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Is my driftwood causing particles? Could it be too soft?

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Hey everyone, I posted pics below but they're not really gonna show what I'll describe to you.  I'm finding that my tank ALWAYS has tons of stuff that I'm gravel-vac-ing out, and I'm very confident a majority of it is not fish poop.  My tank is pretty lightly stocked, it's a 29-gallon with a dozen cardinals, an Apisto pair and two small ottos.  I'm also having algae issues, but I know what that looks like and this is not it.  Every week I gravel out tons of stuff from the substrate, and I even find often times my plants are kicking off soot when I move them around.  I do have Flourite red substrate underneath the top gravel, but it doesn't appear to be the film that I know Flourite can cause.

I'm wondering, could this be coming from the driftwood?  Could I take the driftwood out and give it a good scrubbing?  Would I be killing off beneficial bacteria by doing that?  I really like the algae look that is slowly growing on it, but I'm having a big algae problem elsewhere on my plants so I probably should scrub it off the driftwood too to help stop the spread.  Thanks in advance.




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You can take driftwood scrub it even boil it in water. It will be fine you have bacterias in filter and gravel.

As cause of that mulm goes it is probably combination of food, poop, wood, green algae, brown algae etc.

Try decreasing your light time (6-8 hours, if it is 8 now decrease to 6 or 7) and adding timer on light if you don't have one.

Good luck

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Yeah, the wood will definitely decompose over time. Boiling would likely soften the wood more and make it fall apart faster as well. And honestly, boiling won't do much for the algae either. My suggestion, get more oto's. 5 or 6 will do a great job taking care of the algae. I let my 75g tank season to a point that my background wall composed of slate tiles were very well algaefide, in less than a month 5 oto's darn near clean it free of the stuff. 

I've come to understand mollies are really good for cleaning algae too. I just bought some lyretails to give it a try.

Good luck though!

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I have the same issue. I also have a lot of snails. I am fairly convinced the snails eat the wood and cause a lot of it. I have found I just have to change the filter floss in my canister a LOT more often. I don't gravel vac, because nearly the entire substrate is covered in plants. I think it is an eyesore, but not a problem for the fish.

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