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Snowy White Film All Over New Fish(Less) Tank


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#1 frotterbird

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:02 AM

Good evening, everyone.

New fish tank owner- haven't even begun the cycling process yet.

I HAVE set up the 6.6 gallon tank, and de-chlorinated. I then added a ph balance fizz tablet made by Jungle Brands the first night it came home (5 days ago now). I've got a filter running. I've let it sit waiting for the next payday when i can buy my testing kit and ammonia, etc. to begin the cycle process.

And yet...this snowy, flaky like film has appeared and is ALL OVER the place- in the plants, all over the bottom. 3 full days just letting the tank sit unattended and the stuff is multiplying all over...

Any ideas what this is?Attached File  fish snow resized.jpg   61.97KB   2 downloads

#2 notg2009

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:29 AM

Hey there. I think either your substrate or the pH tablet has caused it, since there is nothing else in there. Have you tried removing the tablet (is it still there even?). Take some of those white stuff out and examine closely, if flaky and hard, then it should be precipitates, if not then maybe some type of live organism.

By the way, those plants are plastic dracena plant, right? I'm asking since dracena is not an aquatic plant.

Good luck.

#3 frotterbird

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:42 AM

Hiya. The ph tablet fizzed away, and so it could be, but darn if it hasnt multiplied in the last 24 hours...its growing which is what has caused me some concern. I was thinking of simply vacuuming it out and checking for its return.

Umm- the plant... its silk- and came from the pet store. I'm about to start feeling pretty dumb that I have plants in my aquarium that aren't even aquatic. <deep, defeated sigh>. Why on EARTH would a pet store sell an aquarium plant that isn't aquatic?

:-/

#4 frotterbird

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:49 AM

I've examined it- its soft and it disintegrates between my fingers.

And CORRECTION: I also added Nutrafin cycle on the first day as directed by the Petco fella. This was before I read all about cycling and believed it was as easy as adding a supplement and dumping the fish in...but I want tropical fish, darnit and I'll get this right no matter what.

#5 notg2009

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:10 AM

Hiya. The ph tablet fizzed away, and so it could be, but darn if it hasnt multiplied in the last 24 hours...its growing which is what has caused me some concern. I was thinking of simply vacuuming it out and checking for its return.Umm- the plant... its silk- and came from the pet store. I'm about to start feeling pretty dumb that I have plants in my aquarium that aren't even aquatic. <deep, defeated sigh>. Why on EARTH would a pet store sell an aquarium plant that isn't aquatic? :-/



I've examined it- its soft and it disintegrates between my fingers.And CORRECTION: I also added Nutrafin cycle on the first day as directed by the Petco fella. This was before I read all about cycling and believed it was as easy as adding a supplement and dumping the fish in...but I want tropical fish, darnit and I'll get this right no matter what.


I would vacuum and see if it returns later. If it's multiplying in a sense that it is growing on surfaces, etc then it might be some type of organism. I will do some research and post later, but wait till pros respond and decide on what to do.

There are great articles on fishless cycle on this forum, but if you want to do a cycle with fish, then zebra danios are hardy enough to survive the cycle, but it is cruel to the fish as some say. I did a fish-in cycle myself.

Don't worry. We all need to take the first steps. I do not call my self pro in anyway after reading so much about tropical fish! it's an ongoing process.

By the way, read up on live plants and see if you like to try some in the tank (based on the conditions of your tank). Having live plants is a challenge. I like it :nod:

Good luck.

Edited by notg2009, 11 March 2011 - 03:11 AM.


#6 waterdrop

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:18 AM

Well, the snow-like stuff came on too fast and is too strange to be any of the usual biofilms or fungi that we do see in new tanks, so I too feel it is most likely the pH tablet you used (which was also unfortunate since not only do you not need it but it's probably taking pH in the wrong direction for what you need!)

Anyway, you now know that you don't want any bacteria-in-a-bottle, you don't want any pH adjusters that you buy in a pet shop and in the future you won't want non-aquatic plants (which indeed are sold live in pet shops as aquarium plants (when actually they are often the little plants that are put out in new housing developments.)) :lol: (Are you getting the picture that when you go to the pet shop you are in the carnival zone, making it much better if you already know the one roller-coaster that's worth the trip if this makes sense.)

So just to confirm the obvious, it's now time for you to get an early lesson in the art of the gravel-cleaning-siphon if this is not a skill you already have! I recommend you get yourself one of these contraptions (it's a clear cylinder on the end of a siphon tube.) Remove your silk plants and other decorations to the sink and gravel clean all the water out of the tank down to the gravel surface (don't forget to turn off your heater and filter beforehand.) Begin to refill with tap water that is roughly temperature matched (you can use your hand for this) and dosed with a good conditioner (we recommend Seachem Prime) at 1.5x to 2x the instructions (but not more than 2x.) BUT, if it's obvious there is still a lot of "snow" then only fill half-way and then gravel-clean it out again. Then just refill regardless is there's still a little snow as it will probabaly eventually go away. Rinse your plants and decorations and replace them and get your equipment running again.

This time be sure that the only thing that goes in the water is the simple household ammonia of the right type (which I believe you've found by now?) Dose at about 4ppm, definately not up at 8ppm. Don't leave the lights on all the time, only when you're working on it. Once you have a good liquid-reagent based test kit the report all the results to the members for both the new tank water and the tap water. Begin an aquarium notebook with a permanent log and diary.

The conditions you'll be seeking will be 29C/84F for the temp and we may have you dose some kitchen baking soda (not baking powder) IF you are very far below the pH of 8.0 to 8.4 that is optimal for the bacterial growing soup. In a fishless cycling tank everything is focused on growing bacteria and nothing on the eventual running tank, whereas with fish and live plants, everything becomes focused on them.

