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Old 03-03-2012, 12:48 PM   #1 
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Heater causing weird slime in tank?

I posted last week about trying to treat my betta's fin rot, and I mentioned something strange.

I've noticed that my heater seems to be causing a weird, whitish film in the water. Whenever the heater is in there, after a day or so, weird white particles can be seen floating around in the water, and if not immediately changed, they can grow to be about the size of a penny. I'm guessing this is some sort of algae/bacteria? Either way, my betta definitely isn't responding well to it. He's much less active, he clamps his fins back, he doesn't eat as much.

I'm away for the weekend, but as a science project I put the heater in a separate vase to see if the whitish film comes back there too.

If there is a problem with the heater causing the film, is there anything I can do? Should I put an antibiotic in the water? Buy a new heater? My house is usually ~71 in the winter, so of course I don't want the betta's water unheated any longer than the short-term.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:53 PM   #2 
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Did you acclimate him slowly to the increase in temp or did you just turn it on and let it go? Honestly it sounds like he's shedding his slime coat under the stress..

Make sure you rinse the heater thoroughly in hot tap water before putting it in the tank. You also need a tank thermometer as the settings on heaters are rarely if ever totally accurate. To acclimate a cold fish to a heater you need to first put the thermometer into the bowl to get the temp. Put the heater in and then set the heater several degrees below what the thermometer says. Click it up one degree slowly until it comes on. This is the difference between actual temp and heater readings. From there slowly click up one to two degrees an hour until it's between 78-79. If your ambient room temp is low 70s this could easily take all day (10+) hours to acclimate.

ETA: I read your thread. Unfortunetly those cheap small heaters do sometimes leach toxic stuff into the tank. Smell your water.. if there is an odd chemically/plasticey smell that's probably the case. I highly suggest you upgrade to a -minimum- 2g so that you can heat your betta well with an adjustable 25w heater like marineland visitherm or hydor theo.

Last edited by callistra; 03-03-2012 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:59 PM   #3 
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I can now confirm that is definitely the heater causing the whitish material. As I said, I put the heater in a separate tank with fresh water and left it for a few days. The whitish material built up on the heater, and swishing the water around stirs up the exact same material.

I guess I should start looking into larger tanks...
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:10 PM   #4 
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My heater seems to do the same thing, but it took about 2 weeks before any slimy stuff developed on the ends, and on the suction cup. It stayed there until I wiped it off, and then the white stuff started floating around the tank. My betta seems fine though.
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