Fishless TSS Cycle - what is this white film!?


New Member
Dec 11, 2016
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Sheffield, UK
Hello everyone,

I'm brand new to the hobby as well as this forum and setting up my new tank. It's a Juwel Primo 70 (60x30x40cm). I am starting a fishless cycle using Tetra Safe Smart and fish food to get it started. I've ordered an API master test kit but it's not arrived yet so I have no water measurements.

It's been set up 4 days, this is what I did:

-Black sand substrate, rinsed well before adding.
-Mopani/driftwood all thoroughly scrubbed and soaked in a large tub for 36 hours with 4 water changes split over this time. Then scrubbed again and rinsed before . Not boiled or been in the oven, no chemicals used.
-Stones, bought from lfs, boiled for 20 mins, cooled, added.
-Various live plants from my lfs, rinsed in tap water before planting.
-All water has been treated with JBL Biotopol before being added. no water changes since initial set up.
-I'm dosing the tank with 1ml JBL Ferropol and 1ml Easylife Easycarbo each am.
-On the evening of day 2 I added a small pinch of fish flakes.
-On the evening of day 3 I added another pinch and 60ml TSS.
-It's now the evening of day 4 and I've just noticed a thick, opaque layer on one of the roots, some of the food flakes on the substrate appear to have the same.

So the question is...

What is it!!?? Do I need to take any action.

I'm hoping it's a sign the TSS is alive and working, but worried enough to ask! Could be fungal?

Any advice would be much appreciated!




Fish Fanatic
Nov 23, 2016
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What you are seeing is normal on new driftwood. I'm not sure what the name is, but it will dissapear on its own, is harmless to aquatic life, and many invertabrets love to eat it.