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FAQs about Bubble Trouble and Aquarium Systems 2

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Related FAQs: Bubble Troubles 1, Bubble Troubles 3, Bubble Troubles 4, Bubble Troubles 5, Bubble Concerns, & FAQs on Causes/Fixes: Diagnosing Sources, Intake/Overflow Issues, Plumbing Issues, Pump/ing Issues, Discharge Issues, Biological Issues, & Solved Cases, & Marine Plumbing 1, Marine Plumbing 2, Marine Plumbing 3Marine Plumbing 4, Marine Plumbing 5, Marine Plumbing 6, Plumbing 7, Plumbing 8, Plumbing 9, Plumbing 10, Plumbing 11, Plumbing 12, Plumbing 13, Plumbing 14, Plumbing 15, Plumbing 16, Plumbing 17, Plumbing 18, Holes & Drilling, Durso Standpipes, Overflow Boxes, Plumbing Noise, Make Up Water Systems, Pumps, Plumbing, Circulation, Sumps, RefugiumsMarine Circulation 2, Gear Selection for Circulation, Pump Problems Fish-Only Marine Set-ups, Fish-Only Marine Systems 2, FOWLR/Fish and Invertebrate Systems, Reef Systems, Coldwater Systems, Small Systems, Large SystemsWater Changes Surge Devices,  El Sapo sez: "Me no like bubbles, no no."

New To Marine keeping       8/31/15
Hi we have just bought a 47 gallon tank ,
it's been set up for 3 weeks, but we are having loads of micro bubbles coming from the protein Skimmer, in the tank, what can we do to help reduce these bubbles ,
<Mmm; really; best to be "just patient". They'll soon be gone on their own. This "bubble ness" is part of some "new" set up occurrences. You could just turn the skimmer off for right now... turn it back on once the system is cycling (nitrate accumulation observed)>
and with the wave maker blowing the other direction it's cycling the bubble around. Please help
Many thanks
<Again, best to just wait. There are surfactants, products that will coalesce bubbles, but this will only delay your system becoming "cycled"...
Try not to worry re. Bob Fenner>
Re: New To Marine keeping       8/31/15

Oh thanks bob will keep in contact join up site
<? Okay! BobF>

Skimmer Gone Mad -- 09/27/11
Hello Crew,
<<Hiya Dave>>
I've had a curious problem crop up recently with my protein skimmer and was curious if you might have some insight as to why it's occurring.
<<Let's see>>
The tank is a 125 gallon FOWLR with a CPR wet-dry filter that has an internal protein skimmer in the first chamber powered by a Rio 2100 pump.
I've converted this to more of a sump/refugium by removing the Bio-Bale and adding live rock and live sand. Anyway, I've had several occurrences over the past month where I think I've got the skimmer set at a perfect water level/skimming level only to come back later and find it suddenly skimming like crazy, almost as if some kind of water parameter had suddenly changed. In several cases, it pulled off gallons (or more) of liquid and overflowed the drain tube/bucket.
I haven't been able to correlate it to tank lights coming on or off - or any other in-tank conditions for that matter. What would suddenly cause a skimmer to start overproducing skimmate?
<<Any number of factors really, even changes in barometric pressure 'but aside from the latter, this is most often brought upon by additions to the tank (food, additives, medicines, etc.)'¦most anything that affects water chemistry/makeup. Another cause can be skimmer design. Any skimmer can overflow 'but in my experience, what are considered to be the 'better' ones (e.g. -- Euro-Reef/Reef Dynamics, H&S, Bubble King, others'¦) 'hold' their settings better and are less prone to overflow conditions. In your case, the problem may well be just the skimmer itself>>
Thanks for any insight you might be able to provide. I sincerely appreciate it.
<<Happy to share, Dave'¦ EricR>>

Too many bubbles in protein skimmer... SeaClone   9/19/06 I have a 55 gal marine tank with 1 yellow tang, 2 clowns, 1 royal Gramma and 2 cleaner shrimp. All water tests are in the zero range. <?> My question: this past weekend I added a Coralife Turbo Twist UV Sterilizer running thru a Fluval 205 canister filter. Ever since all of this has  been up and running I am getting mass of small micro  bubbles coming out of the SeaClone Protein Skimmer - no amount of cleaning or adjusting seems to remedy this, also not a lot of gunk in the skimmer cup. Am wondering if all this added equipment has somehow caused this. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, DiAnn <This skimmer is hard to adjust... and really more a toy than functional. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seacloneskimfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Microbubbles  8/25/06 Hello... I have a sudden issue with micro-bubbles. I have an AquaC Remora protein skimmer, an emperor 900 bio-wheel filter, and about 30lbs of live rock. The protein skimmer has a sponge on the output and I don't think the bubbles are coming from there, but I've never had an issue with micro-bubbles from the emperor filter before either. The foam in the protein skimmer is minimal, rarely even spilling into the collecting cup. There are also larger bubbles frequently escaping from the substrate, which I haven't seen before. My ammonia and nitrite are 0ppm, nitrate is 10ppm, and pH is 8.4. Should I be concerned? -Mike <Mmm, if there are a bunch of these bubbles (like soda-pop), of small-size... like a mm. or less in diameter... Could turn off one mechanical at a time for a look/see... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/bubtroubfaqs.htm and (here comes that jingle) "the linked files above" (don't you love that spiel? I do. Bob Fenner> Bubble/Cyano Issues - 08/22/06 Greetings from Grayslake, IL <<Back at you from Columbia, SC>> I've read a lot (I won't say all) of the FAQs regarding bubbles but I am still running across an issue. <<Ok>> Here is my set up: - 29 gallon reef tank up and running for about 8 months now - CPR Bak Pak - Magnum 350 Canister Filter - 2x96 Watt 10k PC (On for 7 hours) - 2 actinic bulbs PC (On for 10 hours) - 40(+-) lb live rock - 2-inch live sand - RO/DI 4-stage system Here is my problem.  I still get bursts of air bubbles from the canister filter. <<Hmm, air intrusion from somewhere...builds up to the point where the bubble is large enough to "escape" to the outflow/impeller chamber of the filter pump...thus the "bursts" of bubbles>> I have broken down the system and have replaced the o-rings and have added metal clamps on the all of the hoses to try to tighten it all down.  Can't really find any leaks in the system. <<Have you tried "sealing" all the joints one-at-a-time with Vaseline? <Mmm, would not use a Petroleum-based material... too likely to act as a solvent... soften the tubing in the long/er run. Perhaps a Silicone-based lube. RMF>   Have you checked to see if bubbles are being generated/pulled in to the filter through the intake from the intake water chamber (sump?)?>> In addition to the bursts of air bubbles, when the lights are on I get a small amount of bubbles constantly. <<Check the placement of the filter intake/the possibility of bubbles in the surrounding water being pulled in to the filter>> Suggestions?  Replace it? <<Might be worth a try>> What would you guys/gals recommend for a replacement? <<I've always had good luck with the Fluval line of canister filters...and if you have the bucks, Eheim is a good choice>> I am also getting some muck on the top of the sand when the lights are on but it is gone when the lights are off? <<Cyanobacteria...possibly>> Some of my live rock has turned red on the tips, don't think that it is coralline algae.  Some form of algae was wondering if I need to be concerned here or not. <<Hard to say...likely not.  But do have a look through our FAQs/articles re "Cyanobacteria" and "blue-green algae">> Thank you for your time. <<A pleasure to assist>> Like everybody else...Love the site!  Very very informative. <<Always good to hear...thank you>> Sincerely, Richard Hunt <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Re: Bubble/Cyano Issues   8/22/06 Thanks for the reply. <<Welcome>> I am not running a sump, just the CPR Bak-Pak and the Magnum Filter.  Regarding the Vaseline...how is that done?  Do I pull out the connections and add it to the connection or to the hose? <<No need to pull apart the connections...just smear some around the "above water" connections to seal them temporarily.  Do this one at a time watching each for a bit to see if the bubbles stop>> The intake is behind a piece of live rock, so I don't really have any air coming from there I don't believe. <<The steady stream of air bubbles while the lights are on could be nitrogen bubbles from your rock/substrate being sucked in to the filter intake>> Again, Thank you Richard Hunt <<Regards, Eric Russell>> Re: Bubble/Cyano Issues - 08/22/06 Now that's interesting.  I do have tiny bubbles all over the red stuff on the rocks that I spoke about in my original post.  Could that be what is getting into the filter? <<Ah, most assuredly Cyanobacteria then...and yes, the filter intake could be pulling-in these bubbles>> If so...how do I get rid of the bubbles from the live rock? <<Increased water movement often helps when battling this blue-green algae.  Do have a read here and among the links in blue for much more information:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm >> Thanks, Richard <<Quite welcome, EricR>> - Peppermint Shrimp 8/21/06 - Hi Crew, <Hi.> Thanks for the great site.  I have a 20g High with 30lbs of live rock.  The water quality reads fine in all areas.  (Two Percula clowns, hermit crab, and domino and yellow damsel)  I recently acquired a SeaClone 100 protein skimmer for free (which is about what it is worth) and had problems with micro bubbles.  A few days after installing the protein skimmer my peppermint shrimp died and I was wondering if it was caused by the micro bubbles or if in all likely hood it was just a coincidence.  <Likely coincidence... skimmers all make lots of bubbles when they are breaking in, and these bubbles are introduced at low pressures, not like the "micro bubble" of concern.> Also, is there a star fish that would co-habitat well in my aquarium? <Probably a chocolate chip.> I have read through the FAQs, but have found little on the easier (if there even is) starfish to keep. <Most are likely to pass for reasons not well understood - can be frustrating.> Thank you for any help you may provide. -John       <Cheers, J -- > Beyond the obvious... Watch out Lawrence Welk, it's the new Bubble King!   7/18/06 Quick question for you guys. I have a problem with my 75 reef, Any flow that is introduced into the tank produces microbubbles. <Ho buoy!> Forget the venturi idea for that is not the problem let me briefly tell you what I have tried. 1. Maxi jet 1200, 8 inches down produces microbubbles. 2. Rena xp3 canister filter produces microbubbles, all air purged. 3. Rio 600, 200, 90, all produces microbubbles. 4. Mag 7 (return) produces microbubbles. 5. Magnum 350 Canister filter ..all air purged.. microbubbles. 6. Seio, 620 powerhead,, microbubbles. 7. Ehime 1260. produced bubbles. 8. Fluval 405 produced bubbles. <Yeeikes!> There are several more filters and pumps that I have tried, but you get the idea, again any flow introduced into the tank causes microbubbles. To clarify when I say bubbles I mean tiny microbubbles in the tank thousands of them, I been in the hobby for 7 years and never ever had this problem before. I fail to belief all of these pumps and or filters have venturi air leaks. The only problem with my water is low PH 7.9 during the day, 7.6 at night. <Mmm, a clue> Despite marine buffer being added every night, which raises to 8.3 but quickly falls again. <Further clues> Have not tested alkalinity. Other than that nitrite, ammonia both 0 and Nitrate is 6ppm. Calcium steady at 410-420. So since conception of this tank in march of 2006, I have a continuous problem with microbubbles. <Something about the water quality here...> I would like to stress the point that I am not only talking about sump return and air leaks in the plumbing or cavitations of pumps I been through all that. What would cause such problems? <The "encapsulation" if you will of existing fine material...> I hope you will be able to point me in the right direction. No additives added to tank in the last month except buffer. Too much dissolved gases in the water?? For this question I think it would be great if you all gathered together and ponder this for a moment. Thanks for your time  DJN <... Need to fix the issue/s of your water quality... and the appearance of these "bubbles" will greatly lessen. You don't want to be "adding buffer" nightly... There are a few possibilities of actual root cause that could be at play here. Most likely a ping-ponging of disequilibria twixt your alkalinity and biomineral supplementing. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm and importantly, the linked files above. Do you have a/the "Kalk habit?", what other (specific) chemicals are you utilizing? Fix your water chemistry, physics and your bubble problem will "evaporate". Bob Fenner>

