What are these little dusty specks on my plants?

alli789

New Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
United States
I'm new to the hobby and I'm unsure what this is. I originally thought fish waste, but I only have one betta in the tank and I don't think he could produce as much as there is. It also doesn't really look like poop. It's like little grayish specks that look like dust that mostly settle on my plant leaves (silk plants) as well as a bit in the gravel. I've also included a photo of some weblike stuff on the edge of the log that might be the same thing but also might be something else (I know bacteria can form web looking stuff, right?) The little specks stir up very easily with the gravel vac and float around the tank before settling again. They don't seem stuck to surfaces at all, just seem like they settle on them.
My tank only has one moss ball, all the other plants are silk. I do have a high nitrate problem but my tank doesn't get much light at all, so I wasn't sure if it could be black beard algae. I keep my tank lights off almost all the time and my tank's away from windows, so it really just gets light when the room lights are on.
Is this algae, dirt, fungus, something else? Would getting a shrimp or snail help once I get my nitrates under control?
Thank you for any help!
 

Attachments

Koglin

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Sep 13, 2020
Messages
124
Reaction score
150
Location
Denver, CO
I'm new to the hobby and I'm unsure what this is. I originally thought fish waste, but I only have one betta in the tank and I don't think he could produce as much as there is. It also doesn't really look like poop. It's like little grayish specks that look like dust that mostly settle on my plant leaves (silk plants) as well as a bit in the gravel. I've also included a photo of some weblike stuff on the edge of the log that might be the same thing but also might be something else (I know bacteria can form web looking stuff, right?) The little specks stir up very easily with the gravel vac and float around the tank before settling again. They don't seem stuck to surfaces at all, just seem like they settle on them.
My tank only has one moss ball, all the other plants are silk. I do have a high nitrate problem but my tank doesn't get much light at all, so I wasn't sure if it could be black beard algae. I keep my tank lights off almost all the time and my tank's away from windows, so it really just gets light when the room lights are on.
Is this algae, dirt, fungus, something else? Would getting a shrimp or snail help once I get my nitrates under control?
Thank you for any help!
Hmm.. out of curiosity, what are you feeding your betta? When I was new to the hobby, I had a similar problem from over feeding flake food (at first it seemed kind of nuts how little I have to give my fish per feeding, regardless of the food type for the day).

Also, you can expect to always have "some" nitrates in your tank, especially without heavy planting, as it is just the end product of the cycle. Good call getting the moss ball. You'll have to remove the nitrates with water changes.

Do you know if your tank is fully cycled?

If you have a test kit, do you know what your last results were? Please post if you can, it will help with sorting out what the problem is.
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
21,783
Reaction score
6,655
Location
Perth, WA
It's either algae or sediment, nothing to worry about.

If you don't have live plants in the tank, then you only need the light on for a few hours in the evening. Having the light on all day with no live plants will cause algae to grow instead.

---------------
Stress from tank lights coming on when the room is dark can be an issue. Fish don't have eyelids and don't tolerate going from complete dark to bright light (or vice versa) instantly.

In the morning open the curtains or turn the room light on at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the tank light on. This will reduce the stress on the fish and they won't go from a dark tank to a bright tank instantly.

At night turn the room light on and then turn the tank light off. Wait at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the room light out. This allows the fish to settle down for the night instead of going from a brightly lit tank to complete darkness instantly.
 
OP
A

alli789

New Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
United States
Hmm.. out of curiosity, what are you feeding your betta? When I was new to the hobby, I had a similar problem from over feeding flake food (at first it seemed kind of nuts how little I have to give my fish per feeding, regardless of the food type for the day).

Also, you can expect to always have "some" nitrates in your tank, especially without heavy planting, as it is just the end product of the cycle. Good call getting the moss ball. You'll have to remove the nitrates with water changes.

Do you know if your tank is fully cycled?

If you have a test kit, do you know what your last results were? Please post if you can, it will help with sorting out what the problem is.
I feed him tetra's betta food. I have the container with flakes, pellets, and brine shrimp that I switch between. I'm very careful not to overfeed but flakes are probably the hardest to portion correctly. Yes, it's fully cycled. I have high nitrates in my tap water that I'm currently working on diluting over time with a mix of distilled and tap.

Parameters tested (all this past week):
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 40-80 (colors very close)
pH: 8.2
 

Koglin

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Sep 13, 2020
Messages
124
Reaction score
150
Location
Denver, CO
I feed him tetra's betta food. I have the container with flakes, pellets, and brine shrimp that I switch between. I'm very careful not to overfeed but flakes are probably the hardest to portion correctly. Yes, it's fully cycled. I have high nitrates in my tap water that I'm currently working on diluting over time with a mix of distilled and tap.

Parameters tested (all this past week):
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 40-80 (colors very close)
pH: 8.2
Aah I see. Good on ya for mixing up the diet, sorry couldn't be of more help =P

After reading his response, I'd go with Colin_T's advisement, he is pretty experienced.

Either way I hope all's well! ^.^
 

trending

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Top