Extremely cloudy water and white "wispy" slime all over the tank

rjc1629

I am currently doing a fish-in cycle with a 3.5 gallon (I know, I know) heated tank and a single female betta. For the last three days the water has been getting progressively more cloudy and this morning it is really really bad and I'm afraid its going to hurt the fish. The whole tank is covered in a white "wispy" slime, the gravel, the plant, the tank walls.... it's everywhere. It started out on a few pieces of uneaten food (the pellets were too big for her) and has spread everywhere now. Here is the history of the tank:

Day 1 - filled the tank with dechlorinated water and ran the pump for 3 days with no fish

Day 4 - Changed out the carbon cartridges with ceramic rings and an aquaclear sponge, put in a bottle of TSS+, acclimated the fish for 30 minutes and then put her in.

Day 5 - tested with API master kit - >.25 ammonia, .25 Nitirite, 30 Nitrate!... That night the tank started getting cloudy

Day 6 - Bought some filter floss pads and put as much as I could inside the filter to try and clear up the water but it just got cloudier

Day 7 (today) - Extremely cloudy water, tested again - >.25 ammonia, .5-1.0 Nitirite (can't really tell), 30 Nitrate

Is this a bacterial bloom that I should wait out or something worse? I know you aren't supposed to do any water changes for 2 weeks with TSS+, but I don't want to hurt the fish. She is acting fine and does not seem stressed that I can tell. I do have Prime that I can use if needed but it will kill the TSS+ from what I've read. Any help is appreciated!

 

Rose of Sharon

Hi,

I do think that is some sort of bacterial bloom.

Maybe I am wrong, but I am concerned about the fish, however, as those levels of ammonia and nitrite will do her harm if you aren't using a water conditioner/dechlorinator that will hold the toxicity of ammonia and nitrite. My go-to person about these kinds of situations is mattgirl, IMO the cycling expert! :)

I would use the Prime to save the fish, and just do the fish-in cycle with the betta by doing water parameter testing every other day, and doing water changes and over-dosing with Prime when needed.

You can always get a few more bottles of TSS if you want to dose some after water changes. I know it's not perfect, but I would want to protect my fish over getting the tank cycled quickly.

mattgirl , any suggestions?
 

mattgirl

This is why I shy away from using TSS. You are supposed to add and do nothing for 2 weeks. Personally it would be difficult if not impossible for me to follow those instructions. I would not use it at all in this size container. Things can go bad very quickly in just 3.5 gallon of water.

In this case I would go ahead and change out at least 75% of the water. Be sure you siphon out any an all of the leftover food sitting on the bottom growing fungus and creating ammonia. Afterwards feed only what your fish will eat at each feeding. Any food not eaten needs to be removed and not left in to decompose.

With a tank this small, water changes will be a simple process. I would not be concerned about getting the tank cycled. We cycle a tank (grow bacteria) to remove the ammonia. We can do the same thing by doing water changes.

In my humble opinion cycling something this small for one little fish is more trouble than it is worth. Run the tests. If you see any ammonia or nitrite remove it with a water change. The tank will eventually cycle, of that I have no doubt. In most cases the cycle is important but the safety of the fish has to be our first priority.

Do your water changes to remove ammonia and use your Prime to detox the small amount left after the water change.
 

rjc1629

Thank you both for the advice. The health of Dollhouse (my Daughter named her lol) is the most important thing for sure. I'll do a 75% water change right now. Should I clean off the slime or just leave it?

Also, when dosing with Prime, is it better to dose the water before you put it in or after and how much Prime do I use?
 

mattgirl

Thank you both for the advice. The health of Dollhouse (my Daughter named her lol) is the most important thing for sure. I'll do a 75% water change right now. Should I clean off the slime or just leave it?

Also, when dosing with Prime, is it better to dose the water before you put it in or after and how much Prime do I use?
Add Prime to the water before pouring it in the tank. If you have chlorine in your tap water the chlorine will kill off the bacteria trying to grow in the tank. I would go ahead and rinse the slime off in the water you have siphoned out of the tank. Siphon out as much as you can from the substrate.

When doing a fish in cycle I recommend running the ammonia test daily until you have a good idea how long it takes for ammonia to rise above .25 If it gets up to there it is time to do another water change. If it doesn't get that high go ahead and change out no less than 50% of the water each week anyway.

As long as you do this your little girl should never be in any danger. You will be doing what the bacteria will eventually do. I recommend 50% weekly water changes for the life of this tank or even more often if you get an ammonia/nitrite reading.

If you don't already have one I will recommend you get a turkey baster. It is one of the handiest things you can have for tank maintenance. It works really well for pulling out uneaten food or just a quick clean up during the week between water changes. .

I forgot to add. A little Prime goes a long way. Go ahead and add enough with each water change to treat the full 3.5 gallons of water. That would be just under 1/2ml of Prime. You aren't going to overdose it so even a full 1/2ml wouldn't be a problem. A small syringe works well for dosing Prime.
 

rjc1629

Thank you so much. I changed the water and dosed with prime like you said. I'll be sure and test every day and change the water when it reaches .25ppm. I did get a turkey baster yesterday and picked up as much of the food as I could with it. I think I got the rest of it when using the gravel vacuum. She was trying to get to the old food as it was going up the vacuum lol. She zipping around the tank as I type this.

 

mattgirl

You are so very welcome.

Much better. I am sure she is enjoying the fresh clean water. :) Keep up with the water changes and i suspect she will live a long healthy life.
 

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