Re: Bubble king, make that queen part 2  7/19/06 I forgot a couple of important facts. I have been dealing with a horrible Valonia outbreak, despite good water (well except for the bubbles) And on Reef Central someone asked a simple question. Are the bubbles any better at night? Well until yesterday I never checked. After a hour of flashlight viewing I can say that the bubbles are less at night and much worse during the day.. I believe if we put the clues together we will find a answer. Well, you would find a answer.....thanks DJN <... yes... related events. Photosynthesis, your water quality, algal (spore) profusion are conspiring to "make these bubbles"... Fix your water quality (again, many possibilities... all iatrogenic... read) (and scrub the Valonia off the rocks... outside the system) and all will clear. Bob Fenner>

Still bubbles... 7/8/06 Hello guys... <And some gals...> I have been searching through your wonderful website on how to get rid of microscopic bubbles that are being fed into my tank by the two Mag pumps in the sump. <Mmm... where is the air coming from eh?> I followed some of the tips on how to find air leaks and bubbles that pass through the sump, but the bubbles are still there. Here is a breakdown of my tank. 120 gallon with oversized sump Euro-reef skimmer 7.0 and 9.5 Mag pumps with filter sponges attached to inlet micron bag for the inlet to the refugium micron filter pad for the water in the skimmer portion of the sump PH 8.4 Salinity 1.024 No Nitrites No ammonia Very little Nitrates So I have checked all of the lines from the pumps going up to the overflows for leaks and there are none. The return tube from the overflow is not next to the intake for the skimmer. I do not see any bubbles passing through the micron bag for the inlet into the refugium. I have put the sponges over the intake valves for the Mag pumps and I am still getting air. If I turn off the skimmer, the bubbles are still there. Is there any chance that the pumps could be bad even though they are two months old? <Mmm... "bad?"... as in had leaks in their volutes? Not likely> This tank is only about two months old and I am reluctant to stocking it until I get the bubbles figured out. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Justin <I agree with you re finding, fixing this bubble trouble... how are these pumps, plumbing arranged? Are the pumps "pulling" against each other? Do you end up with bubbles whether one or the other is on? Have you tried turning the volume down, even capping the discharge/s to see if water "squirts" out of a fitting? There is/are a source or sources of air intake, entraining here... and you should find and fix it/them. Perhaps having another "reefer" come on by and look... they might see/hear something you've overlooked. Bob Fenner>

Bubble Trouble?...Maybe Not - 06/24/06 I recently moved to a 75-gallon MegaFlow tank with a 30 gallon Rubbermaid sump. <<cool!>> My problem is that I am getting microbubbles from the return into the sump. <<Very  common>> I have been working on the problem for 4 months without any luck. <<Frustrated, eh?>> What I have done is placed a small Rubbermaid container with holes in the bottom, I have a micron filter pad on the bottom and floss on the top. The water flows into the container drips down to another Rubbermaid container with holes on the bottom.  From there it flows into a bucket, which then fills up and overflows into another bucket with holes on the bottom. <<Mmm, sounds a bit complicated...but should eliminate the bubbles>> With all this baffling I am still getting microbubbles into the display tank. <<Ahhh...the problem is not your "sump return", but rather the pump/return line to the display tank>> The sump is very quiet and very little flow inside. The bubbles can only be seen with a flashlight.  I have tried several different sumps, and three different pumps.  At this time I have a Mag-7 inside the sump for the return.  I shut of ALL flow in the tank including skimmer and sump pump, I then waited for the bubbles to clear, and plumbed my UV sterilizer into the baffling system. <<...?>> At 150 gph flowing through all the containers I still have microbubbles. <<Have you ensured all your plumbing joints are sealed?>> Can there be a issue with the water perhaps? <<Is more likely a matter of air entering your return line plumbing>> The tank has been set up for 4 months yet I have bubbles constantly rising from the sand bed. <<Hmm, I wonder if we have a different situation here?  Bubbles rising from your substrate is a natural and desirable function of the nitrogen cycle which is always ongoing in your tank.  As nitrate is converted to nitrogen gas in your substrate, the gas is liberated and rises as bubbles to the surface of the tank.  if your "problem" is these bubbles you see when water movement is stopped in the tank, then you have no problem at all my friend>> My pH I can not get above 7.8 during the day.  That is with 432 watt t5s. <<Likely something to do with how you prepare your water.  Perhaps you need to buffer your make-up/top-off water>> Any help would be appreciated thank you ...Laura Z <<Do some reading here for more info on microbubbles causes and solutions ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bubtroubfaqs.htm),  and here for help with your pH (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marphalk.htm).  Regards, EricR>>

Bubble Trouble?...Maybe Not II - 06/25/06 Thank you for your time to respond. <<You're welcome>> I would like to make a few points clear. <<Okay>> As a test I installed my UV sterilizer to drain into my buckets which act as a baffling system.  With only 150 gph I see Microbubbles emerging from the bottom of the holes in the bucket. Keep in mind that the water travels through 2 Rubbermaid containers and then flows into 2 buckets before entering the sump. I think if I am getting tiny microbubbles from the bottom of the bucket at only 150gph I am in deep trouble. <<Mmm, or maybe making more of this than need be...  I'm not making light of your concern, but unless the amount of bubbles is extreme, a few bubbles in your system are not going to be harmful, and is unavoidable for the most part due to water turbulence. I figured out my pH problem I think.  I use a powerhead in freshly made RO water for only a hour before I use it in the tank.  Could that be causing the low PH? <<Indeed it could...I would buffer and aerate the water over-night as a minimum, longer if possible>> And if you could give me more of your thoughts on the microbubbles I would appreciate it. <<Without seeing your system it's hard for me to ascertain the true problem here, if indeed there is one.  But placing some fine polyester filter material in the bottom of the last bucket and submerging this a bit so the water doesn't "fall" to the sump should go a long way towards eliminating any bubbles from the water entering the sump.  If after this you still have bubbles entering the tank, then I would look to making sure you don't have a pin-hole leak somewhere in your plumbing allowing air intrusion on the return side of your pump>> Thanks again, Laura Z <<You're quite welcome.  Regards, EricR>>

Equipment/Filters...Bursts of bubbles from a Magnum 350   5/25/06 Bob,  <James today, Bob exploring the mysteries of the deep in HI> <<Heeee! RMF>>   I noticed the question from Donna regarding air-bursts from her HOT Magnum. I have been using three 350's and two HOT's for several years and the only time I observed air building up in the canister (and causing bursts of bubbles) was when I had an airstone near the intake and it would suck in the occasional bubble until a larger bubble was built up inside the canister. and then it would periodically spew a mist of air droplets in the exhaust several times a minute. This sounds like it would have been obvious to the most casual observer, but it took me several days of messing with everything I could think of on the Magnum until finally I was glaring at the snorkels in frustration and saw a bubble spiral around into the intake side. (D'oh!!) Using 5 Magnums for the last three years and that's the only way I've seen air get entrained - through the intake. <Thank you for this, Mark, will post.  James (Salty Dog)>   Mark Hein

Microbubbles... ARGGGH   5/21/06 I went from a 3 year old 38 gallon reef tank to a 75 gallon tank with built in overflow. The tank has been set up for a month now, I have a tidepool sump with a Mag7 return, I have 2 Maxi Jet 1200's on a wavemaker set at 20 second intervals, I have been getting microbubbles from day 1 from my return, I have checked everything humanly possible for the cause and I mean everything. I shut off the sump and skimmer and let the 2 maxi jets run they are both under water about 6 inches they spit out microbubbles every time they come on and the bubbles are very slow to pop. I think there is something in my water carbon gas or something like that I am totally exhausted trying to find a solution to this problem all flow is off in the tank except powerheads and I still get the bubbles, I have posted videos and 32 threads on the subject for help from reef central to reef sanctuary to a few others with no help, it has to be something in the water my PH is 8.2 ammonia 0 nitrate 0 nitrate 10ppm. calcium level is at a 480. <Laura, have you added any water conditioners/additives to the tank since you set it up?  If so, you may want to get a good grade of carbon in your system to remove any such additives as some can cause this problem.> Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Laura

