FAQs on Freshwater Aquarium Cloudy
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water can be a blessing in disguise by Neale Monks,
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Nitrate, Phosphates, Freshwater Algae Control, Algae Control, Foods, Feeding, Aquatic Nutrition, Disease,
|There can be real troubles w/ such
films from oils, sprays, dust... a loss of dissolved oxygen in
particular. They should be "wicked" off w/ clean/white
paper towels, dipped out w/ a pitcher
Re: Those nasty snails 10/15/11
Thank you for replying.
It's definitely not from cooking or any aerosols, since we
always keep the door closed. But if it's not that then it has
to be that the snails are carriers, which I really don't
understand. I mean, it wasn't happening before with my
"momma" snail, so I'm not sure how the babies got
it. And it could be oil from the foods, but I only put in a
minute pinch in, and if any falls to the bottom, the fish
scavenge it up, or the snails eat it.
<... well then... the source is "anomalous" to you
and I evidently.
Compounds that are generated from foods, wastes can express
themselves as surface films in some circumstances... IME this is
extremely rare though>
I also change the water every week. I have a big "ten
gallon" bucket next to my tank. It's filled with water
that I pitcher out and water that I had from a water change last
Here's the picture:
Those dark things under the surface are dead leaves from a plant,
including that stick-thing on the surface. I think you may be
able to see it, but this fungus stuff strings to the biggest
thing in the water, the stick.
<Decomposition... I'd take this driftwood out, dry it
completely... perhaps bleach it first. Read here:
and the article linked above>
It's actually even more gross in person when you can smell it
and see it up close. I tried so many websites and I can't
find what it is. Do you think you might know what it is?
<See above... decomposers, digesting this cellulose and
I also don't know if it's dangerous, because my snails
used to float upside down to eat it off the surface. They
aren't harmed, but it taught the baby fish to eat it, too. I
think that's why most of them died.
<Can be toxic if too much too quickly is breaking down>
Anyway, I'll see if I can get most of the snails out without
having rotten food in my water to make it worse.
<Thank you for your follow-up. BobF>
|Re: Those nasty snails
Thanks for replying.
Well, before when I had that "stick-thing" in the bucket,
I found that it's actually a dead leaf-thing upon closer
inspection. I have a plant that sits on the windowsill, and I guess
a leaf fell off into the bucket below.
But either way, those other articles were helpful, since I was
planning to get a big piece of driftwood when I set up the twenty
gallon later on. :)
In fact, I might change it to thirty gallon, if I have enough space
and the floor can support the weight.
Well, I guess the big problem is the snails. I'll see if I can
"treat" them in any way if they're carrying disease.
I'll remove them for a few days in a separate bowl and see if
the fungus returns.
Thanks for the articles, they're gonna be really helpful when I
set up that new tank! :)
Have a good day,
<And you. BobF>
Strange/mystery film on water surface
Sorry I've got another one for you - hope you don't mind.
Gee you lot are good.
Every morning a 55 gallon tank that I've got set up at the
school I work at seems to have some sort of film on the water.
Obviously I'm worried about the consequences this has for gas
I've checked with the cleaners and brokered a compromise
where a bleach-based spray (pump not aerosol) they insist on
using is only used on the desks. This occurred over a week
Every morning I "wick" the film off (as best I can)
with cloth wipes, and afterwards the surface looks like the
picture attached - shot from below with killifish saying hi. As
can be seen, patches of the film remain after
"wicking". The film completely covers the water surface
again by the following morning, if not the end of the same day.
At this point, there are lots of little bubbles associated with
To check if the bleach-based spray was the culprit, I set up a
shallow tray filled with water next to the tank 48 hours ago
(soaking a slab of granite in there too). There is no sign of the
film as of this afternoon in this tray - this would indicate that
the spray is not causing the film?
So I'm stumped. Presumably something in the tank is causing
this? It's a new tank that's been set up a month, fish
(6x dwarf neon rainbowfish, 1x Golden Wonder Killifish) in for
1.5 weeks and behaving as expected.
Moderately planted with growing Vallisneria, Indian Fern, Java
Fern and Java Moss. A few granite rocks, bogwood roots, two
terracotta pots and a few river stones (all rinsed/boiled/washed
pre-installation as appropriate). 28 deg C, pH 7.2, Ammonia 0
ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, Nitrate 10 ppm, GH 4 deg.
External canister filter (620 L/hr) handles the water
Thanks a lot for your help again crew - champions.
