Excess foaming /bubbles from sponge filter ?

Herrwibi

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I know new soil substrates give off ammonia and that's the case with me. I'm measuring this at 1ppm . Only just added the soil yesterday .

It's a seeded sponge filter but I'm experiencing alot of bubbles on the surface of the water . Nothing like I'm use to with my sponge filter .

Is this normal with the release of the ammonia from the soil?
 

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dw1305

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Hi all,
It's a seeded sponge filter but I'm experiencing alot of bubbles on the surface of the water . Nothing like I'm use to with my sponge filter. Is this normal with the release of the ammonia from the soil?
Should break down eventually
It sounds like the water surface has a layer of micro-organisms, lipids and proteins, that are retaining the air bubbles.

I'd agree with Ed and be fairly confident it will go away with time and water changes as the plants grow in. This is what <"FOAM ON THE WATER A SIGN OF LIFE AND DEATH"> says
..........So where does the foam come from? It emerges from anything that was once alive that sheds fatty molecules during decomposition.

Plants are a major foaming agent. Dead parts of plants, like birch leaves that fell the preceding fall, contain lots of lipid molecules. Lipids are fats and oils that make up things like waterproof plant cell walls. Lipid molecules don't mix with water. They float on the water like an invisible layer of liquid dish soap.

Waves beat the fatty skim to a froth. Air gets beneath the film. Bubbles form and multiply, piling against logs and rocks. The resulting foam can last for a long time, until bacteria gobble it up.
cheers Darrel
 

Herrwibi

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Could be some protein residue in the soil. Should break down eventualy
Hi all,It sounds like the water surface has a layer of micro-organisms, lipids and proteins, that are retaining the air bubbles.

I'd agree with Ed and be fairly confident it will go away with time and water changes as the plants grow in. This is what <"FOAM ON THE WATER A SIGN OF LIFE AND DEATH"> says cheers Darrel
Thank you both for your replies .

Would you say it would give off a smell as well ? It's a fairly noticeable smell coming off of it . I've done one water change so far.

The only issue is I've never cycled soil before . Do I just continue running the filtration system until I have zero ammonia and nitrites ?

Thanks Mark.
 

Edvet

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Plants will use nitrites and ammonia as a N source if they are growing, from the pic it looks like you are lightly planted, maybe you can add some easy fast growing plants ( for instance some pondplants like Elodea or Ceratophyllum) to help with stabilising the tank (you can take them out later if the rest of your plants have taken off). In 2-3 weeks there should be plenty plantmass to gradually start adding fish. Don't forget waterchanges in the first few weeks, twice/week 50%, these will help too.
A planted tank will cycle faster then an unplanted/lightly planted one.
 

Herrwibi

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Plants will use nitrites and ammonia as a N source if they are growing, from the pic it looks like you are lightly planted, maybe you can add some easy fast growing plants ( for instance some pondplants like Elodea or Ceratophyllum) to help with stabilising the tank (you can take them out later if the rest of your plants have taken off). In 2-3 weeks there should be plenty plantmass to gradually start adding fish. Don't forget waterchanges in the first few weeks, twice/week 50%, these will help too.
A planted tank will cycle faster then an unplanted/lightly planted one.
It is heavily planted . Each clump of stem plants has roughly 5/6 in each they are just more compact and smaller .

It's an already seeded filter so I'm hoping it's not going to take long . I'll pop to my local fish store tomorrow I've had some Elodea before .

So your saying X2 water change a week ?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
What @Edvet says.
Would you say it would give off a smell as well ? It's a fairly noticeable smell coming off of it .
It depends a little bit what the smell is, if it is a wet pond smell it may be cyanobacteria, if its <"wet earth after its rained?"> that is probably a good sign. If it has a hint of wet nappies? then it is ammonia.

Our noses can only sense ammonia when it gets to 2 or 3 ppm, so if it is "wet nappies"? Definitely time for some more water changes.

At the moment your air bubbles are acting like a protein skimmer, as the bubbles decline you know you have less surface scum.
Do I just continue running the filtration system until I have zero ammonia and nitrites ?
Yes you do. I don't personally test for ammonia or nitrites, you can, but I follow another approach where you just let the plants grow in. Once you have active healthy plant growth then your tank is "cycled".

That is partially why I like floating plants, they always have access to aerial CO2 and oxygen, which means that they can deal with a lot of ammonia. I'd keep an eye on your Duckweed (Lemna minor), all the time it is growing really quickly and is a dark green, you probably still have plenty of ammonia being released. Once the growth slows then that is a pretty good indicator that a more stable situation is being reached.

Duckweed doesn't like low nutrients, or really soft water, which is why I now use Amazon Frogbit for the <"Duckweed index">. If you got time read through all of the links in <"Corydoras in hard water">, it is quite a useful thread.

I know I've just used it, but I don't particularly like the term <"cycled">, it suggests that there is a switch between black and white, unsafe and safe, but it is very much more <"a shades of grey world">.

cheers Darrel
 
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Herrwibi

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Hi all,
What @Edvet says.It depends a little bit what the smell is, if it is a wet pond smell it may be cyanobacteria, if its <"wet earth after its rained?"> that is probably a good sign. If it has a hint of wet nappies? then it is ammonia.