Re: Microbubbles  - 05/22/2006 James the only thing I have added  is "Purple Up" and " Coral Vital", could the purple up be the cause?? <Do not believe these products would cause this.  Do read the FAQ's on this subject and see what others have done/suggested. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bubtroubfaqs.htm James (Salty Dog)>

Microbubbles, insults, requests for help  - 05/22/2006     This question is for Mr. Fenner, I am asking you for help as your colleges <colleagues?> can not handle more then a 5 word response, which are inaccurate response to begin with. <?...> I have a 75 gallon reef ready tank, which has been running for 5 weeks. I moved from a 3 year old 38 gallon tank to the 75. I use a Mag 7 for the return pump which is  housed inside a Tidepool 2 sump. I run a Coralife skimmer 125, and run 4 powerheads in the tank. My problem lies with microbubbles in the tank. I have 2 Maxi Jet's which are on a 20 second timer, which are continually spitting out microbubbles both are submerged under the water level  6 inches. <... where is the air coming from? Are there venturi lines attached to these powerheads?> I use Purple Up and Coral Vital for additives. I believe there must be some excess carbon dioxide or something to that nature in the water. <Mmm, not likely> As I shut off all flow in the tank the microbubbles are very very slow to rise to the surface of the water and dissipate. <Small ones are...>     My return from the sump produces minimal bubbles, and there are no microbubbles from the skimmer or in the sump. I have checked all plumbing for air leaks and have found none, all hose clamps are firmly tighten, I even PVC glued my return pipe, and removed the lock fittings for a 45 degree elbow as I thought air may be entering from the lock line. Nothing has fixed this problem. As I am writing this, my tank has had zero flow and still has many microbubbles  suspended in the water column. I have closely watched these to make sure they are not particles in the water. To confirm this I ran a Diatom Filter for  4 hours which produce no results. Any help you may give me I really appreciate. Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0 Nitrate is 8ppm PH is 8.32 and Calcium levels are at 476.3. <Too high for my liking... I would settle on something in the 375-400 range... And stop with the carbohydrate/scam Weiss product> I have read through your site for a answer but there is nothing that pertains to my problem. Thank you for your time.. Laura <Not able to discern much from what is offered here... Unusual that the Diatom/Vortex product would not remove whatever this is... particle or bubbles... I would check the powerheads and assure that there is no air entrainment going on there... perhaps having someone else come by, take a look-see will help discover the source here. Have you read: http://wetwebmedia.com/bubtroubfaqs.htm and the linked file #2? Some suggestions you might consider there. Bob Fenner> Bob thank you for your response, I have had three "Reef Gurus" stop by to look at the problem no one can figure this out. I will continue to ponder this problem and search for a resolution. Thanks again Laura <These sorts of mysteries can be very challenging. I hope you discover and solve yours. BobF>

Skimmers/Operation..."Tiny Bubbles"   5/21/06 Hi there!  <Hello> I have a small 20 gallon tank with an Aqua C Remora skimmer.   Just got the skimmer up and running.  It creates A LOT of bubbles in my tank.   Bubbles are just floating everywhere throughout my tank.  From the lowest part of my tank to the surface.  Is this dangerous to the corals and fish? <A typical trait of new skimmers, should be fine in a week.> Thank you <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Standpipe plumbing, bubble-madness (and noise if you're really lucky!)  - 5/12/2006 Hi guys I need some serious help. I just purchased a 75gal to replace a 75gal that was old and leaking. I got an All-glass with the MegaFlow overflow already installed. <Hopefully one with the larger through-put/holes> Ever since I installed it and turned it on, I have been having a problem with air bubbles in the drain line from the tank into my sump. Is there anything that can be done to correct this? <... some> It is the standard 1 1/4" standpipe with drilled aquarium bulkhead fitting, then it goes straight down to a flexible pipe (pool hose stuff) and into a 20gal sump. <... have you tried aspirating this line?> I have tried to raise the standpipe, lower the pipe etc. I do not understand why the air is getting into the drain line. <It is "entrained"...> Before I used the stand pipe, I had a corner overflow, with bioballs, on the drain line I had a valve and that regulated the flow so I would not empty the overflow. I have tried this with the standpipe and it does not seem to work. when you slow the flow, the water stacks up in the overflow.   I am at my wits end at this point and am very unhappy with the whole MegaFlow/standpipe thing. It looks like it might be  a great setup, but mine just isn't working properly. any help would be greatly appreciated. I have a Quiet one pump to supply water back to the tank, not sure what the size is but I have not changed it from tank to tank.   Thanks, Chris <Mmm, this technique is described in various places on WWM, but basically, inserting a length (to be determined... so don't cut it just yet) of rigid or flexible "air-line" diameter tubing... nominally 3/16" into the standpipe... and trying this at different depths within the standpipe... should yield relief from the "entrainment"... try this and see. Otherwise, do Google on/with WWM re this issue, or read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/bubtroubfaqs.htm and the linked files above, where you lead yourself. Bob Fenner>

Micro bubbles returning from sump    5/2/06 Hello, thanks once again for your site... lots of great info!  I am setting up a 125gal reef tank with a 30 gal sump. I divided the sump into 3 compartments.   Water drains from the tank through a 2" bulkhead ( 2 90's and a 45 elbow and pipe) into the first chamber which houses an EV-180 powered by a Mag 7. (tight space in here, nothing but the 2" return pipe, skimmer and Mag 7 pump)   It then flows over, under, over 3 baffles into the center section (housing a Via-aqua 3600 return pump). Baffles are 1" apart (maybe a bit less) and center has 1" space under it.  The return plumbing has a T and a ball valve so I can send some of the water into the 3rd chamber (planning on using as a refugium). the reason I set it up this way was so I can run 8" water depth in the first chamber, let the return chamber fluctuate a bit with evaporation, and run 14" depth in the refugium ( planning on 5-6" aragonite and some live rock in the fuge) this seemed like a great setup but I'm having lots of bubbles making their way into the return chamber of the sump. If I open the ball valve all the way so most of the water is coming back into the sump and not being returned to the tank, then my bubble woes go away ( seems like not enough water flow returning to the tank though) <May have to increase this some other way...> Should I change my design and put the fuge in the middle and the return at the end (chamber 1 would then be 9", fuge would be 8" deep, and  return chamber would be 6-8 depending on evaporation). this would give the bubbles more time to pop before getting to the return chamber ( going through the fuge and another set of 3 baffles)...  but I'd lose some overall water volume in the fuge. <This is one approach... might want to experiment with a bit of mechanical media (large/r cell sponge, Dacron batting...) twixt the baffles as well... to see if this will solve the bubble issue... will have to be serviced often though> I'm also in the process of plumbing a Mag12 on a closed loop so total water turnover in the tank should not be too big of a concern) <Oh! Good...> Thanks again, Mike <All possibilities, plans sound good Mike. Bob Fenner> Re: micro bubbles returning from sump    5/2/06 Thanks so much for the reply... I'll try some batting in-between the baffles and see if that helps (I'm assuming I can get it at the pet store, anywhere else that would have it cheaper, like a fabric/sewing store?) <Ah, yes... the latter is best> Is my sump design flawed by having the return chamber so close to the raw water from tank/skimmer chamber? <Mmm, no...> One other question, the 2" drain pipe entering the sump has about a 13" vertical drop straight into the sump, is there a better way to have thee water enter the sump to help get rid of the bubbles? <A tee on the end may be of service here... as might a perforated "receiving chamber" that allows bubbles to coalesce...> I did put a 4" piece of PVC around it so it dumps into the 4" and then flows out the top, this seemed to help some, I need to cap the bottom of the 4" though so the bubbles are forced out the top and don't blow down and around the bottom, maybe putting a small piece of live rock in the bottom to keep it in place. Thanks again, Mike <Welcome. BobF> Re: micro bubbles returning from sump  - 5/2/2006 Putting a T at the end of the 2", so the water comes down and hits the T and has to go left or right? <Yes> If so, should that be partially or completely submerged? <Yes>   Would that be better than going straight into the 4" pipe? <Yes... but try both out and see for yourself...> My thinking is the 4" pipe would keep bubbles from going everywhere and force them up over the top and then flow over and drop into the sump with much less force than coming straight down into the sump. As far as the perforated collection chamber, would that be my 4" pipe but drilling a bunch of holes in it? Or capping the 2" on the bottom and perforating it profusely and leaving it in the 4" pipe? <... try it> Sorry for being so brain dead...  Thanks, Mike <No worries. Bob Fenner> Equipment/Pumps/Cavitation    4/10/06 Hi,  <Hello Mark> You're are best hope at solving this problem.  I have had a reef tank for about 7 years now.  I would now consider myself pretty experienced at all things water/pumps/etc.  I am now stumped.  I have a 120gal w/55gal sump (sump is located below main tank in basement).  It's a great setup since I can do water changes, maintenance, etc. easily.  In my continuing effort to improve things I removed the pump to my skimmer and I tapped into the main return line (which goes to main tank) to run my skimmer.  This pump can run both w/enough power to spare.  My problem is the tee I inserted inline now causes air bubbles in show tank. I thought of inserting a "Y" instead, however, I am not sure this will prevent air bubbles as well.  Any and all suggestions are appreciated.  Thank you in advance for your help.  
<Mark, I believe you are drawing air somewhere in the newly inserted "T".  James (Salty Dog)> Best, Mark Re: Eliminate air bubbles on return to main tank  Equipment/Pumps/Cavitation  - 4/11/2006 James, That's what I have surmised. I thought it might be occurring because of the way a tee is designed.
 For example water flow on side of leg is slowed, creating turbulence.  Which can only be corrected thru a different design (e.g. wye or ~). Instead, are you saying, I may be pulling air into one end of fitting?  
<Yes, pinhole somewhere.>
 (I am using 1" flex pvc which does not have perfectly smooth o.d.)  FYI. I removed tee  and patched with 2 coupling & new length of flex pipe...back to original setup.  The tee fitting is only perhaps 2-3' above pump head. Thanks again for your help.  
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Best, Mark Skimmer Troubles - 03/29/06 Skimming out of my mind with bubbles Dear WetWebMedia: <<Hello Pam>> Hi, I have been reading your site for almost a year and recently decided I was ready for an aquarium. <<Cool!>> I purchased a complete set up from Oceanic.  The Tank, canopy, stand, sump, plumbing, and lights.  It is a 60 gallon reef-ready tank that has been cycling for 2 months.  It was set up with 60 pounds of live Fuji <<Fiji?>> sand, 60 pounds of live rock, and RO saltwater from the LFS.  It has cycled, but I haven't put fish or coral in the tank as of yet, just 4 hermit crabs. <<Ok>> I am still working underneath on the sump and deciding on what lights would be best for what I wish to keep in the tank. <<Ah!  Excellent to hear you are gearing towards your livestock rather than the other way 'round.>> Here is my problem:  I have a 20 gallon sump and in this sump is a Berlin hang on sock at one end (which I added) next (right before the return pump) a baffle with a sponge and then there is Rio 3100 that pumps the water back into the display tank.   Everything ran smooth until I purchased and installed the AquaC EV-90 Skimmer. <<Hmm...generally a pretty good choice of skimmer brand.>> The skimmer was purchased used but looks brand new.  It came with a Rio 2100 pump (I researched and found out it was originally sold with a Rio 1700).  I downloaded the manual for the skimmer and followed the instructions.  The skimmer is placed inside the sump and elevated as the manual described.  I have tried multiple elevations to try and resolve the problem with micron bubbles and overflowing water in the skimmer cup.  My problem is that the collection cup fills with water and the skimmer puts out so many micro-bubbles that it fills the display tank up with bubbles. <<Well...that's not good.>> No matter how I position the skimmer the bubbles get past the baffle with the sponge into the return pump area and up into the display tank.  I  tried the 100 micron sock for the skimmer water to fall in and I still got bubbles in the main tank.  I also tried turning the skimmer in different directions, I put extra sponges in the baffle on top of the sponge that was already there (don't really want to use sponges).  Still micro-bubbles are in the main display in abundance.   I don't have any added chemicals in the tank.  It is very simple and basic. tank set up and cycling for 2 months.. no fish or coral...just water, rock, sand, and 4 hermit crabs.  My questions are:  Is my sump to small for this skimmer (micron bubble problem.. not enough baffles to run thru)?   <<Mmm, may not be a question of size so much as design.  Are your baffles installed to direct water flow in an over/under/over (3 baffles) pattern to allow the bubbles to "escape" to the surface between the first two baffles before exiting the last baffle?>> Is the Rio2100 pump to big for this skimmer (collection cup fills with water)? <<I wouldn't think so, but try putting a valve between the pump and the skimmer and reducing the flow a bit...the skimmer cup should not be filling with "water."  I assume since you downloaded the instruction manual that you have tried adjusting the gate-valve on the skimmer outflow.>> Or am I missing something in my thought pattern on this set up? < <Do try contacting the manufacturer to discuss this problem (support@proteinskimmer.com).  Jason Kim (President) has always offered excellent customer service in my experience and should be able to offer some advice/guidance.>> Thank you, Pam <<Regards, EricR>>