~~waterdrop~~

#7 frotterbird

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:50 AM

This time be sure that the only thing that goes in the water is the simple household ammonia of the right type (which I believe you've found by now?) Dose at about 4ppm, definately not up at 8ppm. Don't leave the lights on all the time, only when you're working on it. Once you have a good liquid-reagent based test kit the report all the results to the members for both the new tank water and the tap water. Begin an aquarium notebook with a permanent log and diary.

The conditions you'll be seeking will be 29C/84F for the temp and we may have you dose some kitchen baking soda (not baking powder) IF you are very far below the pH of 8.0 to 8.4 that is optimal for the bacterial growing soup. In a fishless cycling tank everything is focused on growing bacteria and nothing on the eventual running tank, whereas with fish and live plants, everything becomes focused on them.

~~waterdrop~~


THANK YOU Water Drop!

Just one question- im not terribly chemist-educated when it comes to this, although I think I can figure it out by trial and error. Rather than siphoning the tank, would it be easier to dump it, wash it out well and start over completely? And while I'm at is, purchase some plants that are meant to be in a tank? I've chosen silk, so it wouldn't be so tough to just go buy new.

You said add nothing- not even a de-chlorinator? and clearly, no more ph tablets either- the baking soda would then potentially fix the ph for me naturally?

I still need to purchase ammonia and a dropper and then figure out how to get it to the right conditions. what exactly do i need to be logging? The test strip results of ph and (obviously) ammonia, but anything else?

Thanks so much- folks in the chat room tell me I'm in good hands with your responses. :)

#8 frotterbird

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:55 AM

I would vacuum and see if it returns later. If it's multiplying in a sense that it is growing on surfaces, etc then it might be some type of organism. I will do some research and post later, but wait till pros respond and decide on what to do.

There are great articles on fishless cycle on this forum, but if you want to do a cycle with fish, then zebra danios are hardy enough to survive the cycle, but it is cruel to the fish as some say. I did a fish-in cycle myself.

Don't worry. We all need to take the first steps. I do not call my self pro in anyway after reading so much about tropical fish! it's an ongoing process.

By the way, read up on live plants and see if you like to try some in the tank (based on the conditions of your tank). Having live plants is a challenge. I like it :nod:

Good luck.

Thank you Rd2009! I don't know if i am confident enough in my skills to foray into live plants on top of my growing concern that I've gotten in over my head. I LOVE fish tanks, always have, but I'm terrified I'll kill the fish by not knowing what I'm doing. Plants, while lovely and more satisfying if they were real I think might have to be a future goal

Did you start out with live plants in your first tank?

#9 waterdrop

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:06 AM

Oh yes, you've not really started so cleaning the gravel out of the tank and more or less just starting over would be just fine and probably easier.

Sorry if I was not clear, you always want to dechlorinate, especially as a beginner because your bacterial colonies will be young and sensitive. That was why I recommended the Prime and the dosing level for it. (note that you can read other nearby threads where I'm commenting and pick up other bits.)

You'll need to replace the paper strips with a good liquid kit. Many of us like and use the Api Freshwater Master Test Kit. The strips are worse than useless, they are misleading and can lead to wrong decisions.

Small syringes with ml markings are easier to use and two is nice to have but droppers will do in a pinch. Be sure to discuss the right ammonia with the members if in doubt.

Please don't do any of the baking soda (bicarb) stuff until some of us recommend it based on how your readings are looking after a bit. I was just mentioning it in contrast to the tablets you had.

~~waterdrop~~ :)

#10 frotterbird

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:11 AM

Ok, great. This weekend's project is to clean out, start over and begin cycling officially with some ammonia.

I'll post my journal logs (all levels the test kit gives me?) to this thread so you and others can see and recommend to me. Thank you so much!

#11 waterdrop

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:18 AM

Yes, it's helpful to test and post them all (ammonia, nitrite, pH, nitrate) initially but then when the cycle starts you really only need ammonia and pH for the first phase of the process. WD

#12 notg2009

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:48 PM

I would vacuum and see if it returns later. If it's multiplying in a sense that it is growing on surfaces, etc then it might be some type of organism. I will do some research and post later, but wait till pros respond and decide on what to do.There are great articles on fishless cycle on this forum, but if you want to do a cycle with fish, then zebra danios are hardy enough to survive the cycle, but it is cruel to the fish as some say. I did a fish-in cycle myself.Don't worry. We all need to take the first steps. I do not call my self pro in anyway after reading so much about tropical fish! it's an ongoing process.By the way, read up on live plants and see if you like to try some in the tank (based on the conditions of your tank). Having live plants is a challenge. I like it :nod: Good luck.Thank you Rd2009! I don't know if i am confident enough in my skills to foray into live plants on top of my growing concern that I've gotten in over my head. I LOVE fish tanks, always have, but I'm terrified I'll kill the fish by not knowing what I'm doing. Plants, while lovely and more satisfying if they were real I think might have to be a future goalDid you start out with live plants in your first tank?


I had fake plants when started my first tank, but got a pack of crypto+lily+onion bulbs and had some success with them, but as you said, you might want to wait a bit until your tank parameters are stable.

Ok, great. This weekend's project is to clean out, start over and begin cycling officially with some ammonia.I'll post my journal logs (all levels the test kit gives me?) to this thread so you and others can see and recommend to me. Thank you so much!


That would be the best solution is your tank is pretty new and the cycle has not even started yet. Start over and don't use any products. Read up on fishless cycle if that is what you want to do, but remember that cycle takes weeks to complete.

Good luck and let us know if you found out what those stuff were :D




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