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Hey everyone,

My co-worker has a 5 gallon tank for her daughter with a couple guppies in it and they noticed white stuff floating on the top of the water recently and we're trying to figure out what the heck it is. It's hard to see in the picture, but there's more little white particles of the white stuff floating across the top of the water; not just in the large circle from the water flow. She also described to me that there is an "oil slick" type sheen on the top of the water that they can see when the light hits it right.

My thought is that it's a type of bacteria from the filter, but with it just floating on top of the water like that, I'm not sure. She did mention that this happened after putting in a new filter cartridge, so maybe it's pieces from the filter cartridge itself? But have the same filter on one of my tanks and never had something like this happen before. So I'm kinda stumped.

Anyone seen anything like this before?



Thanks!
 

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Do you know if she cleaned the cartridge before she placed it in? if so, then I would say it's from that. However, it could just be a protein film, which is common on most tanks thats don't have adequate surface agitation. But since its like that - a "whirlpool of gunk", most likely the the cartridge.
 

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Do you know if she cleaned the cartridge before she placed it in? if so, then I would say it's from that. However, it could just be a protein film, which is common on most tanks thats don't have adequate surface agitation. But since its like that - a "whirlpool of gunk", most likely the the cartridge.
Thanks for the reply. Not sure if she cleaned it or not, but I'll make sure to mention that. Also, yeah, the build up makes sense too. Whatever it is, I don't think it'll harm anything, it's just kind of unpleasant to look at. :p
 

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If you happen to want to get rid of it, clean the filter thoroughly and then skim a paper towel over the surface. There is a high chance that the white stuff is bacteria and should be cleared ASAP
This is also to prevent guppies from accidentally consuming it when it is feeding time.
 

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What makes you guys think it has anything to do to with the filter media?

Looks like foam to me. Lowering the water level should fix it. Regarding oil slicks - lowering the water level will help that as well. Another thing to look at if you are seeing oil slicks is the food you're feeding. Could be too much food, or just a low quality food. The two problems are one and the same - slick and foam.

Those are harmless problems. If you happen to have gotten soap in your tank, that will make foam too....and kill your fish. So if your fish don't appear to be in peril, I wouldn't worry about soap. Good thing to keep in mind though, is what's on your hands when you put them in the tank.....
 
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