Bubble trouble... Unhappy Ecosystem customer  3/20/06 Hi, <Howdy> You seem to have deleted my email without even reading it, <Mmm...?> this is still very much in need of a response & I am very disappointed so far in your apparent lack of regard for your customers <We don't have customers. Is this addressed to WWM?> and your apparent unwillingness to help in any way once a sale of your products have been made - I hope this is a misconception on my part which you have an opportunity to address now, however my perception is based on your action or lack thereof to date. PLEASE DO NOT DELETE BUT RESPOND INSTEAD. If I may quote from the front page of your website "We know  that only by working together, we can make a difference. Therefore, our company's goal is to assist each customer in realizing success with their aquatic showpiece." - please feel free to do so. Chris Note for Bob at WWM - For info & if you know of a route direct to Leng please do pass on - I would have thought as a businessman he would be concerned, I would be if this were my business. Cheers   Chris <... Chris, did you write to Leng (Sy) at Ecosystem? We are not messengers for disgruntled purchasers of others products, services. RMF> _____________________________________________ From: Marine [mailto: marine@ecosystemaquarium.com]       Subject: Bubble trouble       Sent: 09/03/2006 11:29 was deleted without being read on 15/03/2006 19:27. <By whom? Not WWM> Attached below is my original message - deleted unread by you but still in need of a response I feel. I have STILL had no response to my request for help with your system, your help in resolving this issue would be appreciated and you are best placed to do this as the people with the most experience of your design. Please would you pass a copy of this email in its entirety to Mr. Leng Sy - I would have thought he would be concerned by your lack of support (or indeed any kind of response) so far. I am VERY disappointed in your service so far, especially after placing my faith in your methodology over others despite the considerably higher cost which I anticipated would at least prompt a response to my emails and an attempt to help me make your methodology/system work. Chris Subject: Re: Bubble trouble Hi, I could really do with your help here please. Cheers   Chris Hi, I was wondering if you could help - I have a new system, 24" cube main tank with a miracle mud sump below (made to specifications kindly supplied by you, but 1" shorter than the standard 24" due to space restrictions (as discussed with you)).  The system is now running however I am plagued by huge quantities of micro bubbles throughout the system. These micro bubbles are caused by the crash of water into the sump in the first submerged bio ball chamber and from here flow through the sump to the return pump at the other end of the sump and from here around the loop again.  The system is all rigid (glued) PVC pipe work with a Tunze recirculation pump connected to 25mm return piping (correct size for pump) - air leaks here have been eliminated as a cause by bypassing with flex hose - with no reduction in bubbles.  Overflow from the main tank is 50mm Durso style standpipe which flows down through a tank base bulkhead to a 45 deg angle, into a 45 deg y-piece & finally into the sump.  After calculating head loss etc I estimate about 2000 litres per hour flow through the plumbing which is the recommended 10x tank vol. As stated it is the crash of water exiting into the sump which appears to be the cause of these micro bubbles. What can I do to eliminate this problem? Is this a common problem with such a high flow rate through MM sumps? - this was a concern for me in the planning stage however your assurances alleviated this concern. I have tried filter floss in chamber 3 (above bio balls) to trap bubbles - this has barely impacted & I see this as counter productive to the methodology of MM sumps and have no desire to filter out plankton from the system. If I can provide any further relevant info please do let me know. A speedy response, and, hopefully solution would be appreciated (I currently have 20 Kg of live rock sitting in a trash can which I need to get into the main tank as soon as possible - however I am reluctant to do this until the micro bubble issue is resolved) Currently the new tank - which has been a considerable investment for me is totally unusable & sits in the room bubbling at me & causing depression! Please help me to turn an expensive bubble machine into the natural reef setup I dreamed of. Cheers   Chris <... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bubtroubfaqs.htm and the linked Files above, elsewhere on WWM re Algal/Mud Filters, Filtration... Bob Fenner>

