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Foam on the Top

Discussion in 'FreshWater Beginner Information/Questions' started by p2kmon, Jul 25, 2001.

  1. p2kmon

    p2kmon Small Fish

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    I have a 55 gallon tank with a number of fish.  I have an undergravel filter system and two power filters on each side to clean up the tank.  My tank has been running ok for a number of months until now.  I am starting to get a white foam on the top of the water.  The light is even having a hard time getting through.  It the foam sits to long it turns brown and gets on everything on top of the tank.  I've narrowed it down to two things I think.

    I have reciently been adding aquarium salt to help a possibly sick catfish.  Also I used to use spring water, and have switched to tap water.  I have been adding a conditioner to the water... I think its called aquaclear.  Now even a small bubbler in the tank with the power heads turned off, create this foam on top and I can't get rid of it.  Please help.
     


  2. JWright

    JWright Superstar Fish

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    First, I wouldn't add salt to help a catfish, most catfish are salt intolerant.

    The foam could be caused by lots of things. It sounds like an organic foam because it turns brown. I would reccomend testing your water for everything you can (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, everything...).

    Did this happen when you were using the bottled water?

    Josh
     
  3. Fish Monger

    Fish Monger Medium Fish

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    I may very well be mistaken, but isn't bottled spring water inherently very hard?  I've never experienced foamy water, other than with my old saltwater tank, so perhaps it is the salt.  And, yes, catfish are sodium intolerant, as are loaches, and both are also intolerant of most ich treatments.

    Perhaps the salt in conjunction with the tapwater treatment is causing the foam.  What happens if you scoop the foam out?  Does it come back quickly?
     
  4. tabby360

    tabby360 Large Fish

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    I had the same problem and it was because my ammonia got real high and killed alot of my neons.
     
  5. p2kmon

    p2kmon Small Fish

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    Nope, I never had a problem when I had the spring water.  The spring water was the best.  I was told that the salt would possible help the catfish.  I think one of the other fish, a Pachu bit the cat and it looks with it had some sort of growth.  Its is looking better, but still get the foam.  Not sure if its a combination of the salt or the water condition... :eek:
     
  6. JWright

    JWright Superstar Fish

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    Salt won't cause the foam, neither will the conditioner. It would really be a good idea to test your water for the things mentioned above.

    BTW, a pacu is gonna get real big for a 55.

    Josh
     
  7. tiny bubbles on the top of the water are a sign of high ammonia. i would reccomend checking and taking the neccesery actions. :)
     
  8. Fish Monger

    Fish Monger Medium Fish

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    I didn't even think of Ammonia as teh problem.  I'd never experienced a problem with it, but now I know what to look out for should I get lazy with my regular testing. 8)
     
  9. p2kmon

    p2kmon Small Fish

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    Yup, tested last night, high Nitride and Amoninia.  I need to do a clean the tank and do a drain on some of it.  My problem is that I think I have too much fish in too little a tank.  I'm saving for a bigger one right now.  If I am sucking the S(crap) from the bottom of the tank, when I change the water, am I also killing all the bacteria ?

    I do a third of the tank at a time, and leave the rest alone, Sometimes stir up the stuff on the bottom, so the filters will clean it up a bit.  I have put in stress zyme, and also added some zeolite to get rid of the amonina.  Moving in a couple days, going to have to do a good water change then..  thanks for all the help
     
  10. JWright

    JWright Superstar Fish

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    No, you need to do a good gravel vac with every water change, especially with the UGF.

    Did the tank ever cycle? In a cycled tank, you shouldn't see any ammonia.

    IMO, you shouldn't waste your money on Stress Zyme, I (like most people) have never seen any benefits.

    Could you give us some more specifics? Types of filters, types and #'s of fish, exact numbers for your ammonia and nitrite...

    Josh
     
  11. p2kmon

    p2kmon Small Fish

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    The nitride was near the top, and so was the amonina.  Not sure on the numbers.  I do a vacuum clean of the gravel every time I change water, I change about 1/3 of the water every week or so.  I have two large pachu, two albino tiger Oscars, One tiger barb, other died, two plecko, two snails and one catfish in a 55 gallon tank.  I know, I know too many fish in the tank, but saving for a larger tank.

    I have a whisper 3 on one side of the tank, and a nother power filter on the other side.  Can't remember the name right now.  I don't think I'm over feeding, I use a phirano ? clean to do the tank, so I'm gravel cleaning while I'm Changing the water out.  I pretty sure the tank changed, the tank will be fine for a month or two, and then the water clouds up, or now foams at the top, I can do the water clean and get it crystal clear, and a month or two later, it seems to do it again.  

    Still rather new at fish, would appreaciate any help, hoping to get a 125 for these guys, possibly leaving a couple in the 55, will have to see.  The tax rebates will probably go towards this.  ;D
     
  12. A2FKeeping

    A2FKeeping New Fish

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    I have the same issue with FOAM, i think its a build up in bacteria, good kind i guess. I'm really new to aquariums and have my first. 22Litre which is like 5.5Galon. I really want to buy a bigger one around christmas time.

    Ammonia levels are 1.0 ppm (1.0mg/L)

    So i think i have over fed them. I did a water change last night. These are the results im getting today. I use a AquaOne AR-126 tank.

    What do you guys mean by letter the TANK cycle???? I do not understand this as i'm a noob at this. Thnx for the help.
     
  13. achase

    achase Large Fish

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    Ummm...just to point out that is thread is really old (from 2001). Not that it really matters. *twirlysmi

    Did you ever cycle your tank? A cycled tank shouldn't have any ammonia as a reading. What about your nitrate and nitrite readings? Also what are you using to test your water (test strips or liquid test kit)? Oh yes....how many fish do you have in the tank and what type are they?

    Cycling your tank is one of the most important things you need to do to have a healthy aquarium as well as fish. Read these articles on the fishless cycle:
    http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/library/water-filtration/fishless-cycling/ and Fishless Cycle
     
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