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What is this in my tank?

Discussion in 'Water Maintainence' started by Emad M, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Emad M

    Emad M Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    In the past 2 or 3 weeks I noticed some sort of fluffy thingies floating - every now and then - inside the tank. Originally, I thought it was some leftovers from the plants, but after I managed to pick one up, it was actually yellowish in colour and slimy. It looked and felt like bad quality jelly.

    Is this some kind of fish waste I'm not aware of? Or bacteria?

    It seems benign, though.


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  2. joe

    joe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    I live in Miami Florida
    it appears to be some type of waste, what are your feeding your fish. Have you noticed any spawning behavior
     
  3. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    How often do you change water and how much do you change each time?
     
  4. Modulas

    Modulas New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Its coming from your filter.
     
  5. big A

    big A Active Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2016
    Location:
    Lincoln England
    It does look a bit like mulm from a filter hose
     
  6. Emad M

    Emad M Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Pellets in the morning, then veggies in the afternoon and evening. I don't know what spawning behaviour should look like.
     
  7. Emad M

    Emad M Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    30% every 2-3 days (the tank is only 8 weeks old - and I have reasons to believe that my nitrogen cycle is struggling to come to an end...much better now, though).
     
  8. Emad M

    Emad M Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Could it be the bacteria balls I put in the filter about 4 weeks ago?!! They should've disintegrated completely by now...
     
  9. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    Please link us to this product.

    You say you believe your tank has nearly completed cycling. What are the current parameters (before a water change)?

    What filter do you have? How often do you clean it and how do you clean it?

    It looks like shed slime coat, but you would have noticed excess/shedding slime coat on the fish, so I expect it is some kind of debris.

    I suggest a thorough vacuuming of the substrate, rinsing the filter medium, and a 100% water change.
     
  10. Emad M

    Emad M Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Water parameters are OK, often for 4 to 5 days before needing to do a water change.

    The product is here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Evolution-...qid=1493495450&sr=1-1&keywords=bacteria+balls

    Filter is All Pond Solutions EF1000 (commonly knows as SunSun in North America), it's got a booster filter connected to it as well. I also have a 250 Litre sponge filter. It will probably need a good clean soon, though.

    I don't really need to vacuum the substrate. I've got sand and I use an electric vacuum every morning to collect the fish waste and plants debris. Also, I stir it around every week to release any air pockets.

    I think the slime shedding is a good possibility.
     
  11. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    If you won't give parameters (OK is not a parameter), there really isn't anything we can say.
     
  12. Emad M

    Emad M Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Huh? By 'OK', I mean I don't have concerns about the water parameters. Ammonia and nitrite are usually 0 for 3-4 days, and then 0.25 afterwards. I've got two large 'guest' fish with my fish and I believe they have overloaded the filter ability to process the waste effectively for more than 3-4 days in one go before being overtaken by the amount of waste. I think with the current two fish, my filter is only 70% effective. This is why I do water changes twice a week as opposed to once a week - 30% each time. Nitrite and ammonia drop back to 0 afterwards. The guest fish are going back to their owners anyway. Only then I can determine with certainty what's going on. Apart from that, the fish appear happy and healthy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  13. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    So how many fish do you have in the tank and what is the tank volume? I suspect your tank isn't big enough for the fish load (as you have suggested) and the same is true of your filters as well. The only way to maintain water quality in an overstocked tank is to change more water.

    Thanks for the ammonia and nitrite readings, now would you please measure and report the level of nitrate and the pH of your water.

    Having looked at a bacteria balls, I suspect the large debris you are finding are the clear, apparently gelatinous coating on the balls which is gradually disintegrating.

    Most people here provide 20 gallons per fish and change at least 50% of the water weekly. Others do 100% changes weekly. You can maintain a tank that doesn't have way too many fish with 30% water change every other day. It's important to change the water before you read ammonia and nitrite. So if you get ammonia and nitrite after 3 days, change every two days. Even 0.25 ppm of these poisons stress your fish.

    The two primary reasons for inadequate filtration are opposites. One is not cleaning the filter medium. Filter medium clogged with debris does not provide good living conditions for the nitrifying bacteria. If you take the medium out at least once a week and rinse it in the water you have removed from the tank, until gunk stops coming off, the filter will work better and the bacteria will do their work better.

    The other reason for inadequate filtration is changing the filter medium. You shouldn't do this at all unless the medium is falling apart. Every time you replace filter mediium, you throw away nitrifiers. It's also possible that you just don't have enough filter volume for your tank.
     
    joe likes this.
  14. Emad M

    Emad M Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Originally, I had 5 fancy goldfish and 2 loaches in an 80g tank. Now, with my temporary guests, I've got an extra giant fancy lionhead goldie and a medium size loach. Like I said, they're going anyway, so hopefully this will help stabilise the tank.

    Technically, it's a matter of personal preference checking before or after the water change. I mentioned that my nitrite/ammonia often drop back to 0 after water change, which suggests a pre and post water change water testing. I simply like to maintain a frame of reference anyway. This morning my nitrate level was about 5-10ppm (if I can 'visually' match the colour correctly), which is perfectly safe. After all, changing the water every 3 days or so kept the nitrate within the safe limits. I'm aware the Ph for goldfish should ideally be within the 7.0 to 7.5 range. However, water in Southern UK has an average Ph of 8 to 8.5. Mine is usually around 8 to 8.2. The fish don't seem to mind. At least, they don't show signs of distress or discomfort. Having said that, I'm not certain the Ph has anything to do with the debris I was inquiring about? With my other tanks, Ph hardly made any difference. All cold/temperate water fish, by the way. Although, the 80g is the largest and latest (been running for nearly two months).

    The rising and falling parameters are based on readings from 2 weeks ago. At least now I know there's a pattern, so I tend not to wait for the water parameters to change before carrying out a water change. I'm just hoping that after the two fish have been returned to their homes, my tank will restabilise and will only have to do a water change once weekly. It's only a hobby with a level or responsibility - although for some it's a lifestyle, apparently.

    Will see if giving the filter a nice clean, things will get better and the debris will be no more.
     
  15. shakaho

    shakaho Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando FL
     
  16. Emad M

    Emad M Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Update: I believe the slimy bits in my tank were produced by the loaches. Given the elongated shape and size, I suspected the loaches were behind it. Now, it's been three days since I rehomed my 3 loaches (they were 'benignly' chasing and stressing the goldfish and digging out the plants), I no longer see the slimy debris which appeared at least once a day.
     

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