Bubble Woes/Stocking Plan - 03/08/06 Hi everybody, <<Greetings>> Just after comments on my stocking strategy & hopefully some ideas on a little problem if I may. <<Alrighty>> Setup- New system, 24" cube 200litres (50ish USG) with closed loop (3000lph) - been running IO saltwater (from RO/DI source) for about 1 week now, Miracle mud sump 23"x10"x12" (to Ecosystem design) - just mud in so far, returning around 2000lph to main tank.  No LR in tank yet or substrate - aiming for 20ish Kg.s LR & 1/2" CaribSea Fiji-Pink sand. <<Sounds like a plan.>> I've read the bubbles FAQ, most of the plumbing FAQ & much much more on WWM - I spend a great deal of time here! <<Me too <grin>.>> Many thanks as always. <<Welcome, as always.>> I ran the tank with fresh water in for over a week with no problems at all, however since filling with RO/DI & subsequently adding Instant Ocean (mixed in tank) I've had nothing but micro air bubbles running all through the system, I suspect that there is some suspended debris whizzing round the system as well but it seems to be mostly micro bubbles. <<Ok>> Pump return plumbing is 25mm (correct for pump) with overflow plumbing at 50mm.  I understand from the FAQ's that the main suspect should be the return plumbing and pin-hole leaks in the glued joints & I have eliminated this as a cause by rigging up flex hose to bypass all hard plumbing, with no lessening of the bubble creation. <<Hmm, okay...I would next look to see if bubbles in the sump are making their way to/being picked up by the return pump.>> I suspect that it is the overflow plumbing (50mm) where it dumps into the end of the sump, pipe runs from in-tank Durso, through bulkhead fitting, 45deg bend & into y-piece to exit vertically into sump - slightly underwater. <<Is the termination-end in the sump vertical?  If so, you may want to consider adding a 45 degree fitting to the end of the pipe to help with air entrainment.>> The first chamber is filled with submerged bio ball type media <<This can work, but would rather see live rock utilized here for its buffering capacity/greater bio-diversity.>> - blue drum shapes which are quite open & I am getting loads of bubble generation here which flow through the sump to be pulverized by the pump & returned to main tank to complete that loop once more. <<Aha!>> I was hoping the cause of this was just new plumbing or settling in or something however we are a week on with salt in & no  reduction in micro bubbles (which look horrible with halide on!) I guess it's not going to fix itself now! <<Mmm, indeed not.  You will have to install some sort of bubble trap/baffle system.  A Google search on our site re should provide ideas.>> I intend to get some more conventionally shaped bio balls in the hopes these will trap some of the bubbles - do you think this will help? (I doubt it will cure the problem for sure!) <<I don't see this making a difference.  You need to contrive some method of slowing the bubbles as they travel through the sump to give them a chance to "escape."  This is usually easily done with a series of baffles which won't allow the bubbles to travel to the pump once they rise to the water's surface.>> Adding extra baffles is not an option here due to the size of the sump, <<Uh oh>> however at a push I could fit another 23 1/2" long, no more than 10" wide & tall as I like (within reason) sump to take the overflow from the main tank - this entire length could settle the bubbles from the overflow with baffles at the end before overflowing into the sump as is. <<Ah yes!  You could even employ the first vessel as your refugium and then devote your entire sump to holding your equipment, chemical media, etc..>> This is quite drastic, involves replumbing & would just about fill the cabinet so is very much a last resort. <<Mmm...but sounds like your only option since you can't modify the "existing" sump.  Either this or reduce the flow through the sump and see if that makes a difference.>> Any ideas for bubbles caused by overflows dumping into sump that don't involve more baffles or a second sump upstream? <<Not other than greatly reducing flow (thus turbulence) through the sump.>> I'm getting quite despondent & depressed here! - I'll also try to get a pic of setup to you shortly.  Couple of points here - The salt was mixed in tank (I'll do it externally next time!) & has left some fine particles (which have formed a hard coating on the tank base) and some larger white grains/lumps which bob about - could this be connected in any way? <<I don't think so, no.>> Have I changed the salt blend in some way to be more prone to bubbling? <<No>> Doubtful I know but clearly even if not connected to the bubbling issues I want to start with chemically balanced salt water - is there any risk to proceeding with this water in terms of future livestock problems? <<Not likely...have you performed any water tests?>> Will my LR be OK added while these bubbles pervade?  Currently it is sitting in a trash can with a powerhead & I want to get it into the tank ideally as soon as possible - it was bought on Sunday cured. <<It's probably a fine point, but I would leave the rock where it is until you resolve the micro-bubble issue.>> I have already caught a few very small crabs in this LR (Indonesian - about 18/19kg) should I try to bait any more out by laying on raised egg crate in the main tank (when bubbles/your advice permits) is this worth doing? <<Unless this is how you plan to install the rock, no, I wouldn't bother with this.>> Right, onto the stocking plan (which will certainly wait till the bubbles are fixed), <<And the tank has cycled/matured a bit hopefully!>> which will cheer me up thinking about!.  I plan to introduce slowly & quarantine in the following order - your comments/suggestions/warnings would be most welcome - <<Is my pleasure to provide.>> Cleanups for main tank - 15 or so Nassarius Snails, 5-ish Turbo's from existing tank, maybe a few Ceriths if I can find any. Would a crew for the mud sump be beneficial? <<Not if it involves macro-crustaceans (crabs/shrimp)...defeats the purpose of the refugium in my opinion.>> If so what critters/numbers would you advise? <<If anything, a detritivore kit from one of the e-tailers offering such...but is likely the mud will populate from the live rock just fine.>> 2 or 3 Banggai Cardinals, 3 Blue Green Chromis (is there a difference between blue, blue/green & green Chromis? I have seen all offered & want the most chilled I can get!), <<Yes, though Chromis viridis is often called/sold by all three of these common names.>> 2 black & white Clowns (in my existing tank currently) - these may end up going in first or possibly residing in the sump for a while due to logistics, 1 Orchid Dottyback, 1 Flame, Potters or Coral Beauty Angel (I guess you're gonna recommend the Flame?) <<Yuh huh>> That's probably it for the fish plan, still working on the coral list! <<That pretty much fills you up.  I would like to suggest that you skip the Dottyback...aside from your stocking density, I'm a bit worried about aggression in this size/stocked system.>> Should I stock corals or fish first or does it make little difference? <<Ideally...the tank would sit empty of both for 6-12 months, allowing the biota from the rock to develop.  Then...were it me...corals before fish.>> Hoping for a cure for the micro bubbles. <<I think you know what has to be done...>> Cheers, Chris <<Be chatting, EricR>>

Micro-Bubbles from my skimmer....   2/14/06 Hey WWM, <Angelo> My tank has just cycled and I'm waiting to add livestock finally (woo hoo!).  50gal, Odyssea skimmer, AMiracle wet/dry sump.  The return pipe from the sump was spitting out micro-bubbles into my tank.  I read page after page on your site about these bubbles, I went through all the steps (turn the skimmer off, check for leaks etc...)  After all the testing it I figured out it's the skimmer doing this bad deed. When I turn the skimmer off and wait an hour all the bubbles are pretty much gone.   <Ah, yes> The outlet on the skimmer already had a sponge on it.  So my question is... how do I use my skimmer without making these bubbles?   <Mmm, a few possibilities... add more "sponge", an area to allow coalescence, dump into a more rear-ward sump area...> Currently the skimmer is in the sump but it could hang on it.  Also I'm not sure if your familiar with AMiracle sumps, but they don't really have baffles. <Yes... I would add them... or go with another container that has these. Have you seen the CA article re?> Any advice would be appreciated.  I was thinking of making baffles in the sump and having the skimmer in the first baffle to allow the bubble to "pop" before it hits the last chamber were the return pump is. -Angelo <Ah, an excellent idea, modification. This is what I would do as well. Bob Fenner>

Micro bubbles and powerheads 02-08-06 To the WWM Crew <Hello Flavio, Travis with you today.> Recently I put 2 Sicce Extrema power heads (2000 litres/hour each) in my 500 litres reef tank for more circulation. Since then, a lot of micro air bubbles are all over the tank. They are ejected from the power heads periodically in a way that when the water is becoming "bubble free", from the last jet, another and new bubble jet comes again in the tank. The main pump in the sump, is not the problem, because if I run it only the water becomes crystal clear. The top of the powerheads are below the tank water surface about 12 cm and I do not notice any surface air suction. Do you have some tips in order to solve the problem? <Remove the powerheads and build a closed loop.> To much propeller speed? <Very possible.> Bad design? <Possibly.> I've tried also with another brand, the New-Jet NJ 3000 from Aquarium Systems and the problem remains, maybe less notorious. In fact I do not understand from where are all these bubbles are coming from. <The bubbles are actually caused by what is called cavitation.  This is due to high propeller speed. The suction of the propeller actually creates a void which fills with air.  To relieve this the propeller needs to either be slowed down or the intake needs to be larger. Hope that helps explain your situation a bit.  By going with a closed loop you will only have one pump to deal with and it can be throttled back if necessary.  Travis> Thank you very much for your attention Flavio

Air bubbles, mis-stocked small mar. system   2/1/06 I am a newbie and just recently started my own reef tank.  My friend gave me his tank after he lost just about everything in it after a week long power loss from a hurricane.  It is a 29 gallon tank.  The sand and 1 hermit crab are the only hold overs from his set up.  I got about 20 lbs of new live rock, a new canister filter and a protein skimmer.  I got new salt water from my local Big Al's Aquariums and had the new filter go to cycle.  Took about 6 weeks.  After that I added about 40 zebra hermits and 5 turbo snails to help clean the tank.  A few weeks after that, I added 2 clownfish and 2 cleaner shrimp.  Now, last week I added 2 blue tangs. <The latter species can't "fit" here> Everything is going well except that the water surface is covered with very small air bubbles. What could be the cause of this and is it bad for my fish? <Surfactants, oils... possibly from an aerosol source outside the system... foods... Can be real trouble... needs to be wicked off, removed by dipping...> I want to start adding some polyps/mushrooms/corals but obviously I want to make sure there is nothing wrong. <Already is mis-stocked...> Ph is 8.1, Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0, Nitrate is 5ppm, calcium is 400, Phosphate is 0.  For lighting my friend gave me power compacts.  Any help would be appreciated. Asher <... I'd hold off on any changes period here... become familiar with the search tool, indices on WWM... perhaps a complete marine aquarium book reading... Bob Fenner>

Microbubbles in reef 1/2/05 MICROBUBBLES: A question for BOB if possible! <Adam C. here today.... pretty sure Bob is out of the country.> >Am back, but blurry< Hi, I am running a 365 Gallon Reef and was wondering whether you can assist or have been involved in something similar to what I am trying.  The Question:  Do Microbubbles hurt inhabitants of the reef? <The short answer is no, but there are caveats.  In nature, even when large numbers of microbubbles are introduced, there is sufficient dynamic water movement to sweep them away again.  Also, the bubbles can be harmful if trapped (under overhangs, etc.) against living sessile inverts.> In nature micro bubbles are produced by the smashing of waves, so I am presuming no harm will be done to Fish and Inverts etc.  Please advise, as I am trying an experiment to remove Cyanobacteria by over oxygenating.  I have inserted an airstone into my return pump intake so as to inject microbubbles into the display.  I will experiment over a few weeks and post results as they come to hand. I have heard that Cyano etc do not like oxygen as they are more interested in anaerobic conditions. Kind regards, Craig New Zealand <I would strongly advise against this.  Oxygen should be near saturation in a well kept reef tank to begin with, so your idea should not significantly increase it.  Also, exposure to microbubbles is well tolerated, but not in the quantity that you will create or for extended periods of time.  The kind of procedure you are describing will cause physical irritation and excessive mucous production in your corals, will decrease light penetration and will cause an awful mess with salt spray. It is not true that Cyano prefers anaerobic conditions.  If this were true, they would not grow in the highly aerobic conditions that they do.  It is true that high ORP inhibits the growth of Cyano, but I doubt that your proposed procedure would significantly raise the ORP.  Ozone or some other oxidizing chemical (very different than simply raising oxygen... these substances are very chemically active!) would be required for this.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Bubbles Galore  12/21/05 Greetings from UK and many thanks for a superb and informational web site. <Thanks for the kind words.> Recently I had a "boil up" in my hexagonal acrylic 55 gal reef tank. The heater just kept on heating overnight and the temperature must have gone into the 40's before I got to the tank the next morning.  As you can guess almost everything perished. Things are back to normal and the few surviving crabs and snails seem OK together with one clown fish. However, there is now a constant stream of bubbles coming from the live substrate and this has been going on for 2 weeks. I was used to seeing bubbles from the live sand and rocks previously but this is way over the top to the extent that I have to keep cleaning them off the tank sides in order to see anything.
<I'm guessing the extreme temperatures caused a gas buildup in the substrate possibly from critters that were fried.  I'd get a gravel vacuum and vacuum the substrate while doing your water changes. I think this will take care of your problem.  James (Salty Dog)> Any ideas please.

