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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently fresh filled my new 125g and noticed a ton of white skin or very thin membrane-like stuff floating in the tank. Much has collected on the water surface around the cord for the heater and filter hoses. I have attached a pic. All those little white spots you see are what I'm talking about. I have circled a couple of the bigger ones. When I catch one with my finger and pull it out, it's a gooey substance... more like a thick liquid. So unless this is something that commonly happens, that I don't know about, with fishless cycling or newly filled acrylic tanks, I suspect it's the skimboard that I have submerged as decor... see additional pic. It's been 2/3 weeks since I've filled the tank (just started adding ammonia yesterday). The filter has only been running for a little over a week. The skimboard has a gelcoat as a finish. I would think gelcoat wouldn't deteriorate under water since it is used on boat hulls. Possibly there is some sort of clear coat used that is breaking down... I have an email in to the manufacturer. Anybody with any insight here? I'm hoping this might be something over the gelcoat that will eventually all come off and stop.

Once I get to the bottom of this, is there a way I can test my water for any poisons before I start adding fish? Or any ideas on where I can have a sample of this white stuff tested to see exactly what it is? I've come a long way with this surfboard idea to just trash it without fully investigating this issue.


 

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Does look like a wax residue
 

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I got the same thing in all the new tanks that I cycle fishless. The texture always remind me of the film that form on milk when heated :)

I believe it is caused by bacteria blooms. Having large doses of pure ammonia causes alot of bacteria to appear at once. Then most of it will starve to death unless you test very often and add ammonia in little doses constantly.

Anyway believe me its nothing to worry about. Before adding fish you will do a 90% water change anyway to get rid of nitrate and most of the white film will be removed that way.

There might be some remaining after you add fish for maybe a week or so.. what I do is remove it manually with a fish net. Stirring the water a bit will get the white stuff floating aroung and it is easy to pick up with the net.

Mike
 

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Good explanation I've never seen this happen to any of my fishless cycled tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
AeonzMike said:
I got the same thing in all the new tanks that I cycle fishless. The texture always remind me of the film that form on milk when heated :)

I believe it is caused by bacteria blooms. Having large doses of pure ammonia causes alot of bacteria to appear at once. Then most of it will starve to death unless you test very often and add ammonia in little doses constantly.

Anyway believe me its nothing to worry about. Before adding fish you will do a 90% water change anyway to get rid of nitrate and most of the white film will be removed that way.

There might be some remaining after you add fish for maybe a week or so.. what I do is remove it manually with a fish net. Stirring the water a bit will get the white stuff floating aroung and it is easy to pick up with the net.

Mike
Well you would think with all the reading I did on fishless cycling, this might have been mentioned somewhere. :)

That makes sense... didn't notice it until the day after I added ammonia the 1st time. My daughter did notice something floating on the water surface the day we added the ammonia. She called it dust. I was in a hurry and didn't really look... and there wasn't a lot of light when we were doing this. I did see it out of the corner of my eye and it did look small like dust. I chalked it up to the dust that came off the silica sand we put in before the fill. We gave it a quick rinse before putting it in but apparently not quite enough. The filter has been handling that pretty well. I can see a brown film from this dust on the white part of the surfboard and on the bottom side of the acrylic top, evaporated water has left brown crust. I'll have to get in there and wipe everything down.

One of the things that made me suspect the board was the one side of the board goes clear to the top of the tank, poking out through the water surface. When I run my finger on the board where it meets the water surface, I can feel a slight ridge. I thought possibly this was because the board surface was breaking down below the water surface. I suppose instead this could be the bacteria, or even mineral build up on things that meet the water surface. On second look, I'm getting the same ridge on the back of the acrylic tank... my guess is this isn't breaking down! :)

So I suppose we just carry on with the ammonia treatments. One thing that I'm not completely clear on, with all my fishless cycle reading, is exactly when we're ready for fish. Apparently we have to achieve an NO2 spike but I'm not quite sure what a spike is. Then once we reach the spike, I guess we're reducing the ammonia dosages. But at what point do we stop??

And yes, wax is used on surf/skimboard surfaces to give your feet grip. But this is something the user does. This board was brand new and hadn't been waxed.
 

