Most likely it will not work. It sounds like it was over open water, which is not recommended as even condensation can cause an issue. It states in the instructions to place it over a glass canopy for this reason. I hope, however, that it will indeed work, once dried out.
When it fell into the tank, it probably disturbed the gravel, causing organic matter and/or gasses to be released. White particles may be calcium precipitating out as well, if you happen to have hard water, due to a change in the chemistry of the tank water because of the release of organic matter from the gravel or from gasses being released by disturbance of the gravel.
Date published: 2016-09-27