Question about 4-MDQX-SC; bubbles everywhere  11/29/05 Hi guys, Thanks as always for all your hard work. I have Googled but cannot find an answer to this. I just upgraded from a Little Giant 2-MDQ-SC to a Little Giant 4-MDQX-SC. I have drilled out a new hole in my sump and installed a 1" bulkhead. I'm using a 2" long threaded connector to join the female pump to the bulkhead. Upon cranking up the pump, I've got micro-bubbles, everywhere!  I'm wondering if I'm starving the pump and should have used a larger bulkhead. The "instructions" that came with the pump gave no indication as to how to actually hook it up. What do ya'll think?  <A new pump may cause this for a few days. Are you seeing a whirlpool leading down to the inlet by any chance? If so, install a 90 degree elbow to the inlet inside the sump facing down of course.> Also, I've built a Water Return Manifold as described by Anthony Calfo. I originally built it for my old pump, but the pump was too little to drive the four 1/2 inch outlets I put on it. I made it out of 3/4" pipe, so I think I'm going to replace it with 1" pipe to accommodate the greater flow of the new pump. Do you think that's worthwhile? <Four 1/2 outlets will easily handle the new flow rate.> Finally, my sump is a wet/dry filter. It can hold about 9 gallons, and I think it's way too small for this new pump. I'm considering drilling out a 20 high and using it as a pump. Do you think it will help to have more volume in the sump? Seems like it would. I'm going to call a glass place tomorrow morning. Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!  Mark <I think I'd go with the 20 high seeing that the new pump could pump as much as 20 gallons per minute. James (Salty Dog)>

Bubble Trouble 11/25/05 Hi There, <<Hello David. Ted Here>> I am in the final stage of setting up a 55g reef tank that began over six months ago.  I am also as close as I can get to giving up, converting it to a vivarium and buying a snake. My problem is, are, bubbles.  I have read and read the FAQs but cannot resolve the problem. Most FAQs suggest that the problem stems from the return from the sump.  However I have removed the return pipe manifold and set up a direct hose from the sump pump to the tank so there is no joint exposed to air, the pump is submerged so no air exposed joint there and still the bubbles go on. <<Ok. So you've confirmed these are bubbles and that they are coming from the water in the sump?>> Initially the drain to the sump was generating a boiling cauldron, but that has been tweaked so that there are no obvious bubbles at that point.  The in sump Tunze DOC skimmer generates a level of fine bubbles but as this is designed as a hang in tank skimmer I assumed that this is either a: normal or b: temporary. I have tried creating  bubble traps additional to the existing baffles, I have tried running the water over and through filter sponges in the sump in the hope of coalescing any tiny bubbles into larger ones that will rise and burst. I cannot think of anything else to do apart from scrap and redesign the sump which would be expensive, basically confined to the same footprint as the current one and no guarantee of success. The bubbles in the tank are far, far less than at the start.  Basically there is a degree of fine bubbles that require serious squinting to define as bubbles and not fine particulates, and not a seething white mass as previously. So what do I do?  Should I just go ahead?  I have postponed getting my rock twice now, or resign myself to redesigning?  Is a level of "bubbular activity" acceptable or do I need crystal clear bubble free water as I used to have in my freshwater tanks? Looking forward to your suggestions. <<Sorry that this is so vexing. Solving these types of problems is best done through steps where you eliminate possible sources of the problem. You seem convinced it is bubbles and not sediment. Ok. Hook up the return pump to return water directly to the tank and bypass the plumbing (as you have previously done and described above) and wait a few hours. If you still have micro bubbles then look at the overflow return as the source of the bubbles. Place the pump as far from the overflow return as possible, add rock or anything else to cause turbulence at the return point in the sump and slow the progress of the bubbles towards the pump. You want to give the bubbles a chance to escape. If the micro bubbles are gone, then hook up the return pump to use the normal plumbing and try again. If the micro bubbles are still gone, then the problem is the skimmer (or some other equipment) otherwise you've confirmed that the main pump plumbing is involved in the problem. Your goal is by process of elimination, isolate the source and then correct the problem. If the main plumbing is the problem, rework the plumbing. If the skimmer is the problem, consult the skimmer instructions and see if you can eliminate the bubbles returning to the tank from the sump.>> David <<Good luck - Ted>>

Micro bubbles and urge to throw filter in backyard!!  11/22/05 Hi. Sorry to bother all of you fine experts at the web today. I have searched and searched the FAQ's to no avail. I even posted a question in the chat forums, which I love by the way!! So now I am resorting to bothering y'all once again. <No worries> Here's the problem: I have almost solid sprays of micro bubbles blowing into my tank. They happen about every 20 seconds. My water looks extremely cloudy from this annoying and dangerous to my livestock problem. I have tried the following:  Listening thru a tube for air leaks, placing Vaseline over the joints of my connections and then removing it of course, wrapping connections in a special leak fixing tape, opening and re-closing lid, rearranging tubing, wiping around everything hunting a leak, and just getting mad and yelling!!! I cannot find what the problem is. So I am going to ask for a few solutions and then ask if they don't work, will my final solution be good for my tank? <We'll see> Okay, first things first: The setup: A 92 gallon corner saltwater tank.  (Loaded with snails, stars, crabs, shrimp, fish, live rock, and sand) The plumbing: An intake pipe which converts to flexible tubing down to an Ocean Clear canister filter, 5" of flexible tubing to a Mag1800, <Stop! Is this the order these items are in? The pump should go first, then the mechanical/cartridge filter, then all else... the pump is made to push, not pull...> and then 4-5 more feet of flexible tubing going from the pump returning to the tank. All flexible tubing used was 3/4". My solution for today: replace all tubing coming from intake side of tank to pump with 1" or if I can swing it 1 1/4", which will cause less back pressure on the pump, making it easier for it to pull the water. <... Ahhh> Is this a waste of time? Oh yeah, forgot to mention that when I turn the control valve down on the output side of the pump, the bubbles do get a little better, but I have to turn it halfway shut, which causes me to lose valuable GPH. <Just change the order here>  If this doesn't work, and you can't give me some miracle fix that I'm overlooking, I am considering removing the filter from the whole setup and placing the Mag1800 directly inside the tank, in the back corner in a plastic square container with sides of at least 5" to prevent it from sucking sand in, and using the prefilter that came with the Mag1800. Then doing a "T" and run some tubing so that I have 2-4 outlet pipes under water to create LOTS of water movement in different directions. All of this would be hidden behind my rock of course. Then remove all powerheads from tank. Okay, you may need to know what other equipment I have on the tank for this, so here goes: An AquaC Remora Pro with Mag3 and prefilter/surface skimmer box (I get lots of tea colored skimmate daily, about 1 cup)  An Aqua clear 110 power filter (500 gph)  I have 130 lbs of different varieties of live rock which I will discuss further down 100lbs of sugar size live sand I was trying for the "Berlin Style" filtration method, but had the filter attached to the Mag to filter a little extra due to a 7" Regal Tang and her waste products: She's quite messy, if you know what I mean. Okay, the deal with the rock is: Currently 90lbs of it is in the tank, the other 40 is still "curing". The 90lbs in the tank has Cirolanid isopods in it, though I haven't seen one in a week or two. I have caught probably 30 in the past 2 months. <You must be very good with a net> I bought 60lbs of live rock from Florida (gulf-view) and though it is beautiful in it's diversity of life, it also has a very ugly side: Cirolanids!! So, I am removing the rock Dec. 8th and placing it in a 29 gallon for a 6-8 month quarantine to starve the isopods out. In the meantime all my tank will have is 100lbs of new live sand and 40lbs of Caribbean (Haiti) Lettuce Coral live rock. I know this will leave me on the low end for rock filtration, but in 6-8 I'll have plenty of live rock in there. If my suggestion of removing the Ocean Clear and placing the Mag in the tank will work, will it work without the 90lbs of rock? <Yes, should> I am so sorry to bother you with such a long e-mail, but I truly don't know what else to do, and I'm getting that desperate feeling of throwing the filter out in the yard, which is usually my cue to bother you guys and you usually talk some rationalizing into me. Thanks for the wonderful sight and on a side note, I'm getting "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" and "Reef Invertebrates" for Christmas!! I can't wait to read both of them. Thanks again for being so nice. Christy <Again, no worries. Move the pump to the first thing, have it pump through the OC filter... your problem will be solved. Bob Fenner> 

Hi there.  Yes I have read and read about microbubbles....I still can¹t figure it out.  Please help me.    10/21/05 Quickly, 90 gallon reef. As of yesterday, Phosphorus 0 Ca 300 KH 10 PH 8.2 Nitrite 0 nitrate less than 5ppm Ammonia 0 Salt 1.025 O2=7 Various fish and corals.  Everybody is doing great!  Except for some pitting on the blue tang in front of his eyes that I can¹t beat no matter what I feed him!  Maybe he has intestinal parasites and they steal his nutrients! <Possibly> Though my purple tang is fine.....sorry to ramble, that¹s not my question. I use the tidepool 2 ( I like it-ease of maintenance) with a Mag drive 18 pump (sits in sump and all flex tubing with barbed fittings).  Have the Turboflotor skimmer, ozonizer.  In the media trays I have pads and a bag of charcoal.  I recently cleaned the pump and it now buzzes, vibrates loud.... I just don¹t know..... I¹ve taken it apart and put it back together again with no luck. <Likely a bit of air stuck, around the impeller... perhaps turning off/on a few times will clear this> I have tightened all connections.   I have turned off the skimmer and still bubbles so it¹s not the skimmer.  These bubbles are like dust particles.  I am distracted when I sit down to watch my tank.  It bothers me.  Especially when the halides come on.  (They only run 12-6...power compacts alone the rest of the time)  MH  exaggerates them.  It looks like I just blew dirt off the rock with a powerhead, or a fish stirred up detritus. I have had experienced water so clear you wonder if water is in there.....I just can¹t put my finger on when these started......was it after I cleaned that pump? <Maybe> I have noticed that at the end of the day tiny bubbles are sticking to my rocks and then in the morning they are gone!   <May be formed via photosynthesis...> But they are always present in the water.  That never clears.  I¹ve tried taking the carbon bag away, no luck.  What else can I do?   <... replace, re-seal all plumbing, fittings... start from the beginning intake...> I¹ve thought of a pre-filter sponge for the pump itself but they don¹t make them for this size.   <Can make/fashion your own> They do for the Mag drive 5, or is it 7?  I wouldn¹t mind cleaning it everyday.  O well.  How I long for that water that looks so clear again!  Can you help me?   <Not with the information provided... You might ask about... the local marine club/s, fish stores, service companies if someone/a pet-fish guru will come by, look at, give you input in person. Bob Fenner>

