Strange Film On Top Of Tank?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Flower, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. FlowerNew MemberMember

    Hi guys! So I have a betta fish in a 10 gallon tank and there has been a strange film on the top of his tank. First it was rainbow/oily like then it turned cloudy and white. So i tried to fix the situation by adding an air stone to create agitation. It definitely worked but he seems stressed by it. I am trying to get a sponge filter but i cannot get one right now. What is this film and is it dangerous?
  2. KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    Bettas don't like the agitation. I have similar film on mine. I assumed it was from the Prime I am using.

  3. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember


    What your seeing is an excess of protein and caused by decaying organic matter or rotten food (some food has oil, that's causing the rainbow sheen) . Its not a big problem and easily removed. There are several ways of removing it, or feel free to do a combo of them to remove it: (I would stop the bubbles for awhile to allow the oil to form so you can do the maximize the effect of the following)

    •drag a paper towel (clean, no pre-added chemicals) across to sop it up
    •get a soap-free plastic or glass jar/cup and "dip"it into water, just past the water line and let the oil (and some water) trickle in on its own. You're essentially scooping it out.
    •water change- definetly recommend this, but you might want to do this after removing as much of the protein as possible before agitating it with the hose and stuff. (Don't want to mix it in, then have to wait for it collect again)

    The airstone helps definetly and you can curb its effects by putting on the farthest end of your tank (if possible). As for a makeshift spongefilter, you can use an old pantyhose over the intake until a proper one comes in.

    Hope this helps and best of luck!
  4. FlowerNew MemberMember

    But everytime i do a water change it alaways comes back. And since its been collecting everytime he seems very lethargic
  5. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember

    Oh, and btw, you will want to remove it ASAP. It's not harmful, persay, but it prevents oxygen flow.
  6. EvanwdValued MemberMember

    More than likely a protein film from food, happens to my tank too. if your Betta doesn't like it try to leave the air stone right at the surface so it agitates the water but shouldn't stress out your Betta. Keeping up with water changes also helps. Try a different food if it bugs you too much but the film is harmless with regular water changes.
  7. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember

    You can try skimming before the water change. Imagine having oil in a cup of water, and when you agitate it by trying sucking it up through a hose, your only getting some of it because you've "mixed it in." The lethargy is probably from the lack of oxygen flow.

    Also, make sure you do a good vacuum of the substrate as well or check your sponge media in your filter. Any rotten food could still be accumulating there even after a water change. (If the sponge media is colored, like red, it indicates the dye from your food. Squeeze and rinse out in some separate tank water, like when your doing your water change, to clean it out. Rinsing in tap water kills the food bacteria)
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  8. BekValued MemberMember

    I got a similar film when feeding freeze dried bloodworms (and I was overfeeding, its just at the time I didn't know it.)
    Water changes skimming as much off the top and feeding the proper amount fixed the issue for me
  9. AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    I agree with what everyone has said here. I do have an airstone in my betta tank. It is the smallest one I could find, and I have it tucked as far back in the corner as I can get it. I also have a flow control valve on it. That way I can turn the airflow down as low as I can, and still have adequate surface agitation. Jardin Fishing Tank 2 Way Air Pump Manifold Taps Lever Valve: Pet Supplies

    What filter do you use? You may try adding some filter floss to it. That can help get some of the smaller bits of stuff floating in the tank.

    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017

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