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White powdery substance after every water change??

Wet Elbows

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Anyone know what's going on here? 10g planted tank with BDBS and root tabs.



Every time i do a water change (50% weekly) my piece of driftwood and sword show a white substance on them. It's usually on the underside of the leaves and wood. I can brush it off fairly easy with my hand but if i leave it alone, it usually goes away within a few days. 

I have the same type of wood and use the same water source in my non planted tank and have no issues at all. I have searched the net and can't seem to find anything. 

Ph 7.4

Ammonia 0

Nitrite 0

Nitrate 40

Gh 7

Kh 11

Injected CO2, Nicrew classic + led on 8 hrs a day. Thrive tabs and Thrive liquid ferts doses 1x a week.


Edited by Wet Elbows
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On 7/11/2022 at 2:59 PM, nabokovfan87 said:

Is this something that started recently or has been happening for a long time now?

Can you describe the tank filtration please.

I would say it's been going on for about 2 months. Tank has been running for a year. I am using a Nicrew internal filter. I was running a hob bio wheel but i switched due to lack of proper water flow and CO2 distribution. Maybe i didn't let the internal filter run long enough to build up BB before removing the hob? 

On 7/11/2022 at 9:07 PM, macdaddy36 said:

If it’s a newer tank, it could be a fungus outbreak from the wood

The wood was well boiled and soaked before adding to the tank a year ago.

On 7/11/2022 at 5:57 AM, DarthMollusk said:

Hm. Is there any chance it could be the contents of the root tabs? In my sanded tank I have to use the solid kind bc the gel ones always seem to find a way to worm their way back up, even if i poke a hole in them 

Could be?? I had a Thrive tab break open in the tank the other day and a milky substance entered the water column.

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I drove myself mad when I had root tabs resurfacing about a month ago. I'd never had a sanded planted tank before, so I'd never had an issue. But depending on the brand, sometimes I'd find like wispy white stuff from the gel capsule itself, or fine gray or white powder from the contents. 

After switching to solid tablets, pushing them down much deeper than I think they should go, and being extra paranoid about not disturbing the substrate when I vac or add water, I haven't had a problem. 

It seems unlikely to me that it'd be the wood, given it is well established, but I don't know! Hope you get it figured out, because that sounds maddening. 

But so long as your fish are okay, that's the most important thing.

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On 7/12/2022 at 5:10 AM, Wet Elbows said:

Maybe i didn't let the internal filter run long enough to build up BB before removing the hob? 

I don't think this is a bacterial thing.

Blasting sand is commonly a recycled media and comes in with all kinds of contaminants. It could be from that. It's difficult to say exactly what it is but my recommendation is going to be manually removing it and then gravel vac and clean the substrate itself as best you can.

Something, not sure what, is causing it to appear and I think you have the filtration to handle it pretty easily.  The usual white slime stuff is often due to low flow and certain types of decorations contaminating the water.

Edited by nabokovfan87
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