Our noses can only sense ammonia when it gets to 2 or 3 ppm, so if it is "wet nappies"? Definitely time for some more water changes.

At the moment your air bubbles are acting like a protein skimmer, as the bubbles decline you know you have less surface scum.Yes you do. I don't personally test for ammonia or nitrites, you can, but I follow another approach where you just let the plants grow in. Once you have active healthy plant growth then your tank is "cycled".

That is partially why I like floating plants, they always have access to aerial CO2 and oxygen, which means that they can deal with a lot of ammonia. I'd keep an eye on your Duckweed (Lemna minor), all the time it is growing really quickly and is a dark green, you probably still have plenty of ammonia being released. Once the growth slows then that is a pretty good indicator that a more stable situation is being reached.

Duckweed doesn't like low nutrients, or really soft water, which is why I now use Amazon Frogbit for the <"Duckweed index">. If you got time read through all of the links in <"Corydoras in hard water">, it is quite a useful thread.

I know I've just used it, but I don't particularly like the term <"cycled">, it suggests that there is a switch between black and white, unsafe and safe, but it is very much more <"a shades of grey world">.

cheers Darrel

Thank you . I will read it just now .

The other thing is I have aquatic soil which I know will supply the plants with nutrients I'm going for a fairly low tech . I am going to wait 3/4 weeks but would it be a good idea to do TNC complete once a week? Would I need liquid co2 to help with the nutrients ? I know dosing liquid co2 will technically make it a high tech tank .
 

Herrwibi

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Hi all,
What @Edvet says.It depends a little bit what the smell is, if it is a wet pond smell it may be cyanobacteria, if its <"wet earth after its rained?"> that is probably a good sign. If it has a hint of wet nappies? then it is ammonia.

Our noses can only sense ammonia when it gets to 2 or 3 ppm, so if it is "wet nappies"? Definitely time for some more water changes.

At the moment your air bubbles are acting like a protein skimmer, as the bubbles decline you know you have less surface scum.Yes you do. I don't personally test for ammonia or nitrites, you can, but I follow another approach where you just let the plants grow in. Once you have active healthy plant growth then your tank is "cycled".

That is partially why I like floating plants, they always have access to aerial CO2 and oxygen, which means that they can deal with a lot of ammonia. I'd keep an eye on your Duckweed (Lemna minor), all the time it is growing really quickly and is a dark green, you probably still have plenty of ammonia being released. Once the growth slows then that is a pretty good indicator that a more stable situation is being reached.

Duckweed doesn't like low nutrients, or really soft water, which is why I now use Amazon Frogbit for the <"Duckweed index">. If you got time read through all of the links in <"Corydoras in hard water">, it is quite a useful thread.

I know I've just used it, but I don't particularly like the term <"cycled">, it suggests that there is a switch between black and white, unsafe and safe, but it is very much more <"a shades of grey world">.

cheers Darrel
Sorry forgot to say it does smell more like a wet damp Smell more than anything . I done a water change today and will give it 2/3 days for the next one .
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I am going to wait 3/4 weeks but would it be a good idea to do TNC complete once a week?
You can do. Some people use regular low doses of fertiliser, I tend to use the Duckweed Index, but I'm happy with minimal plant growth.
Would I need liquid co2 to help with the nutrients ?
I don't, I've never used any of the liquid carbon supplements, but they may allow you to grow a larger range of plants. Personally I'm happy with a limited palette of plants, and I really like mosses etc.

cheers Darrel
 

Iain Sutherland

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It is heavily planted . Each clump of stem plants has roughly 5/6 in each they are just more compact and smaller .

It's an already seeded filter so I'm hoping it's not going to take long . I'll pop to my local fish store tomorrow I've had some Elodea before .

So your saying X2 water change a week ?
At set up your plant mass would be considered lightly planted. When looking from above a heavily planted tank would only have very small gaps between plants.
It's not necessarily a problem, but as ed said adding a lot of some fast growing mature stems will help during the initial stages.....
The bubbling should pass. Do you have another filter or power head to help with the circulation in the tank?

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
 

alto

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It is heavily planted . Each clump of stem plants has roughly 5/6 in each they are just more compact and smaller .
The stem plants will fill in more quickly if you allow some separation between each stem - given the relatively larger leaf on these stems, allow a few cm’s between each stem

The grass - species? - assuming Eleocharis acicularis or parvula, separate each clump into smaller portions, planting these ~1cm apart, they will fill in much more quickly
Your present planting has too much distance between grass “clumps” to trigger that response


While it’s not necessary to plant as heavily as in Jurijs has, this level of plant density tends to limit algaes and tank will look “grown in” within 2-3 months
 

Herrwibi

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Hi all, You can do. Some people use regular low doses of fertiliser, I tend to use the Duckweed Index, but I'm happy with minimal plant growth. I don't, I've never used any of the liquid carbon supplements, but they may allow you to grow a larger range of plants. Personally I'm happy with a limited palette of plants, and I really like mosses etc.

cheers Darrel
So you determine your plants needs by the duckweed index ? I'll have a look at this . Is it possible with TNC ?