Mag Drive 1200 in my 54 Gallon Corner Tank 10/13/05 I have a 23" deep 54 Gallon FOWLR tank. I have 1 Yellow Tang, 4 Green Chromis, 4 Convict Blennies, 1 Black Star Damsel, 1 Maroon Clown, <Too much fish life...> 4 Turbo Snails and 1 Cleaner Shrimp. I have 55lbs of live rock. The bottom of the tank has cutouts for the plumbing. This is placed inside the corner overflow. The intake bulkhead fitting is 1.25 inch and the output that spills into the trickle filter is 1.5 inches diameter. I recently upgraded to a Mag drive 1200 pump to circulate the tank. <The "intake" can't accommodate this pump's full flow> The pump is 2 feet under the tank in a sump and pumps about 1200 Gallons an hour when using 1.5 inch inner diameter tubing. I'm using 3/4" inner diameter tubing from the pump to my tank. <Not a good idea to downsize the discharge diameter from that of the size of the pump's volute> The nozzle is pointed at the middle of the curved glass front causing the water to disperse evenly on both sides. I also have 2 Maxi Jets 900 pointed at each other on each side of the tank. Is the 1200 too much for my tank. <Yes, in the current plumbing arrangement> The fish are not getting blown around or anything. My one problem is the tank is full of tiny micro air bubbles. They are being released directly in the stream of water coming from the sump. The pump is completely submerged and is not sucking in air. <... so... where is the air coming from? A leak in the discharge side's plumbing? You should find... and fix> Is this normal and is there anything I can do to decrease the air bubbles. <Not "normal" as in healthy... can be fixed... > It makes my tank look cloudy and they stick to everything. <And can be dangerous... emphysematosis... > The Mag drive shares the sump with an AquaC Urchin protein skimmer. Shutting it off has no effect on the micro air bubbles being delivered by the Mag drive pump. Thanks, Wayne <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/bubtroubfaqs.htm and the linked files above... quite a task, but necessary, to review what your situation is, options. Bob Fenner>

Bubbles in overflow  9/26/05 Hello, I have a 55 gallon reef tank with a small refugium below.  Until I get a drilled tank, I am using an overflow box.  At times the water flowing in the grooves of the overflow cause a lot of bubbles to accumulate, ultimately in the apex of the U tubes.  Which we both know is a bad thing.  The size of the box just allows me to fit 2 u tubes for a little peace of mind.  I have tried the drill the hole in the top of the tube and attach it to a venturi nozzle of a powerhead method, but had numerous problems.  Something would always clog.  At times there are no bubbles.  I cant determine the variable of when it bubbles vs. not.  When the water is not causing bubbles when it overflows it works perfectly.  How can I stop them or find out what causes them? <Corey, if you are using any additives like Stress Coat etc, this will cause bubbles/foaming.  The biggest problem with "U" tubes is that they are not sized correctly.  Too large a tube results in low water movement giving bubbles a chance to built up in the top part of the tube.  Using a tube just large enough to prevent the overflow box from draining is recommended.  This results in a high water velocity through the tube which helps prevent the bubbles from being trapped and resulting in siphon loss.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for your time, Corey

Mega bubbles 8/23/05 Ok first off awesome site.  Your site has helped me out countless times and saved me a hundred other times.  Ok here is my main situation at the moment.  I currently have a 65 gallon all glass aquarium with mega overflow.  My issue is with the standpipe.  When the water exits my aquarium through the standpipe and into my sump I get massive and I mean massive amounts of bubbles.  I can change the plumbing if I need to I currently have it making a straight shot down from the standpipe into my sump and the outlet is about 2 inches under the water.  I talked to Rich Durso <Good> and he told me to contact all glass and I did as he said and they never bothered to get back to me. <Poor>   I feel that the massive amounts of bubbles may be hurting my skimmer but more so its just annoying and the splash and spray goes everywhere. <Yes>   My tank other then this issue is running great just for specs I have around 140 Lbs of live rock, 3-4 inches oolitic <Better than illicit> sand, 700 gph on my return to the tank plus three powerheads to keep the water moving really good,  and tons of softies and hermits and snails and what not. I just recently had to move the tank so my fish are in my other tank at the moment.  Thanks for any help you can offer and as I said awesome site. <Mmm, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bubtroubfaq2.htm and the linked files above, where you lead yourself... You have a few options... aspirating the discharge "mega" line/s, venting the discharge in your sump, coalescing the bubbles with an (Emperor Aquatics or similar) bag, building some baffles... Bob Fenner> Thanks, Stephen

Microbubbles... protein skimmer... dead fish 8/17/05 O.K. I think I have truly lost my patience.  Tank is a 75 gallon Oceanic with overflow, currently been running 10 days. <A bit soon...> I was at the LFS this Saturday and as I was talking to the employee there he stated I could go ahead and get a damsel or cardinal.  I ended up getting 2 of each.  Fish were fine on Saturday, but on Sunday morning I found one cardinal dead.  Did water test and Ammonia was only at .2. <... should be zip> On Monday fish looked o.k. damsels were eating and swimming well and Ammonia had climbed up more to 0.3-0.4.   It looked like the fish had "popped" the system and started the cycling process.  Well today is a completely different story since all three fish have died.  The fish look like they are having a hard time breathing and took on a much more pale color (almost splotchy in appearance). I have one other problem in that I have an enormous amount of microbubbles that are being produced in my sump (not a leak in the return line).  I believe it may be the ASM G1 skimmer, but I have two baffles that I thought would minimize the bubbles. <Evidently not...> They are bad enough that I can see them flowing in the water through the refugium and obviously out the return nozzles in the tank.  How can I stop the bubbles and what do you think caused all of my fish to die today? <Posted and posted... start with the bubbles here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bubtroubfaqs.htm and read on WWM re establishing cycling... You killed off these fishes, through "new tank syndrome"... and on to the linked files at top where you lead yourself...> I appreciate the help in curing my desire to get the tank operating effectively.  I may have been a little naive when I thought a sump would be easy to get working right. Erik Poch <Like all things, "is" easy once you understand, have done something successfully... take your time here... is one universal suggestion. Read for now. Bob Fenner>

Tank flow from Overflow ... not so "reef-ready" tanks 8/11/05 Ok I have read all over your site about micro bubbles and problems of the such, but my problem isn't exactly in that reading and I don't know where else to turn.  I have an Oceanic 75 gal with built in overflow and oceanic overflow kit.  The line to the 38 gal sump is 1" tubing <Too small...> that goes directly into the compartment that contains the skimmer (ASM G1).  There are three baffles, which flow into a refugium and then finally over one last baffle to the return pump (a Mag 9.5) that returns the water through a 3/4" line with a ball valve and then to a T joint to both corners of the tank.  I cannot get a steady flow of water through the line to the sump.  It constantly takes in a lot of water mixed with small air bubbles and at times very large air bubbles. <... yes> I called the LFS and they said I should be getting a steady flow through my overflow to my sump with the setup I have with or without the ball valve. <... no> I have tried to move the standpipe up and down, add a small piece of air line tubing 3/4 the way down to the sump, and play with the ball valve. <... won't work> None of these have worked and I am out of answers.  Is this a common problem or are there any solutions that I am not using. Thanks Erik <Is a very common problem... with most all so-called "reef ready" tanks/kits... the through-puts (holes...) are too small and too few... You need a larger drain line... practically speaking 1 1/2 or two inch inside diameter... two would be better than one... Yes... requiring draining the tank... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/overfloboxfaqs.htm and the linked files (till you understand) above. Bob Fenner>

Fluval 404 bubbles 7/31/05 I recently purchased a NEW Fluval 404 on 6/27/05, I fought with it for 1 month adding new hoses, O rings, etc. even reshaping the hoses, and getting down to shaking the canister on a regular basis to release air.  My problem is that every 30 min to 1 hour My Fluval release a large amount of micro bubbles into the tank.  I have tried everything that HAGEN has asked me to do. I am running the Fluval only no airstones or any thing else in the tank. It is a salt water new set up (2mos old) 40gl with live sand and rock.   I returned the Fluval and the store replaced it with a new one. It has been running for 2 days. and I still get a rush of micro bubbles. Question:  is there a flaw in this design. or am I getting a bad batch? <Likely there is a simple, poor/incomplete connection twixt a hard plumbing fitting and the flexible hose on the intake side...>   Do you know of any other filter similar to the Fluval 404 that I can use that will no create this problem? <... Please read here: http://www.google.com/custom?q=canister+filters&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com> I really do not want to use the Fluval anymore if the bubbles are always going to be there. PLEASE ADVISE Pam <... as you will find, there are techniques for determining the source of entrained air... I would turn off, drain the unit, disassemble the intake side line... re-fit with a bit of silicone grease, making sure the flexible tubing is pushed on entirely over the hard plastic fittings. Bob Fenner>

