Complete water change.

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Bellatrix, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. Bellatrix

    BellatrixValued MemberMember


    I need to do a complete water change on my tank, removing everything and fish due to high levels of protin in the water causing a blanket of surface bubbles.

    Yes I have tried everything to get rid of it and no nothing works.

    Any tips on a safe full water change?

    I've had the new water sitting for 24 hours treated and ready. I have everything I need, I'm just wanting some tips to do this right and not have to do it again.

  2. jpm995Well Known MemberMember

    What test did you do to determine it's high levels of protein? It sounds like a skimmer would take care of that but the cause of why you have it would concern me. Over feeding or under filtering would be my guess. Be sure your tap water ph is close to your tanks ph so you don't shock your fish. Temp should be close also. Do you have a temp tank to keep the fish in?
  3. OP

    BellatrixValued MemberMember

    I started a thread about this last week. It was dried bloodworm that caused the protein spike, which caused a layer of form like thick bubbles to completely cover the surface of the water.

    Full water change done today, bubbles have improved around 70% but are still too many.

  4. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Hopefully it is protein and not some other foaming agent.

    I have used a home-made protein skimmer in a freshwater tank in the past. It really did capture a surprising amount of protein goo!

  5. OP

    BellatrixValued MemberMember

    What other forming agent could it be?

    It only happened after giving the fish dried bloodworm. Now even after cleaning the tank and soaking the ornaments (in treated water) it's still there. Granted it's a LOT better but it's still not right.
  6. codyrex97

    codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    That sounds a bit persistent for just dried bloodworms. How much do you use and do you make sure they all get eaten?
  7. OP

    BellatrixValued MemberMember

    I only ever used the bloodworm once and the excess bubbles happened instantly after I dropped a few in. Literally instantly.

    I did a PWC the same day and it only made it worse.

    I've not changed any of my products nor have I added anything different other than the bloodworm that one time a week ago.

    Now after a CWC it's better but still not as if should be.
  8. codyrex97

    codyrex97Well Known MemberMember

    Wow that's insane. I've never encountered this problem. What brand of bloodworms?
  9. OP

    BellatrixValued MemberMember

  10. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    There are lots of foaming agents. They're used in detergents, soaps, etc.

    Here's Wikipedia's take on surfactants:

    It makes you wonder what kind of water the bloodworms were in to begin with. Then again, it might be really finely ground up bloodworms themselves. They are high in protein! Being freeze dried, maybe they get beaten about during shipping, and lots of very fine dust gets made. Maybe that's just sitting on the surface of your water.

    You might try siphoning off of the very surface of your water when you do the next water change, so that you capture anything floating as a film on the top surface.

    And there are fairly cheap ways to build a pretty good protein skimmer for not much money. Do a web search for "protein skimmer" and there is a lot of info out there.

    The ones we made were not very fancy, but they worked pretty well, You darned sure didn't have any foaming anywhere in the aquarium when you had one running, that's for sure!
  11. OP

    BellatrixValued MemberMember

    Thanks for replying, I'm learning to just live with it to be honest. It doesn't seem to bother the fish.
  12. andrearamirezo91

    andrearamirezo91Well Known MemberMember

    Hey! I had a similar issue a while back, but my issue was related to plant melting and poor water circulation. I used to grab a cup, sink it in the water slowly facing upwards until the very rim of the cup was gonna reach the surface of the water, I don't know if I'm explaining myself correctly. If I'm not, let me know and I'll try to clarify. Basically, once the rim reaches the very surface, you really slowly start letting water fall in the cup, but only the surface layer of water will fall in there, which seems to be where all the icky stuff is accumulating the most. Do this a few times and dispose of the water obviously lol I did this repeatedly for about a month and it helped get rid of the issue.
  13. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    It's the same method I use to skim the grease off of a big pot of soup or chile towards the end of cooking it, except that I use a big ladle to do the job so I don't burn my hand. :)

    That would work, too. Like suctioning off of the surface when vacuuming the tank each time instead of just sucking the water from under the surface.

    I like it!

    Unless you use an overflow setup, typical filters never capture any of the scum from the surface of the tank. I do have one canister filter that has a gadget on its input that floats so that some water gets skimmed from the surface. But most filter intakes are entirely below the surface. So floating layers of scum, oils, and proteins never reach our filters.

    This is one of the arguments in favor of a sump type filter setup.
  14. andrearamirezo91

    andrearamirezo91Well Known MemberMember

    Jsigmo it's honestly so simple and its also surprising how good it actually works.
    Bellatrix make sure you're not overfeeding your fish either as this will contribute to the problem. Also, increasing surface movement helps to prevent these films from forming on your tank water. I now run an oxygen pump at nights because of my CO2 and have not had this issue at all ever since, but I also did make some changes in the feeding/cleaning routines that helped.
  15. jpm995Well Known MemberMember

    Eheim used to make a tube to connect to a canister input that sucked some water from the top. I forgot what they called it and have no idea if it's still available.

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