<Hello Duncan. If this is what I think it is, it is not
uncommon. It's similar to the "protein" that
accumulates in protein skimmers in marine aquaria. I think
it's a byproduct of biological processes in the tank, and in
itself doesn't do any harm. Try increasing agitation of the
water at the surface, e.g., with an airstone or a spray bar. If
my hunch is correct, you'll see the stuff go away by itself.
Re: Strange/mystery film on water surface, now BGA
Great stuff Neale,
I lifted the spray bar up from about an inch below the water line
to level with the water line this morning, much bubbling ensued
and the "protein" scum appeared to have cleared by the
end of the day. Yay! Bit worried about CO2 drive-off and
subsequent plant-growth issues (the floating Indian fern seems to
be being beaten around a bit too), but I'm sure it'll be
<Glad this worked. Yes, extra turbulence drives off CO2. But
the flip side is that no turbulence encourages precisely the sort
of slimy, stinky water you see in ponds. Getting the balance
right is the tricky bit!>
I've got another one for you, sorry. I've observed 7 or 8
patches like the picture attached on the gravel substrate
of my month-old aquarium. I believe this is
blue-green cyanobacteria. Having read Bob's WWM
article on the subject, will the extra aeration provided help
deal with this? Given the rest of my tank parameters (outlined in
previous email) plus my small portions of mini-pellets,
wet-frozen blood worms and shelled, squished peas that the fish
get fed (all eaten within 1-2 mins), I'm not sure what else
to do? This began as a single colony on a Java moss frond 5 days
ago, but seems to have spread since then.
Thanks so much team,
<The clue here is where the BGA started -- on the moss. Why?
Because moss traps water and reduces current. BGA just LOVES
still water conditions.
Almost always, you see it around moss clumps, on the leaves of
Vallisneria at the top of the tank, on gravel against the glass,
on the feathery roots of floating plants -- all places with low
or no water flow. While I know many argue nitrate and phosphate
are the major issues, I've got heavily stocked tanks with
high nitrate levels and yet no BGA at all. But I also run those
tanks at high water turnover rates, 6-10 times the volume of the
tank in turnover per hour. My experience is that the more
current, the less BGA; whether it physically can't get
established or the higher oxygen levels are critical I cannot
say. But there it is. Physically remove what's there now,
rejig water circulation around the bottom of the tank, and then
hope for the best. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Strange/mystery film on water surface 10/6.5/11
P.S. Sorry, forgot to mention I'll be doing a 20% water
change and gravel vacuum tomorrow, my first for this 1 month-old
tank. It'll 20% weekly after that.
P.P.S. Going back to an older issue: water pH 7.2-7.4, GH 4.
Neale speculated that higher KH may account for the slightly
basic pH, in spite of the soft GH. I Measured KH today with a new
API liquid kit - KH is 3. So my water is officially soft. So what
gives with the pH? Is this a bit weird (Ammonia 0 ppm, Nitrite 0
ppm, Nitrate 10 ppm)? I'm not worried, just interested.
Right, I'm gone now,
<Well, one problem with pH is that it isn't only affected
by carbonate hardness, though even a carbonate hardness of 3
degrees KH could result in a slightly alkaline pH like the one
you see here, particularly if there's little pushing the pH
downwards into the acidic range. So I wouldn't worry too
much. Provided it's stable, pH 7.2-7.4 is a great range for a
wide variety of fish, including soft water species, which are
less bothered by pH than total (general + carbonate) hardness.
Orange mass at the top of my tanks
I just had the majority of my fish die whilst on vacation, one Oranda
left in an 8 gallon tank.
<... dismal... too small a volume. Read here:
and the linked files above>
So I performed an almost complete water change and treated it.
I woke up today to what appeared to be orangish moldesque growths on
the top of my tank. Upon further inspection after I cleared the growths
away, it was a collection of swimming hairlike half inch worms.
These worms are swimming all through out the tank. I have Googled it
extensively and learned great about a variety of worms, your site being
the best, but none matching my particular critter. How can I treat them
and do they have any effect on the fish, or me for that matter?
<... No image? Likely insect larvae... feeding on your dead
Thank you for your help,
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwaqinsectfaqs.htm
plastic top? 7/15/11
I removed my male guppy from my pregnant 2
a week or two later the male stated making this plastic stuff
on the surface.
He looks fine but he is really rambunctious.
could it be disease or something?
my sisters Betta, Finn also had the same problem only a few days ago he
<... what? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/guppydisfaqs.htm