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Foam on water surface

795 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Slippryrock
My friend has asked me for help on a problem with foam on the surface. I am perplexed. She claims nothing has been added such as dechlorinators or anything to buffer. I'm at a loss for info as i do not have water parameters to provide. this is what i can tell you

low tech standard florescent all purpose type bulb
been cycled for a 3 or 4 weeks
PFS for substrate.
temp 75ish
hob filter, best guess marineland 125
lightly stocked - 2 rasboras
tap water, guess 7.5 to 8.0 ph
hardness who knows
water level is topped off properly

The foam, and i'm not exaggerating, looks like she has got dish soap on it and ready to wash dishes. she can net it out and it will be fine for a few hours then slowly starts building back up. My wife and i have a waterfall/fountain in the yard and we treat it with an algaecide. if over dosed, and she has, it will foam like that. My friend claims nothing has been introduced in to the tank such as that. i did however slip her some florapride. Can that fertilizer cause foaming if over dosed ? i used that very bottle in a pinch and dosed properly and never had any issues,
I know i'm not giving you all enough info and i apologize but i would still like some input from a generalized stand point.
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if the foam is white my guess is that it is nitrites or high nitrates. I've seen this is numerous tanks that were "cycled" and had a mysterious foam on top. Had them bring in a water sample and it was always high nitrites or nitrates. Regular water change schedule maintained and all of them were back in business.
What kind of foam? I'm also interested in the color.

Sand is dirty, and if it wasn't rinsed/cleaned prior to use that could be where the foam came from.
she is a beginner in the hobby and struggling on a single income. I have been donating a lot of my things to help her out. I gave her some test kits but not sure she is comfortable testing yet. i have shown her but she needs more "practice" with test kits. i'll walk her through it again. i think i blew her wig back when i explained the cycling process. I showed her the fishless. but she would not test daily and we missed nitrite spike and never saw nitrates. but after 3 weeks once the ammonia was 0 ppm she put in some rasboras and they are fine. so it is probably the result of a new cycle. Thank you.

as for the sand, it was old sand from my 90g set up i tore down a few years ago. it was washed repeatedly and rinsed in light bleach and rewashed again by myself before she received it. The water level was lowered a few inches for good surface agitation with the HOB on it and an air stone was put it for good O2 during the cycle. I would imagine that any bleach that may have remained would have surely disipated over the course of month. The foam is white like dish soap or a white cap on moving water.

thanks for the input. i'll have to drive across town when our conflicting schedules allow it and have a look.
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