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Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

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    Default Newbie Needs Help - Protein Film?


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi all Ė totally newbie here. I purchased a 6 gallon tank and got a lovely looking Betta fish. I got new gravel (rinsed it well before adding), a silk plant, and a live plant. I added a heater set to 76 degrees and a betta log. The aquarium came with a filter. I used bottled spring water and added a half dose of stress coat. The little guy was super happy. He even made a bubble nest on the second day! On the third day, this film started on the top of the water. I tried soaking it up with a paper towel and then it broke apart and was floating everywhere. It looked like a snow globe in there. It settles back to the top. The water seems to be nice and clear. I have no idea if its cycled yet and itís definitely not from leftover food. Iím afraid of over feeding so he gets one betta pellet a day and he always eats it. Iíve been reading about protein films and aeration. Can anyone help with what this is and what I should do, if anything? Is this dangerous to my fish? I've attached some photos. Thanks so much!!!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

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    1 Not allowed!
    When you put the paper towel in, remove it immediately. Also use a super absorbent paper towel, not the cheap kinds.


    The film can be either the stress coat or oil from the dry food.

  3. #3

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocksor View Post
    When you put the paper towel in, remove it immediately. Also use a super absorbent paper towel, not the cheap kinds.


    The film can be either the stress coat or oil from the dry food.
    Thanks - I used a good quality towel and puled it out immediately. I think because it's not one solid piece, it flakes down into the tank. I've only had one pellet a day for 4 days, which he ate immediately. If it's from the stress coat, how do I get rid of it? It seems to multiply pretty quickly. Is it harmful to the fish?

  4. #4

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    1 Not allowed!
    Hi scteel.

    No, bio film is not harmful in and of itself; it's completely normal. As long as it isn't getting so thick on the surface as to prevent gas exchange, your pretty betta will be fine. Adding an air stone or adjusting the water level to where the filter is creating ripples in the surface will ensure good gas exchange and help break up the film on the surface.

    I see in your post that you claimed not to know if the tank is cycled. Have you had a chance to view the cycling stickies? You will want to pick up a test kit to measure your ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Ammonia and nitrites are toxic to fish and your betta will get ammonia burns if the tank isn't cycled and the ammonia levels climb. Most of us start their first tanks with fish in them and end up having to monitor the tanks closely and perform frequent water changes to keep the ammonia levels down while the tank establishes a nitrogen cycle.

  5. #5

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    1 Not allowed!
    I get protein films in my tanks from time to time, especially if the tank has been recently overfed, but with improved conditions it usually goes away on its own. You may have to towel the film daily for a bit, but it will go away if you're careful not overfeed or let the nutrients build up without enough WCs. I siphon the film off at every WC when it's there, but there's also a freshwater protein skimmer you can try if the problem persists. Like this one



    It won't cause any harm to your fish as long as it doesn't get too thick that it prevents oxygen/ gas exchange.
    GiVe Me sHrEd TiLL i'M dEaD
    -Kat

  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks everyone for the help! I've ordered an air stone from Amazon - it had a 5 star rating so hopefully that will help. I'm just happy to know it's not harmful to Skurge (that's his new name) - he has 2 black stripes on his head :)

    I'll keep an eye on it for thickening and will pick up a water test strip kit.

    I appreciate the help!

  7. #7

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    2 Not allowed!
    Don't rely on test strips. Get the API Master test kit with the liquid reagents. Be sure they're recent and haven't been sitting on the shelf for too long. You can tell by the date numbers on the labels of the individual reagent bottles. The reagents shouldn't be any older than one or two years, maximum. The liquid test kit is more accurate than strips. If your LFS doesn't have a kit, you can order one through Foster & Smith.
    20 gal. high: planted; 5 white cloud minnows, 4 golden White Clouds, several RCS, 2 blue shrimp, 5 Amano shrimp, several snails; Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 6 rosy barbs, 6 yellow glofish, 3 red glofish, 3 zebra danios, 5 white cloud minnows, 3 dojo loaches, 6 crimson spot rainbow fish, 12 large Amano Shrimp, several snails; AC110.

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you!

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