At set up your plant mass would be considered lightly planted. When looking from above a heavily planted tank would only have very small gaps between plants.
It's not necessarily a problem, but as ed said adding a lot of some fast growing mature stems will help during the initial stages.....
The bubbling should pass. Do you have another filter or power head to help with the circulation in the tank?

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
I understand what your saying . I will split up the plants into single stems allowing them to receive more light rather than being bunched up .

Yes I have an extra powerhead recirculating the tank so I don't have any dead spots . It's cut back but it's maybe around 100/200/ lh . The flow looks fine from what I can see .

The stem plants will fill in more quickly if you allow some separation between each stem - given the relatively larger leaf on these stems, allow a few cm’s between each stem

The grass - species? - assuming Eleocharis acicularis or parvula, separate each clump into smaller portions, planting these ~1cm apart, they will fill in much more quickly
Your present planting has too much distance between grass “clumps” to trigger that response


While it’s not necessary to plant as heavily as in Jurijs has, this level of plant density tends to limit algaes and tank will look “grown in” within 2-3 months
Ok I'll seperate each plant into smaller bunches . I'm going out on a limb that the dwarf hairgrass will grow without co2. I see some people have had success and some people haven't . I know it won't be as full and lushes as other users who use co2 but I'm going to give it a try .
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
So you determine your plants needs by the duckweed index ? I'll have a look at this . Is it possible with TNC ?
Yes it is it doesn't really matter what formulation of fertiliser you use.

I'm probably using a "Duckweed Index/regular nutrient addition" hybrid at the moment, mainly because I'm adding <"iron (FeEDTA) and magnesium (Epsom Salts)">, every month or so. There is a more complete explanation in the linked threads.

Plants can only take up nutrients as ions from solution. In an <"all in one mix"> the nutrients are already in solution as ions, when you add a soluble dry salt it goes into solution and becomes ions. If you add potassium nitrate (KNO3), as a dry salt, when it goes into solution you get a ratio of 1:1 of potassium ions (K+) and nitrate ions (NO3-). it doesn't matter where they came from, <"every K+ ion is the same as every other K+ ion">.

<"All in one mixes"> are easier to use, but dry salts work out much cheaper in the long run, and you can <"tailor your nutrient addition">.

cheers Darrel
 

Herrwibi

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Hi all, Yes it is it doesn't really matter what formulation of fertiliser you use.

I'm probably using a "Duckweed Index/regular nutrient addition" hybrid at the moment, mainly because I'm adding <"iron (FeEDTA) and magnesium (Epsom Salts)">, every month or so. There is a more complete explanation in the linked threads.

Plants can only take up nutrients as ions from solution. In an <"all in one mix"> the nutrients are already in solution as ions, when you add a soluble dry salt it goes into solution and becomes ions. If you add potassium nitrate (KNO3), as a dry salt, when it goes into solution you get a ratio of 1:1 of potassium ions (K+) and nitrate ions (NO3-). it doesn't matter where they came from, <"every K+ ion is the same as every other K+ ion">.

<"All in one mixes"> are easier to use, but dry salts work out much cheaper in the long run, and you can <"tailor your nutrient addition">.

cheers Darrel
Thank you . I've read up on it and will keep an eye on things.

The problem is I'm still having an issue with foaming and the bubbles not breaking down . Not sure what else to do . I've maybe done 3/4 water changes and still no progress.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
The problem is I'm still having an issue with foaming and the bubbles not breaking down . Not sure what else to do . I've maybe done 3/4 water changes and still no progress.
I think you will probably just have to keep on going with the water changes. You could try mopping up any <"surface film with a paper towel">.

Do you have a conductivity (TDS) meter? It won't tell you anything about the compounds that are creating the surface bio-layer, but it should give some idea about the ions leaching from the soil.

cheers Darrel
 

Herrwibi

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Hi all, I think you will probably just have to keep on going with the water changes. You could try mopping up any <"surface film with a paper towel">.

Do you have a conductivity (TDS) meter? It won't tell you anything about the compounds that are creating the surface bio-layer, but it should give some idea about the ions leaching from the soil.

cheers Darrel
Yes I recently just got one . Done a 50% water change today on the tank .

Tap water is around 136 . The tank itself at this moment without any added ferts is 268. That's roughly after 4 hours of letting the tank settle . I'll record my findings in the morning and at night time .

I understand what you mean by the film but there doesn't seem to be any appearing . No oily surface either which is baffling me .
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Tap water is around 136.........without any added ferts is 268.
That isn't too bad, you just need to see what happens with the tank TDS value. If it keeps creeping up you probably need to change a bit more water.
I understand what you mean by the film but there doesn't seem to be any appearing . No oily surface either which is baffling me
It sounds like it is probably micro-organisms and proteins. You don't need a lot of lipids, if you think of an oily film it can literally be one molecule thick, you wouldn't be able to see it, but it will still be there.

cheers Darrel
 
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