Tunze Stream microbubbles and water circulation around Euphyllids. 7/22/05 Hi Anthony (or else...:), <Hi Dominique, Ali here (please don't kill me)> I bought two 6000 Streams and a 7095 controller for my system. <Great pumps, great choice, great investment> I have a 90 gal reef tank (48"x24"18") with sugar fine DSB. I have only Euphyllids (torch and hammer corals) and pulsing xenia. Will add some Montipora digitata at some point. I reduced the power to 30% on the streams. On the multicontroller I use the interval no 1 mode with around 30 seconds of interval and the flow is also pulsing from 30% to 100% on each of the two streams each 6 seconds. This means going from 167 gal (2X per hour) to 555 gal per hour (6X per hour) on each pump alternatively. The two streams are symmetrically positioned to have their flow hitting the middle of the back panel. I placed them quite near to the surface. Also there is a 3X per hour from the return pump from the fuge. -Now there is some particles in suspension: dust or air bubbles I do not know (?). There is good agitation at the surface so could be air bubbles. <Microbubbles are generally caused from your return pump or possibly your refugium output, turn them off and just run your stream pumps. If the microbubbles continue, then you'll know 100% that they are coming directly from the streams. Additionally, if you have the streams too close to the water surface, they will create a 'vortex' causing water and air to be sucked down, thus producing an occasional jet of bubbles. Here is a direct quote from Roger 'Tunze' Vitko himself regarding the microbubbles issue: "Just my experience here- if your pump is making bubbles and it is not from vortexing you really should double check the hole in the magnet rotor for obstructions, your KH and your light intensity/duration. If the bubbles get worse as the day light hours progress it is definitely a gas saturation issue and removing excess algae, cutting back on lighting and lowering KH are the remedies. If the pump has any obstructions to the cooling system, the internal vacuum increases and more degassing occurs."> -Could this be too much current for the Euphyllids? Is it ok when the polyps are bending from time to time (not just curling but really bending at a 90 degrees angle...). The polyps are still well extended tough. <Don't sweat it. They're happy. Unless you see total tissue retraction and/or tissue literally being blown-off of the skeletons this is not something you should worry about> I am only a beginner and I worry about those corals now... < :D 90 degree bends, you don't have to worry about, it's those dreaded 45 degree angles that you should keep an eye out for,...only kidding of course.> -Same for my new anemone (green Heteractis crispa with purple tips): some tentacles are sometimes completely twisted because of the current (giving the tentacle an hour-glass shape...). Can this cause problems? <No> -Do you have any advice for the settings of the multicontroller and placement/direction of the streams that would be good for my set up? <For further advice on how to get the most out of your pumps/controller set-up feel free to browse Roger's Tunze forum, here's the link: http://reefcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=92 >   Thanks a lot! Dominique <No problem friend, enjoy your reef.>

Micro Bubbles Let me start by saying that I have used your site many times as a reference and want to thank you for putting together such a wealth of information - very helpful. I have poured over the many faq regarding micro bubbles and though I don't consider my question to be "unique" in nature I was hoping that you could elaborate on a few suggestions that you have made in response to similar questions to my own. I have a 125g reef/fish tank with an under tank sump (I have removed the bio-balls) that now houses only my return pump and a reef devil (ETSS) protein skimmer. The sump, being very small has very little room as it remains divided with all of my equipment on the right side of the divide.  I have changed very little from the original setup.  I have quite a few microbubbles being returned to my tank due to my protein skimmer. I recently replaced my Rio 1800 skimmer pump with a Mag drive pump as the Rio gave out.   After having added a valve to the outflow of the Mag drive I finally have my skimmer under control but it certainly has increased 10 fold the presence of micro-bubbles in my tank. You recommended to many of your readers that to reduce this effect there were a few things you could try. The first being to add a baffle.  I'm humiliated to show my ignorance but what exactly is a baffle and how would I go about installing it in the sump?  Another suggestion was to add a foam block.  The reef devil already has a ring of foam attached to its outflow. Should I add a sponge to my return pump or to the actual return pipe within my tank?   I realize that these questions are very basic but I had some difficulty finding a response in which you elaborated on these topics, specifically the baffle.
<Ben, no need feeling humiliated.  No one is born with info.  A baffle is specifically a piece of acrylic separating the skimmer from the rest of the sump.  The baffle is usually 1/2 to 1 inch above the bottom of the sump.  The return from your skimmer should go through the baffle as near to the opposite end of the sump as possible.  Being that bubbles do rise, most of the water flowing under the baffle should be bubble free.  You may want to email the skimmer company.  They may have a bubble trap as they are called.  James (Salty Dog)> Thank you. Ben

Tiny Bubbles (Cue Don Ho) - 06/09/05 Hi, I've been having trouble having too many tiny little bubbles in my saltwater tank. The water doesn't look clear with all these bubbles. <<That's a lot of bubbles.>> My protein  skimmer is always off so that cannot be the problem. <<Having your protein skimmer always off is also a problem, IMO.>> I tested the water in my tank and everything is fine.  I've had this tank for about 3 years and I still have the same problem.  Please email me back as soon as possible. Thank You. <<Likely a pinhole leak somewhere in your plumbing.  Have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bubtroubfaqs.htm>>

- Bubbles and Dump Buckets - I've been reading your site, and in great detail. There's so much useful stuff here, it will probably take me months to go through it all! Anyway, another question for the crew! I had been toying with a small turf scrubber for a reef tank (strictly supplemental to a skimmer/refugium setup), and had been contemplating having the surge fall into a far end of the tank through a confined open air sheet. Splash out wouldn't happen, but... I've now been reading through the part of your site where people go on and on about bubbles, and... Am I to take it that my idea for helping oxygenate the tank (open air fall) was maybe not such a good idea? <In the case of a dump bucket system, you don't have anything to fear from micro bubbles.> Anyway, I'm having second thoughts about the turf scrubber, but I still want some kind of surge device, ala Carlson. Should it return under the water, instead of splashing into it? <Splashing is just fine. In my opinion, the whole micro bubble issue is overblown - it is a genuine problem and does occur, just not as often as some folks make out, so that a large portion of the posts you may have read are really about the aesthetic issues of air in the water and the perceived problem of micro bubbles rather than an actual problem.> I'd seen net photos of some turf scrubbers that had some very heavy surges. They appeared bubbly. I was simply assuming that bubbly was okay. No, eh? <Bubbly in this case is fine.> Joe p.s. I'm okay with the noise. :) <Cheers, J -- >

A Baffling Problem (Stopping Micro bubbles)- Pt. 2 Thanks for your response. <You're quite welcome!> I will look into the baffles. What is Durso and Standpipes? < "Durso" is Richard Durso, a hobbyist who perfected a silent overflow standpipe ("the Durso Standpipe) to feed water from your overflow into your sump. Check out his web site for more details:  http://www.rl180reef.com/frames.htm > As for the grouper, I have had him 5 years and he hasn't grown a total of an inch yet despite his enormous appetite and philosophy of "if it fits I'll eat it". JB <Most curious! Count your blessings! Regards, Scott F.>

Operating Sans Bubble Trap with Skimmer Hey Hey!! <Hey, MikeG here.> I just got my BakPak 2r for my 10g nano. <Rather large for such a small tank, but not really an issue (I shouldn't talk, I have the same on a 20, though I've been accused to being crazy a couple of times before ;) )> I also got the bubble trap but it was so big' it wouldn't fit between my rockwork. So, I took the sponge from the bubble trap, and stuffed it right next to where the output begins (in the skimmer) and there are no bubbles and no need for a HUGE bubble trap.  <Good, glad you discovered a solution.> I'm also replacing the maxi jet with the Rio 600. I heard that it is more efficient and quiet. Trust me <Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Mike G>

- Tiny Bubbles, Where's Don Ho When You Need Him? - I just set up a new tank so far with salt water and live rock. I turned on the protein skimmer (AquaC Urchin in sump) yesterday and it's putting a lot of tiny air bubbles into the tank through the return line from the built in overflow. Will this eventually stop or is there some way to reduce the air bubbles in tank.  <They typically go away in a week or so once the skimmer breaks in, although there is always a little air introduced by the water falling back into the tank.>  It doesn't look very good. I'd appreciate your comments. Mitch
<Cheers, J -- >

Live rock and bubbles Dear WWM crew,  <Hi Frank, MacL here with you.> I am writing to ask if I am doing any harm to my live rock by placing an airstone underneath it to create an interesting bubble pattern as it flows through the calcareous rock. I could not find any specific info on this question in the archives (P.S. is it possible to identify the type of live rock from the pictures supplied, I know they are not the clearest).  <I can't get them to where I can see them Frank sorry : {. I think you are okay with the bubbles and the rock but watch your fish carefully. Sometimes the bubbles can be a problem for fish. Good luck, MacL> Thanks in advance 
Frank from Glasgow 

Over filtering and aerating Hello, and thanks for all the advice I have taken from your archives over the last 6 months!! <Hi Frank. Thanks for researching before writing in and glad our site can help.> I currently have a 20 gallon marine tank with 15lbs of live rock, 1 Clarkii clown, 1 false percula and a saffron blue damsel. All parameters I currently test for are normal ( i.e. ammonia 0, nitrite 0, pH 8.3,nitrate 0, SG 1.022 and temp 78 degrees) and I perform a 15% water change weekly.  <Ok, sounds good so far...>  The tank has been running for 6 weeks  <Has the tank finished cycling? That isn't very long. but do keep an eye on those water tests to be sure, as your canister filter might help keep levels in check during the process.> My main question concerns my external canister filter (Fluval 404), I use this as a means of filtration and a power head. I have been currently turning the flow rate up to max after feeding in order to clear debris and provide a load of gas exchange and water movement, the water gets quite bubbly all over the face of the tank. <lots of air bubbles are not good all over the tank, you might want to keep that down.>  The fish all swim to the top of the tank and swim against the current, so my question really is, can you overdo the water movement and aeration?? <Yes, if your tank is filled with tons of bubbles then your fish and corals can get sick and or die from the micro- bubbles. as for water movement. You can have too much if it pushes the fish into the glass. as long as there are places to go without strong currents that seems ok. However it's a lot better to have a turbid flow (water mixing [?] from all directions) then a flow from one side as it helps keep things stirred up and its more like the ocean. Maybe build a manifold out of PVC (read Anthony Calfo's no more powerheads article on the FAQ's) to better distribute the flow. but the massive filtration is a plus for a small tank. Be sure to clean the filters in the canister weekly as well in old tank water.> Another quick question, should I be testing for calcium or adding any other trace elements? <Yes if you want your live rock or corals to grow well, though the makeup saltwater has most trace elements besides calcium.> Thanks for any help you can give. Frank from Glasgow, Scotland <Good luck and hope this helps> <Justin (Jager)>

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