Tons of clear, slimy plastic (?) membranes coming out of filter outflow! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-09-2009, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Tons of clear, slimy plastic (?) membranes coming out of filter outflow!

Okay, I'm suddenly seeing tons of small, clear, membrane fragments in my otherwise-pristine tank. What the hell are these things? I can't figure out where they're coming from! Here's a complete list of everything that is in contact with the tank water:
Rena SmartHeater
Green Rena piping (into heater)
Rena 1/2" clear tubing
Rena Xp2 canister filter (with original media)
Some Fluval ceramic ring media
Biomax ceramic ring media
2 pieces of mopani wood (thoroughly soaked for a month and scrubbed)
A half dozen live plants (various anubias and lutea)
Silica and flourite sand mix (thoroughly rinsed)
The tank itself (glass w/ silicone sealant)
6 diamond tetras
A small temperature probe (Coralife brand)
An outflow bar made of PVC

Of course, I immediately tore apart the filter looking for clues. Nothing. Everything looked clean. When I hooked it back up, a lot of bubbles came out, then water, then (like 15 seconds later) a lot of this membrane stuff.

Now, looking through that list, the only thing I can see that looks like a possible culprit is the PVC. But here's the thing: When I built it, I was very careful wrapping teflon around the threads and making sure it was only on the threads and not exposed inside or outside the pipe when fully screwed together. Furthermore, the PVC is regular stuff, usable for potable water. Bought it at Lowe's (a big chain hardware store).

I've only seen this kind of film show up in a tank (not this one) once before -- it was being shed by some crappy AquaCulture-brand (i.e. Walmart) artificial plants. But there's nothing like that in my tank. I've been very careful about what I put in there.

Some other info: The tank's 45 gallons and has been running for about two weeks. The fish are healthy and active. Here are my levels as of 9/5/09:
pH 7.4
Nitrite 0 ppm
GH 80
Chlorine 0
KH 80
Nitrate 5
Ammonia 0.05 (as of 9/4/09)

Anyone know what this mystery film is?
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-10-2009, 04:46 AM
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Did you rinse the ceramic media really well before using? I once had similar expierience with some ceramic noodles I bought for biological filtration.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-10-2009, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Aha! I'm not sure; I agitated them briskly in a bucket with 1 gallon of tank water for about five minutes, then placed them in the filter by hand one-by-one. That may not have been enough. I never would have expected this stuff to come from the ceramic, but maybe it was coating the inside of the rings? Thanks!
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