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Discussion Starter #1
Please look in my album "Tank Problems" of this link: http://www.bettafish.com/album.php?albumid=15234

Issue 1: I don't have sand in my tank, and I feed my fish pellets, so where can this weird sand looking thing of the bottom of the tank be? It's a 5 gallon tank, and I have done many water changes. It's always there. Doesn't seem to be harming the fish.

Issue 2: This ugly chemical looking film on top of the water. Doesn't seem to bother the fish either. I just use a cup and dump it out... but would like to know how to permanently get rid of it. Thanks!
 

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The film on the surface can be biofilm. It's not harmful. Do you have a filter or an air stone?
 

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If you can set the filter to ripple the surface, it will help get rid of the biofilm. Are you using a water conditioner in addition to Prime? Just use Prime @2-drops/gal of tank size with water changes.

Is your tank cycled?

The brown buildup which looks like fine sand is diatoms, very common in newly set-up tanks. It is a nuisance, but wipes off easily and eventually goes away.

What is your pH? If it's over about 7.6pH, you don't want to have shells in there. They will raise it higher.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hallyx - Yes it's a newly established tank. I try not to get a ripple because my fish isn't the best swimmer yet.

No I don't use anything besides Prime at the moment, and my tank isn't really cycled, but everything is doing great in the tank (besides the plants).

It's not the brown buildup I'm looking at, it's the sand-like material.

I don't know my pH at the moment, I don't have a kit. But they're empty shells I got at a shop.

Thank you for your response!
 

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Along with OFL, I have a hard time seeing the"sandy" substance. If you're talking about the few grains of dust or semi-dissolved solids on the brown prominent rick. No tank stays pristine. All kinds of things build up. If it's not affecting your fish or messing up your water quality, just clean/siphon it up as best you can.

I still think you don't want shells in your tank. Most keepers in N. America have harder water than is ideal for Betta. Most questions we get are about how to soften water and lower pH.

Also (and I'm sorry, I know you didn't ask for comment), you may find that size rock substrate hard to keep clean. Lots of places for waste to go and decompose. Hard to clean it out of there.
 
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