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Old 02-06-2011, 07:12 PM   #1 
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Location: Missouri, USA
Slimy film on walls of tank?

Hey all,

Something unusual happened in my 2.5 gallon tank that is housing one betta. I've been using this tank for a while and it housed two other bettas successfully before my current one, Rouge, has occupied it. I never had any issues with things growing in it or residue left on the walls.

I've been having some trouble with this one, though. I've had this betta for a week. I got him some new white colored gravel. Before I've always used painted gravel, so the tank was pretty cloudy so I am assuming that's what caused it. It would always cloud up after changing it. So I'd do 50% water changes everyday. I have done two 100% water changes since I got him. Tonight I just did my second one. This time I cleaned it VERY good.

As slimy, cloudy film had grown on the sides seemingly overnight. If touched it would peel or flake off and could be visibly seen floating in the water. The water also had a really disgusting, slimy feel to it. The surface of the water was covered with this film.

Through all this, my betta has never been bothered. He's happy and active and likes his food, so I am assuming it isn't bothering him but it sure is bothering me!

When I cleaned it today I made sure to scrub the sides really hard and got pretty much all of it off.

I am not sure if this is the source of it, but I thought I'd mention it. I have a betta hammock from another tank. If you have read my other threads, you will know what I am talking about. All my fish died in it and the water really clouded up. We came to the conclusion it could be an ammonia build up. I rinsed the hammock off really well and put it in Rouge's tank and it happened shortly after. It is likely coincidental but I thought it may be a helpful thought.

Does anybody have any idea what this stuff may be and how to keep it away?

Also, there is a problem I have had with this tank even when previous bettas occupied it. After a couple of days, the water turns really smelly and stagnant. Is there anything I can do to get rid of this unpleasant odor? Does it affect the fish?

Here is a pic of my newly cleaned tank, for those who would like to see it. I think it looks all crystal clear and pretty. :P

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:41 PM   #2 
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Do you condition the water?
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:42 PM   #3 
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Yes. I totally forgot to mention that, sorry. I use fizzy tablets to condition.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:43 PM   #4 
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My tanks when i clean them feel a bit slimy.. I just use a paper towel wetted to wipe it down.. I think its from the ammonia or something.. It is exp prominent in my goldfish tank
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:57 PM   #5 
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How often do you change the water (and I strongly suggest a liquid water conditioner as soon as you can get it)?

Back before I got Firefly and Firedrake if I went 3 days without changing the water the water started to get slimy and smell bad.

You might just need to change the water more often.

If you want to keep a slime from forming at the top of the water you could put in an airstone connected to some airline tubing, a T valve with one of the sides plugged, and a check valve.

The water circulation/movement will keep a slimy skin from forming on the top.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:44 PM   #6 
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Might be a silly Q but... did you rinse the gravel?
White film on top of a tank without a filter is quite normal, it's just organic gunk. And airpump like wallywest suggested or a filter will solve the problem.
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:21 PM   #7 
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Yup, I rinse out the gravel too. I spend a lot of time doing that so I make sure all the poop and food gets rinsed out of it.

I have recently heard that liquid conditioners are much better so I'll get one next time I'm at the store.

I have been wanting an air stone for a while and have been curious about them. I'm not sure how to use them. What's this valve mentioned that connects to them? I thought the stone kind of bubble itself?

Oh, and on normal cleaning schedules in the past, I'd alternate. Every couple of days I'd do a fifty percent water change and did a 100% change once a week (or sometimes two 100% changes if I have a lot of free time).

Thanks for the help, guys. :)
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:40 PM   #8 
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Sorry to bump this up but I just wanted to double check something.

With those of you who own heated 2.5 gallon tanks, how often do YOU change the water? Is my doing one 50% and 100% change a week good enough? I have becoming VERY paranoid lately. I've lost five bettas now and I have gotten SUPER attached to this boy. He is definitely one of the more charismatic ones I've had and I want him to be healthy and happy. Are those changes good, or would you recommend me doing more often or less often? Are is there another method of consistency that would be better?

BTW, the film has yet to come back. The tank is staying pretty much crystal clear too. So I'm happy about that. :)
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:31 AM   #9 
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I have a 3G that is filtered and heated. Twice weekly I do a water change. It is not quite 50% but in the range more or less. (just hard to gage unless I measure and draw you know) I condition the water which I have in 1G containers and they basically sit waiting in between days. Knock on wood it has been three weeks since he moved in and the water is crystal clear. I check the water frequently to ensure the quality as well. All I add is some aquarium salt and the liquid conditioner and that is about it. The next water change I will swish around the gravel prior to the change to get any stray floaters since I cannot vacuum or do a 100% water change here at work due to logistics but I am confident that what I am doing should be okay. Then again I can always listen to suggestions. Hope that helps!

PS I did cycle my tank prior to introducing Max to his new home.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:50 AM   #10 
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy
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It might be algae. It's slimy and grows all over, and comes in a number of delightful colors, including brown and green.

Wiping things down once a week will manage it.

Just out of curiosity, what is the water temperature in the tank?
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