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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Firstly, apologies for the quality of the picture, it doesn't actually show the bubbles clearly, but hopefully you'll get the idea.



Over the past week I'm seeing an increase in bubbles on my water surface. I can't understand where they're coming from. There is very little surface agitation, just a nice constant ripple from the water coming from my spray-bar.

My plants aren't 'pearling' as I don't do injected CO2. My water parameters are constant and I'm happy with them. Everything else in my tank is fine (lighting, temperature, no algae, no fish deaths recently etc).

There does however seem to be some surface 'clouding' - which reading various sites seems to be caused by the Eisenbacteria (Iron bacteria) - maybe that's something to look into more detail?

Any ideas, or do I have a problem that I'm unaware of or not testing for?

Thanks for any advice.
 

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I have found bubbles that do not pop very easily are often connected with ammonia.

Cloudy water can also be connected with ammonia.

Not saying that is the only answer, but I would get on the water changes to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah good plan, I think that I'll get a water change under way once I've finished watching the football.

For my own interest I've just done a water test - nothing seems out of the ordinary.

My pH is what it always has been since day 1 of 7.8



My High Range pH is 7.4



My Ammonia is 0.25ppm



My Nitrite is 0 ppm



My Nitrate is pretty high, somewhere near 40ppm - saying that though I can't really tell the difference between 40ppm and 80ppm.



As you can see I'm only using a cheapo API Freshwater Master Test Kit so I know that the results are not the most accurate, and the readings you get depends on the light, and your idea on which the closest colour on your result card is to the one in your test tube, but at least it gives me an idea of how things are going on in the tank.
 

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I find my water starts bubbling when I have too many dissolved organics in the water column, I've had it happen when I EI dose, have too many tannins, too much protein, feed too much, add too much of something, etc.

Other than that I don't really know. Maybe the water is over-oxygenated?

As for API, it's pretty accurate as far as my experience goes using it. (4 years)
 

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The issue isn't bubbles on the surface. It's just a symptom of a layer of surface scum. You mention you have very little surface agitation. That's not a good thing. Plenty of surface agitation is a good thing. It increases oxygenation which makes for healthier fish, bacteria and plants. It will also probably get rid of the surface film. If not then consider a surface skimmer as was mentioned above.
 

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Too little or no movement/current on the water surface may cause this oil formation with bubbles that wont pop and most of them are bacteria formation with too much organics and nutrients.
Instead of putting money on surface skimmer i would try to next thing first.
Break the water surface tension by raising the water spray bar slightly above the water surface and see if this goes away
 

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I get a waxy film on the surface of my 40b that has a Fluval FX5 to spraybar and a Mag 5 running another spraybar for CO2. I think it's the java ferns exuding it. To get rid of it I run 2 air stones in opposite ends of the tank for 30 minutes a day. That breaks it up. No more film. This stuff looks inorganic. Like candle wax when you can collect enough of it to examine.
 

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+1 Like Mr. Moose it is a bit like wax, it even breaks into opaque pieces when i whisk at the surface. I started getting it when i put a sponge at the end of my intake.
 
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