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Re: Strange new inhabitants since lowering Hardness

> Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 16:09:12 -0500 (EST)
> From: Kenneth Bruno <kbruno at bilbo_bio.purdue.edu>
> 	1.  My gravel now has a large population of little tiny worms.
> They are white and very small.  My tiger barbs love to eat them when the
> gravel is disturbed.

They might be planaria or some other type of pond critter.  Small 
invertebrates of all kinds may exist in your tank, but only become 
noticeable when they have a population boom.  Most of these critters
are detritivores, and they can multiply rapidly if their food supply
increases.  Be sure you aren't overfeeding.  You may want to vacuum
your gravel a bit.

> 	2.  I have a large piece of driftwood.  There is a thin white
> hair-like material growing out of the wood.  It looks more like fungi than
> alage and is growing but very slowly.

Probably some kind of fungus subsisting on materials in the wood.  
Loricariid catfish (plecos and relatives) often regard this stuff 
as a delicacy and will eat it as fast as it grows.  Even without 
the plecos, it will eventually (months) go away on its own.

> 	3.  The algae I had was brown and dingy.  Since the change in
> hardness, I now have patches of green algae that are about the size and
> shape of duckweed(but not duckweed, this stuff grows on the glass).

So-called brown algae (it's actually diatoms - real brown algae is like
kelp) is common in newly setup tanks, and later usually fades out.  The
stuff you've got now is probably what is called green spot algae.  The
best cure is a single edge razor blade applied every so often.

I hope this helps!