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What causes the white foamy water in my fish tank?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Newbie Forum' started by newfishhobbyist, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. newfishhobbyist

    newfishhobbyist AC Members

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    I've had my 28 gallon set up for 4 weeks now with 3 zebra danios, 3 mickey platies, 3 catfish and 1 ivory snail with 3 java fern live plants. The ammonia levels have dropped last week to zero but the nitrate level is 2.0 and nitrite is 0.50.

    What I am concerned about is the white foamy water at the top of my tank around the filter? What causes this? I have a 30 gallon Aqua Clear filter with the sponge (I changed it three days ago because it was dark brown), carbon bag and biomax bag on top. The filter was dirty but I rinsed it out. I also scrubbed out the inside of the aquarium yesterday with an acryllic sponge (I have a glass aquarium but did not want to scratch it) b/c it had a white film on all 4 sides. Then I did a 20% water change hoping the white foamy water would clear up, but it hasn't yet. What's in the water? Phosphates? Proteins? Bad versus good bacteria? Or did I wipe out the good bacteria colony by changing the sponge media in the power filter? I only syphoned the gravel once three days ago during the 4 weeks of the tank's cycle.

    I'm new at this. Help! Foamy water is bad isn't it?
     
  2. hitman12131976

    hitman12131976 Resident Calculus Teacher

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    Proteins??? Not sure.
     
  3. Rbishop

    Rbishop ...and over the edge.
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    How did you do the tank cycle?
     
  4. Madcrawdad

    Madcrawdad The ONLY AC Mafia

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    what brand of dechlorinator did you add, and did you add the correct amount?... In the past, some folks have posted with the same problem, to find out they were adding too much dechlorinator, which caused the problem...
     
  5. newfishhobbyist

    newfishhobbyist AC Members

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    I cycled with the zebra danios then later added the other fish after the ammonia levels dropped to zero.

    The water I use is spring water from the grocery store - I buy it in the 10 gallon jugs - so I don't use declorinator.

    The only chemicals I've used have been:

    Amquel - to lower nitrites, nitrates
    Cycle - to establish good bacteria
    Prime - same reason as Amquel but used separately from Amquel; found it works better than Amquel.
    Flourish - liquid bottle form for my Java plants as a food supplement
     
  6. Rbishop

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    I don't think your tank is even cycled. Those nitrites dictate a water change ASAP. The cycle is basically a snake oil. ANd the bottled water is not providing the best in minerals. Is there something wrong with your tap water?
     
  7. Weezer

    Weezer Plastic Plant's Live Longer

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    This is just a suggestion but it looks like your adding a few different chemicals at roughly the same time, do a large wc like 50% and only add prime, as previously posted your tank is not cycled yet and with RITES at.50 mutable wc's need to be done anyway, i think there is a concoction of chemicals messing things up, not to mention an UN cycled tank....:)
     
  8. newfishhobbyist

    newfishhobbyist AC Members

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    Ok. I'll do a 50% water change...that's 14 gallons. Do I need to take the fish and snail out for a 50% water change or can I leave them in the tank?

    My tap water in my city is full of ammonia (1.5) chloramine, chlorine and other crap which is why I didnt think of using that water. Plus its really hard water.

    Damned Petsmart. They are chemical pushers!! They told me to add cycle every day, add Prime and Amquel. When I asked one of their fish people about the white foam, they suggested it was high in phosphates and that I should spend more $$ for a phosphate remover.
     
  9. Weezer

    Weezer Plastic Plant's Live Longer

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    Yes you can leave the fish and snail in, make sure you dose with Prime {1 cap full will be fine or as per directions }when you add water back in, when ever you clean your filters just swish the in the tank water that you have removed, i think you stated that you replaced your sponge media, all you need to do is swish them, not replace.What kind of test kit do you have, a AMMO reading of 1.5 seems high.....:)
     
  10. newfishhobbyist

    newfishhobbyist AC Members

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    The test kit I have is the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Freshwater kit with vials and bottles for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH testing.

    The ammonia reading is zero.

    The nitrate is 2.0. The nitrite is 0.050 based on that test kit results.

    How often will I have to replace the sponge media then? What if the new sponge I put in gets dark brown again in 3-4 weeks? How will a dirty sponge help to clean and filter the tank water? The carbon and biomax bag that come with the AquaClear 30 gallon power filter, have to be replaced occasionally too, don't they?

    No one at Petsmart (I should never have trusted them) told me to keep the filter despite it turning a dark brown.

    I can't use my city's tap water b/c its no good. I thought spring water will be better b/c of the lack of bad stuff.
     

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