Salt in my water - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Salt in my water

I have this film on the surface of my planted tank.
It is filled with white specs, that look like salt was
sprinkled in the water. I need to know what to do.
I have a eheim pro, and a hbo aquaclear 100 I think
it is. I have ceramic rings in the hbo. I wonder if they are
disintegrating because they are too old. I don't want to
get a uv sterilizer, so I need some help. I just cleaned
the eheim and changed the pads.

Jeff
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 09:59 AM
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I don't think anyone should suggest a UV sterilizer for you.. those are really only good against green water and (if strong enough) certain fish pathogens.

I don't think it is the ceramic rings... in my experience ceramic rings sink, not float (ok, some float briefly but once the water penetrates them they sink)... Regardless, if they disintegrate, pieces of them will sink, not float. In terms of filter media, any chance you're using purigen, which does float and is really fine?

Any chance you can get a picture of the floaty things? Have you grabbed some out and rubbed them between your fingers to get an idea of the texture (hard, soft, sandy, smooth, etc).

What is your tank stock? Any chance those white things are tiny baby fish?

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 12:47 PM
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I'll just throw out one more possibility. This time of year, bugs can get "frisky" in certain parts of the country. It's at least a possibility they are tiny flying insects that actually make it trough window screens. We just call them "screen bugs". I see them floating on the surface of the tanks every so often. Really little guys.

About this time last year, we opened a basement window just a hair on the first warm night. I didn't realize the screen had a small tear in it. There was an absolute invasion of black leafhoppers by daybreak. I'm talking serious infestation! I had to get out the vacuum to get them off the light fixtures and the top of the 180G was just blanketed. I fixed that hole in the screen very promptly after that episode.

I've had "purigen leaks" and in my experience the granules sink once fully hydrated, but depending on your filter media it may be something else in there.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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What's in the water

Ok, I got some pics. This stuff is starting
to annoy me. I am guessing if it is maybe the
media in my eheim starting to break
down also. It's the bio media little pellets.
Any thoughts and how to get rid of it.

Jeff
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2015, 10:14 PM
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DIY surface skimmer. Half an upside down plastic water bottle filled with cotton mounted to a power head. Push down so the water bottle is just slightly below the surface. Turn on pump. Acts as a surface skimmer. Takes ten minutes.

The fastest way to success is patience.

Best,

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquadawg View Post
DIY surface skimmer. Half an upside down plastic water bottle filled with cotton mounted to a power head. Push down so the water bottle is just slightly below the surface. Turn on pump. Acts as a surface skimmer. Takes ten minutes.
Agreed 110%. This is a quick cheap fix for your problem. The really hard part is figuring out what it is. That isn't bugs, that's for sure. Why the filter media would break down (still a guess here) like that, is a bit of stumper.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 01:25 AM
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I like the surface skimmer idea...

If you don't have a power head, you could probably do the same and just scoop the bottle through the water.. but would take a lot longer and be a lot more work on your part..


As for what the salt is.. maybe it is media, but that seems really odd.. Most of the biomedia out there is volcanic rock (Matrix, Eheim Lav) sintered glass (substrat, substrat pro), or ceramic (fluval g nodes, marineland rings, many generics)...

But none of these break down in water, at least not in anything short of decades.. Even water that is more acidic than fish can handle shouldn't affect them, it takes mechanical force to break them down, or very powerful acids like hydrofluoric acid (which etches glass and would kill your fish very quickly).

Any chance you put crushed coral or limestone in your filter somewhere? I could see those disintegrating, as they are calcium based and do dissolve, particularly in acidic water.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 11:38 AM
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It's the fact that the stuff is floating right at the water surface, even with some agitation no less, that just doesn't make sense. It just can't be anything that's "rock-based". Stumped.

Does any of it float around in the water column?

In the end, I think the surface skimming will do the trick. It looks like there's a sheen of dissolved organics in the mix too. So the surface skimming coupled with a good WC and filter cleaning should help a lot.

Angelo

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the thoughts. No this stuff is not
in the water column, just on the surface,
so it must very light and buoyant, mixed with
air, is my guess. It could be white paint coming
off the ceiling overhead! Might have termites.
I'll try the water bottle.

jeff
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 06:40 PM
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Yeah....I was thinking this might be something coming off your wall or ceiling. Definitely check that out.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 06:48 PM
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If it is coming from the walls or ceiling, be sure to do water change, and keep an eye on your GH.. There's lots of calcium in drywall, plaster, etc..

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 06:49 PM
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Possible that if your water has a oily/protein laden surface (another issue), that it could just be dust collecting and settling on top of the film. I have a nano tank that I have struggled some with keeping a good amount of surface agitation going without blowing plants around. I've seen something similar to this on my tank. Consider doing a water change, making sure you have good water movement/surface agitation. You could test my dust theory by putting a cover over the tank for a while (after cleaning up what is there) to see if continues or not.

Last edited by TekWarren; 04-21-2015 at 07:03 PM. Reason: words
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TekWarren View Post
Possible that if your water has a oily/protein laden surface (another issue), that it could just be dust collecting and settling on top of the film. I have a nano tank that I have struggled some with keeping a good amount of surface agitation going without blowing plants around. I've seen something similar to this on my tank. Consider doing a water change, making sure you have good water movement/surface agitation. You could test my dust theory by putting a cover over the tank for a while (after cleaning up what is there) to see if continues or not.
This is where I was headed too. If you shook something out in the room or kicked up some dust in a "seldom-seen" corner (we have lots of those, lol!) and it got airborn, the nutrient film would trap it at the surface. Mattinmd makes a good point about sheetrock dust, but it should've gotten wet at some point and gotten into the water column. Me thinks it's teeny dust bunnies.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2015, 12:06 AM
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Just scoop it out with a net.


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2015, 02:00 AM
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Have you ever added potting soil with perlite to the tank? Perlite (especially really fine granules) might stay floating and give you the 'salt' appearance.
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