Soap-like bubbles?

  • #1
So my 10 gallon has recently started having bubbles floating on the top that are different to the usual bubbles in there. They look a lot like soap bubbles but it's not soap, these bubbles have been there for two days now. The fish don't seem too bothered by them but it has only been a couple days, I wanted to make sure it's nothing to worry about.

In the tank I have a king betta, three cories (I had four but one died after it got itself stuck in a snail shell, I have since removed the shell so the other three don't get hurt. Will probably get another cory soon), and five ghost shrimp.

Plants are all silk except for a moss ball and a banana plant, and decor is a large saber-tooth cat skull and a volcano bubbler. The skull was in my last tank setup and did not cause any problems like this. The volcano is new for this tank but I have had it since I set up the tank about a month ago and the bubbles it produces don't look like this.

The banana plant is the only thing that is new since I set up the tank about a month ago, I got it a day or two before the bubbles popped up, but I had a banana plant in my last tank setup and didn't have this problem. I washed it under running water before I put it in the tank to try to rid it of snails as best I could, but it was the same water I put in the tank during water changes so I wouldn't think that would have caused the bubbles. I use Prime to treat the water and I did a water change at the same time when I put in the plant, so Prime would have been present in the water after I washed the plant.

I got the banana plant to see if it would help with the cloudy water I had since it seemed to help in my last setup, which it did seem to do as the next morning after I put it in the tank the water was clear as glass. But then these bubbles popped up and now the water is cloudy again.

I am working on getting rid of what I believe is white hair algae, I think I've almost got it all but a few small bits pop up here and there. That's been there since almost the beginning, I don't think it is related to the bubbles.

I did a water change around noon today and tried to scoop out as many bubbles as I could, and I just now tested the water at 10:30pm.
Ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates all read 0. Maybe a little bit of nitrates but only 0.1 or 0.2.
I'm using the API master test kit.

After the water change the bubbles came back pretty quick, the attached picture is of the bubbles now, there was probably double this amount before I did the water change.

I've read that bettas will make bubble nests when they breed but I haven't seen him making these bubbles at all or showing any different behaviors, and in the pictures I've seen I don't think he would make this many bubbles. They kind of cover the top of the water, would he cover an entire 10 gallon with bubbles?

I don't think that the filter is the issue, I changed it a week or so ago, this bubble issue is just the last two days.

In the picture the big white mass of bubbles is what I'm referring to, there was a lot more before the water change but this mass has been growing fairly quickly. They cling to the sides of the tank as well. The big clear bubbles are from the bubbler and the filter.


The picture is upside down, I can't seem to get it right side up But you can see what I'm talking about here.

Any idea what is causing the bubbles? And is it something I need to worry about?


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  • #2
It looks like the betta is just making a bubble nest. They usually do this as an indication of mating behavior or when they are happy.
Et tu
  • #3
Yep, betta spit!
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Alright, I guess you guys would know your stuff. It seems like a lot of bubbles for one fish to be making but if you guys believe it's just betta bubbles then I won't worry about it. Thanks guys!
  • #5
Bettas can definitely make really big nests! Also, sometimes I find that using Seachem Prime makes bubbles with a soap-like look, right after the water is disturbed from you pouring it in.
Smelly Fish
  • #6
Yup, my betta makes nests like that too! It means he likes his tank!

  • #7
To me it actually doesn't look unusually big... my betta once made a massive 3D nest, based around the top of his heater, that looked like a big lump of frogspawn!
  • #8
Yep that's just a betta bubble nest. No need for concern. In fact it's a sign that things are going well for him.

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