Bubbles... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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This is my first post here on the Planted Tank. I joined because I am going to be doing my first planted tank in a few months and I want to start learning about planted tanks.

About a week ago, I got several plants for a few dollars from a lady who is getting out of the hobby as she and her husband are about to begin traveling a lot.

I temporarily set up a tank with only these plants in it. Eventually they will all go in a 135 Gallon tank I just bought a few weeks ago. I will not be able to set it up for a few months, but I couldn't pass up several free plants and a $20 piece of DW with a huge java fern growing on it.

Not knowing much about plants, for the first week I did nothing but put a light over the tank and turn on a pump to circulate water.

Last night I added some home made fertilizer tabs (made using vegetable gel caps and Osmocote Plus). Today I came to my office and found bubbles by my HOB filter output. They almost look like soap bubbles, but they are not "soapy" at all.

Does anyone have any idea what these might be? Is it anything to worry about?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 02:46 AM
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Foam, scum, protein film are all names that I hear used. Seems to often come a round on planted tanks. I don't think of it as dangerous or a real harmful thing until it reaches really bad levels.
Some bad things? May look bad to the owner. Personal choice? May get thick enough to cut gas exchange at the surface. No bad gas out, good gas (O2?) in. Bad for fish.
Can get too bad and cut off/reduce light reaching plants.
I had it bad at one point and surface agitation was recommended but when I did that I got a massive bubble stack. Possibly raising the water level might change the question? Good part was that it went away while I was working on getting a skimmer ordered in. Never came back so that's as far as I went.
I believe it to be pretty common.
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Last edited by PlantedRich; 08-21-2016 at 02:48 AM. Reason: added
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 03:35 AM
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Yeah, add more water
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 06:55 AM
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Only time I get this is when I haven't cleaned up decaying leaves and such in a while. Cleaning things up, skimming it off the surface, and doing a few water changes always clears it up for me.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 08:02 AM
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Decaying leaves are a source of ammonia, which when enough light is available, causes algae to"believe" they are in a good place to take off. Hence the reason we often see algae on old, broken or damaged leaves, those leaves themselves are the source of ammonia. When those leaves are damaged due to malnutrition and you don't fertilise, you accelerate the algae formation. Lucily light levels seem low. There are some nice vids on youtube for making a diy skimer out of a cooldrink bottle, some floss and a small pump. It will clear of the mess in a few minutes.

I agree lift the water level till you get to the lip of the filter, it will also cut down on the noise.

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Hi. I'm back.
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