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What is this white stuff on everything?

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This tank has been up and running just over 2 months, 55 gal, substrate is a mixture of ecocomplete, gravel, and sand, planted with about 10 Java fern bunches, Java moss, 3 banana plants, 2 dwarf aquarium Lily bulbs.  

Temp is currently at 78, ammonia, nitrites are 0; nitrates are <10 (I’ve always had trouble getting nitrate levels even to a readable level in this tank). 

currently stocked with 3 Amazon puffers. 

I have this white bio-film, or fungus recurring, even after scrubbing it off a couple times. At first it was just on the drift wood and now it’s covering the moss. 

im less worried about the aesthetic, but will it choke out the Java moss
I can scrub it off the wood with a toothbrush, but how do I manually remove it from the moss? 

Using shrimps and snails to remove it is not really an option bc of the puffers. 

Thanks in advance! 




Edited by SWilson
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I'd say that there's brown algae! Scourge of basically every new aquarium 🙂 

I'd shake it off the moss if you can, then cut back your lighting to 8 hrs a day max til it dies down, and cut back on the Easy Green or get yourself some Easy Carbon to help the plants compete. I think you should give malaysian trumpet snails a try if you haven't already. Extremely cheap and easy to find online or with local hobbyists. They burrow in the sand by day and come out at night when the puffers are mostly sleeping, and they reproduce like crazy, so there's a good chance they can keep up with the puffers. Good luck!


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I agree that its biofilm; I don't think it is algae. The white gunk will always show up when you put new driftwood in. Personally I think its a pain in the butt- I am impatient and end up removing mine, rinsing it just roughly, and replacing it to kind of make the process fo faster.

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I had it recently in my pea puffer tank, growing all over the newly added spider wood. Usually I just let the snails take care of it, but obviously that wasn't going to happen in a puffer tank. So when I got tired of looking at it, I took the wood out and rinsed it under the tap while scrubbing at it with a toothbrush. It went away shortly after that. For the moss I'd do the same as BlackLabelCarling, just brush it off with my fingers doing a water change. 

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