .... AND I'M LIKE MOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND THEN YESTERDAY WHEN I WENT TO A CHRISTMAS PARTAY AND CAME BACK/might be sad/THERE WAS LIKE COTTONY/WEBBY/STUFF ON HIS TAIL OVER HIS DIGESTIVE SYSTEM AND IT IS ALL MOST TO THE TWIN FINS ON THE BOTTOM OF HIM AND MY ETHER FISH IS/VERY SAD KINDA BUT PAINFUL FOR SPIKE ON THE TOP OF HIS BACK TAIL HE'S LOSING PARTS OF HIS...TAILL AND MAYBE EVEN HIS TOP FIN

Here is a link that might be useful: CAN MOLD GROW ON FISH

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 7:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sweetie10126_mail_com

I have that white stuff at the bottom of my fish tank to it looks like cotton webs and it started growing first when my mom and dad brung home a puffer fish from petco and like a week later I found it at the bottom of are fish tank with that white web all around him and his eyes where white. We Flushed him down the toilet and now it's all over the bottom of my fish tank and I can't find my sucker fish. Is their anyone who had this and learned how to get rid of it without getting a new. Fish tank.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 2:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mdahms1979

You probably have a slime mold in your tank. Slime molds feed on decaying organic matter and are not dangerous for the tank inhabitants. I had a yellow slime mold show up on the glass of an aquarium once but it only lived about two weeks and was apparently feeding on the biofilm that covered the glass.

Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: Slime Molds

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 12:52AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Platy Questions
Hi, I've recently started a 29 gallon tank and currently...
Haider_Sakhi
beautifully clear image
my school to get our telescope etc working. The camera...
salinallina
55 Gal Salt Water Aquarium for Sale
The 55 gal acrylic aquarium includes: (4) fans, (1)...
Chavezoe
Betta fish and heaters
Hi, I just bought a little betta fish. I appsolutly...
Nashville123
Ideas for freshwater aquarium? (live plants moss etc..)
So I initially wanted a saltwater tank, but the maintenance...
mushibu10
Sponsored Products
Williamsburg White Six Light Chandelier
$199.90 | Bellacor
Red Vanilla Vanilla Blackberry 12.5 in. Plate and 10 oz. Mug Set - RV164-939
$27.89 | Hayneedle
Concept 7 3/4" Wide Polished Brass Cordless Picture Light
$59.99 | Lamps Plus
Oyster Silk Empire Shade 9x18x13 (Spider)
Lamps Plus
Colette Chrome Three Light Bath Fixture
$219.00 | Bellacor
Designers Choice Collection Ceiling Fans Antron 42 in. Satin Nickel Ceiling Fan
Home Depot
Isamu Floor Lamp by Carpyen
$1,120.00 | Lumens
Cordelia Lighting Outdoor Lanterns. Wall-Mount Outdoor Wall Lantern
$49.97 | Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™