Q: JE wrote,
I hate to be a bother but I can’t find any literature that describes what on earth is going on with my Betta Elton.
I’ve had him since October. He was a gift (from walmart) so we have had issues regarding fin rot. It wasn’t too bad just some freying ends on his tail. So that’s cleared up and I can see new growth on him. He’s also active and still has that classic Betta appetite. On to the issue at hand though.
He’s in a 1 gallon tank and I do a 75% water change every Sunday. So I did things as usual, along with my other two Bettas. I got home yesterday and noticed there was “stuff” floating EVERYWHERE in his tank. I checked the other two and they are perfectly fine. So I did another cleaning. I boiled and soaked everything. I seriously feel like I washed each little gravel stone individually since I cleaned them twice (and I’m very thorough). Threw in some Bettafix. So a 100% water change later and everything is fine. Until this morning.
Whatever it is, it’s back and his tank is just as full as yesterday! I have no idea what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
I’ll attach some photos to give you a better idea on what I’m talking about.
A: Hmm. I’m sort of stumped with this one as it’s the first time I have seen something exactly like it. My initial thought was that it could be detritus (AKA mulm) or possibly even planaria. It’s very difficult to get a good look at it from the photos. Detritus is kind of like dust of the aquatic world. It’s made up of organic compounds (fish waste, food, shed skin, decaying plant matter, etc) and floats within the water. Usually it gets sucked up in a tank with a filter. In a tank without a filter, which from the photos it looks like yours is without, it floats or sinks to the bottom when there is little surface movement. It’s that fluffy grey/brown stuff we suck off our tank bottoms with out siphons at each water change. Planaria are tiny little worm-like organisms that live in water and frequently infest aquariums where fish are frequently overfed. They are very small and whitish and when you look closely you can see them wiggling around. They are harmless and generally go away when feeding portions are reduced. You probably would have noticed them wiggling so I doubt this is what is in your aquarium.
Detritus seemed very likely, especially since you were doing 75% water changes, which takes out most of the water but leaves most of the goop behind in the gravel. Gravel vacuuming is important because it’s the best way to remove all that detritus. BUT, and this is a big but… if you did a 100% water change and cleaned every rock and STILL had all that floaty stuff return the next day, then I just don’t see how it could be detritus. Detritus can build quickly, but I’ve never seen it get out of hand in a day.
This leads me to wonder if there is something you are adding to your tank or something in your home that is getting into the water. What additives are you adding to your aquarium? Which water conditioners are you using? Could the water conditioners have gone bad some how? (I haven’t ever heard of them going bad, just throwing it out there.) Is there a duct or something near the tank that could be blowing in dust or other particles?
I wish I could tell you exactly what is going on but this is really tough. I will, however, post your question on my Blog in hopes that others may be able to contribute. Please do let me know if you discover what it is. You have really piqued my curiosity.
Oh, before I forget. Bettafix, though mild, is still a medication and is best utilized for open wounds, soars or fin-regrowth. Since your Betta seems to be unaffected by the mystery goo in your tank, I recommend leaving out the meds. Extra additives just create more room for error and may create additional stress on fish that are already healthy.