A Balanced state is reached when 'Pods colonize the entire tank... From microscopic (pelagic stage) to mobile (benthic stage)
If it looks like powdered snow on the aquascaping... 'pods are on their way !
NO... It's not dirty: but merely a mixture of Diatoms (brown) / Dynoflagelates (red) / and GHA (green): in fact there are less Bad Bacteria here than with our own human Microbian Fauna !!. When cycling a SBMarine tank; all sides of the tank should be left unscraped... 'Pods are hungry and require plenty of food. You would be amazed at how thorough their cleaning capabilities are !! However when the tank is fully stabilized ;D) the front panel can be scraped.
Copepods have a signature of their own: they always graze the biofilm in circles. The rims of which are usually white depending on lighting and background. On the inset picture circled areas show 'Pods at various sizes. Adult size of Copepods is 2mm . Amphipods reach 10 mm (3/8 in.) .
Needs a Closer Look