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Did you wash your substrate? I find new gravel always produces someting like this during washing, and even after the best washes, again when filling the tank.

Might not be the same though :?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
M&S said:
Did you wash your substrate? I find new gravel always produces someting like this during washing, and even after the best washes, again when filling the tank.

Might not be the same though :?
The brown dust and white membrane-like stuff are 2 different things going on in our tank.
 

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WaWaZat said:
One thing that I'm not completely clear on, with all my fishless cycle reading, is exactly when we're ready for fish. Apparently we have to achieve an NO2 spike but I'm not quite sure what a spike is. Then once we reach the spike, I guess we're reducing the ammonia dosages. But at what point do we stop??
I haven't done any reading on the subject in quite a while, but what I do personally is add for about 2ppm worth of ammonia, which for me was about 1.5 teaspoon per 25g.(will vary depending on the ammonia used, you have to test for it) Then I take some filter media from a cycled tank and put it in the filter of the new tank, just to speed up things.

After that is the hard part, you have to test for ammonia often. I test every day around the same hour, and once the ammonia drops down to near 0 , I add another 2ppm worth. It should take somewhere between 24h and 48h for the ammonia to be eaten again. You want to constantly feed your bacteria colony but try not to exceed 2ppm. After 2 or 3 days (longer if not using cycled filter media) you can test for nitrite. If it is 0 then you can test for nitrate, and if you got some nitrate in there that means your tank is cycled.

I don't think it is necessary to witness the nitrite spike, if your ammonia ends up in nitrate that means your nitrifying bacteria is there and doing it's job. It is howerver very important to make sure there is no nitrite left before adding fish. You can keep your fishless cycle going indefinitely until you bring your fish home. Just dont add ammonia on the day you add the fish and make the 90% water change. If the filter media and substrate stays wet you wont kill the bacteria even with such a large water change. Just make sure you use a quality dechlorinator like prime.

Mike
 

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Did 2 fishless cycles in the past few months. The first was unseeded, the second was seeded by a filter from the first tank. Both developed the same flakes and "growth". On my second tank, I cycled it with no substrate or rocks. I noticed a very fine, very stringy almost invisible type substance appear on the glass just after or around the time of the nitrite spike. Is it the bacteria we are trying to grow and the point of the fishless cycle? I don't know. I do know that both my tanks house, happy and healthy fish. To rid myself of the flakes I simply did multiple water changes and added the filter floss to my filter.
 

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WaWaZat said:
M&S said:
Did you wash your substrate? I find new gravel always produces someting like this during washing, and even after the best washes, again when filling the tank.

Might not be the same though :?
The brown dust and white membrane-like stuff are 2 different things going on in our tank.
I meant the white stuff, I get it when rinsing gravel, maybe a bit foamy-er (sp?) than yours. It was just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
M&S said:
WaWaZat said:
M&S said:
Did you wash your substrate? I find new gravel always produces someting like this during washing, and even after the best washes, again when filling the tank.

Might not be the same though :?
The brown dust and white membrane-like stuff are 2 different things going on in our tank.
I meant the white stuff, I get it when rinsing gravel, maybe a bit foamy-er (sp?) than yours. It was just a thought.
No, it's not the foamy stuff... I know what you're talking about. These have the consistancy of jellyfish. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
AeonzMike said:
I got the same thing in all the new tanks that I cycle fishless. The texture always remind me of the film that form on milk when heated :)

I believe it is caused by bacteria blooms. Having large doses of pure ammonia causes alot of bacteria to appear at once. Then most of it will starve to death unless you test very often and add ammonia in little doses constantly.

Mike
Should I notice more of these bacteria blooms after every dose of ammonia? After the 1st dose and freaking out a bit because of this film, I skipped a day. Added another dose of ammonia last night and not only did it not happen again, but the FX5 seems to have taken care of most of what was there.

Also, an I spinning my wheels adding ammonia without my bio media in place? Right now I'm running the FX5 with only the side foam pads and stuffed animal stuffing in the 1st tray... the middle & bottom trays are empty. Thought I'd have the BioMax by now but the place I ordered from just let me know it will be backordered for another week and a half.
 
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