Dismiss Notice
Hi there! You are currently viewing the forum as a guest. To log in, go here.

To become a member please register here.

I Got Soap In My Aquarium Somehow While Cycling

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Polav, May 20, 2019.

  1. Polav New Member Member

    I must not of rinsed my hands off enough after showering last night but I got home today to film and a soapy looking bubbles in my tank. How do i even fix this? Do I need a new filter? Its got to be inside the filter, i cant clean that out? I have plants in there that have to be dead now, and all the rocks just gonna go in the garden.. Do I have to get a new tank?? I feel like i cant even get all the soap residue off my dishes let alone an aquarium

  2. SaltyPhone Well Known Member Member

    Pictures of the tank, filter and foam would be helpful.

  3. Polav New Member Member

    Its definitely soap, the filter is a aquaclear 70g. Its a 29 gallon will small gravel and some dragon stone. I just feel the filter will be pretty much impossible to get all soap out of.

  4. SaltyPhone Well Known Member Member

    Well that means your gonna have to ditch all the filter media. What brand and model is the filter?
  5. Polav New Member Member

    Hob aquaclear 70g
  6. Nobote Valued Member Member

    Clean the filtration unit with white vinegar...rinse, the clean it it with 90% alcohol, then rinse it with hot water very well. Itll be fine. You can do the same with the aquarium itself.
  7. SaltyPhone Well Known Member Member

    If you’re 100% sure you’ve got soap in there then trash the sponges. Water change. Rinse the bio rings in some tap water: and realize your gonna be starting the cycle all over again. Stop feeding; and test/water change a lot.
  8. Polav New Member Member

    Will there not be residue inside the motor that the water runs through
  9. fjh Well Known Member Member

    Are you absolutely positive its soap?? Protein layers and biofilm on the tank surface look a lot like dishwashing liquid IMO and can trap bubbles beneath. But obviously, they aren't devastating to your tank.
  10. SaltyPhone Well Known Member Member

    Indeed sorry; if you are again absolutely certain it’s soap. Look up the user manual it will show you how to remove and service the impeller housing and yes that should be cleaned as well.
  11. Victoria99 Valued Member Member

    That SUCKS! I'm so sorry! Maybe you could try running the filter through the dishwasher? Take out the cartridges and electrical parts and just wash the container itself and the intake. No soap or even vinegar (cause we don't know if that will foam through your dishwasher or not). Just wash it with plain water.
    If I were you, I'd drain the tank, run as many decorations through the dishwasher as you can and hand wash the rest. Haul the tank outside. Use some buckets and a strainer and a hose to really rinse out your substrate. Then let it bake in the sun. Then rinse and rinse and rinse your tank and then clean it with vinegar and then rinse and then clean with vinegar and then rinse some more. Then start over your cycle. It's such a pain to have to do that! I'm so sorry!
    Disclaimer: I'm new to the hobby so these are just suggestions, but it's what I've done in the past when I had to do it (I accidentally put ocean sand in my freshwater tank and had to purge it all).
  12. Wraithen Well Known Member Member

    If you are positive it is soap, that is a lot of soap that was left on your hands somehow. The good news is most soaps are more like detergents since we like bubbles so much. Detergents are easier to deal with than actual soaps. They tend to rinse much easier.
  13. LuckyGourami Valued Member Member

    I just don't see how you could get THAT much soap into an aquarium that way. If you washed your hands and did not rinse them AT ALL, then I could see it, but I think it might be something else. I agree with SaltyPhone. Eliminate any other possibilities before you tear apart your filter.

    If we really are dealing with soap, you would need to wash the cartridges as well. In fact, you might be able to get away with ONLY washing the cartridges.

    Yes... I mean... this is what you would need to do if you reached into the tank with hands COVERED in soap, but I just don't see how you could do that without realizing it.

    Have you added anything else to the tank lately? Like fertilizers, water conditioner, or root tabs? Is there anyone else in your house and/or apartment who could have accidentally dropped something in the tank?
  14. Victoria99 Valued Member Member

    Yes. All good points. I forgot to mention anything about the cartridges. But yeah, only do this if you're POSITIVE that it's soap
  15. StarGirl15 Valued Member Member

    I'm with LuckyGourami There is no way you could get enough soap in there from a shower to mess anything up. Do a big water change and see what happens before you tear it up.
  16. ystrout Well Known Member Member

    Are you sure it's soap? It sounds pretty unlikely a small amount of soap residue did that to your tank...

    Two of my tanks with HOB filters get these tiny bubbles that look like soap bubbles, but I know it isn't. I honestly have no idea what it is but the fish and shrimp in there are healthier than most people in the country hahah.
  17. kallililly1973 Well Known Member Member

    not likely soap from showering then putting your hands in the water unless you didn't rinse the shampoo out of your hair and a big clump of soap fell in. Chances are its the AC70 making some bubbles from the way its flowing into your tank. Don't tear your tank and filter apart. I do my dishes and rinse my hands very well then do WC's and everyone is always fine
  18. TamiR Valued Member Member

  19. TamiR Valued Member Member

    You said you are cycling...are you using ammonia to cycle? If you are, are you sure the ammonia is surfactant free? If it contains any type of detergent, that could be your answer.
  20. A201 Well Known Member Member

    Soap usually floats. The filter intake tube is well below the surface. Not likely the minute amount of soap residue made its way into the filter. At least not enough to hurt anything.
    No need to go OCD or trash the tank. Just skim the surface with a plastic cup or pitcher and remove the soap sheen.
    This sort of thing happens every once in a while. Hand lotion contamination is another hazard to watch out for.