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Unidentified white Fuzz in freshwater planted tank. That moves!      12/17/16
My tank has been running for well over six months now. It is home to one small freshwater clam, ten black crystal bee shrimp, and two Otos. I have it planted with sedge, dwarf hair grass and dwarf baby tears. A few days ago I noticed Hydra beginning on one side of the tank, they spend their time eating the Cyclops that live in my tank as well. I've also been noticing this white fuzzy like algae growing on my plants. It doesn't seem to harm my plants in any way but it slowly covers the plant. I spent some time staring at it yesterday and moved my planting tweezers to touch it, and all of it on the plant I touched, retracted. After a few seconds it slowly came back out. I have no idea what it is. It's not hydra, because it simply looks like a sheet of fuzz covering a plant. Yet it retracts in a similar way to hydra. I'm to sure what it feeds on. It could be photosynthesis, or it could eat debris in the water, like a filter feeder. It's covering some blades on the draw from hair grass and some of the baby tears. So far that's it. I would like to find out what it is and if it's harmful.
I attached a photo of the fuzz on some dwarf baby tears that are the carpet. As well as a photo of my taller dwarf baby tears.
<It's hard to tell from the photo, but if it really does retract when touched, then some sort of Hydrozoan does seem likely, though there are freshwater bryozoans as well. You really need to examine specimens under a microscope, or at least a hand lens. Hydrozoans tend to look like jellyfish on stalks, whereas freshwater bryozoans have distinctive polyp-like
subunits with a horseshoe-shaped feeding apparatus covered with tiny tentacles. Bryozoans are harmless, but hydrozoans can pose a threat to tiny fish and shrimps, potentially anything the size of a newborn guppy or less. These aside, various red algae very commonly form hairy or fuzzy coatings on plants, but despite their name, the freshwater varieties are rarely red in colour. Red algae are difficult to control, and best physically removed and then suppressed by optimising conditions to favour the growth of plants instead. Fungi are the classic white fuzzy coatings, but they're normally
seen on decaying organic matter (such as wood) rather than healthy plants.
Removing whatever it is that's rotting is the best way to control fungi.
Cheers, Neale.>

Worms in my 3 week old planted tank.        7/6/15
We have just started a new tropical aquarium. We have just noticed small white worms in the algae on the wood. They appear to be eating the algae.
<Neat! Bob Fenner>
Re: Worms in my 3 week old planted tank.      7/7/15

Do you think they would be harmful to any fish we introduce.
<Not likely... but the wood decomposing may well cause them water quality issues.
<I would take the wood out, read on WWM re processing to make it safe. BobF>

Fluke like thing! I just planted a tank and a week later I noticed a fluke like thing, brown, that was " inch worming" it's way across the glass.  Is this going to hurt my guppies, or will they eat it.?  Nasty thing.  Thanks, I worried.  Judy <Hi Judy.  I doubt this creature will be harmful to your Guppies.  If it were a Fluke you would find it attached to your fish.  If they can fit it in their mouth, and it tastes ok, chances are they will eat it.  Keep a check on water quality, do not over feed and everything should be fine.  If you can get a picture of this creature feel free to send it along.  Best Regards, Gage>

Oh no! Odonata!  Hi Bob sorry the pics didn't come through, they are regular .jpg files. <See them now.> Anyways will try again using this email.   You may not be able to reply since we just made some changes to our email server last night.  If possible reply to the other address if this one does not work.   One of the pics is of my gravel, I want your opinion on it for plant growing, I am thinking of mixing some peat and sand for a 1" layer then a 2" layer above it using this existing gravel (UG plate under it atm).   2 Maxi Jet 1000 power heads in the tank along with a magnum 350.   I am looking forward to ditching the UG plates and power heads and adding an Eheim canister to go with the magnum.   <A good idea. At least what I would do. What you have is an odonatan larva... a dragonfly early life stage... a ravenous feeder on fishes, tadpoles, other organisms... I would trap, otherwise catch it out and remove it. Bob Fenner>

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