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Slime Mold

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  1. What was the white monster crawling in my tank?
    by bae/cs.toronto.edu (Beverly Erlebacher) (12 Feb 98)

What was the white monster crawling in my tank?

by bae/cs.toronto.edu (Beverly Erlebacher)
Date: 12 Feb 98
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants

In article <34E26EB1.EB162036-at-mcn.org>, Greg White  <grgwhite-at-mcn.org> wrote:
>I have experienced same "invasion", in flourishing planted 30 gal platy tank.
>Distressing as can find no recognition from local aquarium/fish dealers nor
>reference yet on web.
>-Greg White
>
>BaZ wrote:
>
>> I first noticed it around the bottom of some broadleaf ludwigia.  It was
>> a white mass.  It had little clusters of white balls.  At first, I
>> thought that a fish must have died and it was a mold of some kind that I
>> would vacuum out the next day...
>>
>> The next day, the 'blob' had totally moved from the ludwigia and started
>> to 'crawl' around the base of some dead wood.  It left long white
>> tentacles with behind.  Now I was intrigued.  It had done no harm to the
>> plants so I decided to watch it for awhile.
>>
>> The next day, it had moved again into some fontinalis.  In two days, it
>> had 'crawled' about 8 inches.  It seemed to have trouble gaining a
>> foothold in the riccia that is near the fontinalis and looked like it was
>> dying out a bit.  That's when I hoovered what I could out of the tank.
>>
>> Any ideas on what this was?

I just found out recently that there are species of slime mold (Myxomycetes)
that are totally aquatic.  I wonder if this could be one of them?

Myxomycetes are totally harmless things that have characteristics of both
animals and fungi.  They eat bacteria on rotting organic matter.  Some
of the terrestrial ones have brilliant yellow or orange color, and can get
quite large.  People sometimes panic when they find yellow slime festooning
their garden plants, but it's just a slime mold coming out of the compost
to sporulate.

There are several web pages on these strange and often beautiful organisms.  
One to start with is http://www.wvonline.com/myxo/


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This page was last updated 29 October 1998