Fishless Cycling Weird Foam

Donnerjay

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Hi, welcome to Fishlore!

That. Is. Odd.

I have experienced a white film buildup when starting a new tank. Often it's the good bacteria (a "bacteria bloom") that gets a little crazy until the cycle stabilizes. It's a thin white surface film that can be broken easily with a finger or other water agitation.

Your picture does not appear to be a bacteria bloom type of film. I'd check the filter media to see whether any of it may have deteriorated and created that. But that's just a guess. Hopefully some others can post soon with accurate answers.
 

leftswerve

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I know you said dr Tim's, but it does look like there is a surfactant in there.
 
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Aharkins

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I haven’t used anything else as a liquid ammonia source. I tried with fish food at first then switched to this. I even shook the bottle just now, and no bubbles that lasted more than a split second. Could there be some other source I’m missing? I do have an air stone that creates bubbles. But these bubbles weren’t budging. I just did a 30% water change because my ammonia levels got too high. I wiped up all of the offending foam, whatever it was. I’m going to retest soon.
 

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Aharkins

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Donnerjay said:
Hi, welcome to Fishlore!

That. Is. Odd.

I have experienced a white film buildup when starting a new tank. Often it's the good bacteria (a "bacteria bloom") that gets a little crazy until the cycle stabilizes. It's a thin white surface film that can be broken easily with a finger or other water agitation.

Your picture does not appear to be a bacteria bloom type of film. I'd check the filter media to see whether any of it may have deteriorated and created that. But that's just a guess. Hopefully some others can post soon with accurate answers.
My carbon filter definitely looks dirty, and it’s been running for a month, so I should probably change it? My biological media and sponge filter on the intake seem fine. Nothing seems weird there... I don’t know.
 

leftswerve

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Have you checked the ammonia level? Too much ammonia could possibly cause that, but the level would have to be through the roof. I though you weren't supposed to run carbon during a fishless cycle (kind of a waste)??? Could someone have put something in the tank that you are not aware of?
It just happened out of the blue? No water change, no rock change, nothing different?
 

nikm128

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Let us know if the foam comes back too, there might be something going wrong with your cycle if it does
 
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Aharkins

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leftswerve said:
Have you checked the ammonia level? Too much ammonia could possibly cause that, but the level would have to be through the roof. I though you weren't supposed to run carbon during a fishless cycle (kind of a waste)??? Could someone have put something in the tank that you are not aware of?
It just happened out of the blue? No water change, no rock change, nothing different?
I added some ammonia as a maintenance feeding once it got to zero, it was a third of the original dose, but the next thing I know it tested 8ppm. I did a water change and it stirred up some of the food I had started cycling with. Whatever I didn’t vacuum up initially must still be breaking down and contributing to the ammonia. I’ll test the ammonia levels again tonight. I hadn’t heard that carbon was pointless, I’ll just take it out and replace it with a sponge then I guess?
 

nikm128

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What filter are you using? If it's one with cartridges I'd suggest getting a sponge or filter floss and some Fluval Bio-Max
 

leftswerve

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Aharkins said:
I added some ammonia as a maintenance feeding once it got to zero, it was a third of the original dose, but the next thing I know it tested 8ppm. I did a water change and it stirred up some of the food I had started cycling with. Whatever I didn’t vacuum up initially must still be breaking down and contributing to the ammonia. I’ll test the ammonia levels again tonight. I hadn’t heard that carbon was pointless, I’ll just take it out and replace it with a sponge then I guess?
I didn't say pointless, I said useless during a fishless cycle. You want BB to grow on surfaces that you won't be changing out. Carbon has to be changed because it gets used up. Sponges and such can be cleaned and reused, done properly in dechlorinated water, you won't loose any BB. Make sense?
 
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Aharkins

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I have a silentstream 30 HOB with a carbon filter that I’ve added Fluval Biomax to and a sponge filter on the intake. I am familiar with the nitrogen cycle and have read a million articles on the subject. Regardless, if you said pointless or useless, I hadn’t come across information saying “don’t use carbon” during the cycle. I appreciate your advice and plan on removing the carbon cartridge and replacing it with another sponge filter until the cycle is complete. Or do you suggest never using carbon?
 

leftswerve

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Aharkins said:
I have a silentstream 30 HOB with a carbon filter that I’ve added Fluval Biomax to and a sponge filter on the intake. I am familiar with the nitrogen cycle and have read a million articles on the subject. Regardless, if you said pointless or useless, I hadn’t come across information saying “don’t use carbon” during the cycle. I appreciate your advice and plan on removing the carbon cartridge and replacing it with another sponge filter until the cycle is complete. Or do you suggest never using carbon?
Without opening another can of worms, or sending this thread down the rabbit hole. For the cycling process, I would leave the carbon out. My opinion.
 
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leftswerve said:
Without opening another can of worms, or sending this thread down the rabbit hole. For the cycling process, I would leave the carbon out. My opinion.
Thanks!
 

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