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Fishtank heater causing water issues?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Chickerdoodle13, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Hey guys, it's been a while since I've posted but I had a question for all you fish tank gurus out there.

    I bought a new better fish to replace my old guy a little over two month ago. He's been doing well, but I noticed his tail was starting to get a bit ragged looking. I do regular water changes and clean the tank often (It's a 2.5 gallon and no filter unfortunately because there is no place to attach one on this tank). I figured I'd clean the tank again and see if that helps.

    Anyway, every week it seems a clear slime keeps building up on everything in the tank. Also, a gritty layer of something keeps building up on the surface of the water, no matter how much I clean the tank. The water had a funky plastic sort of smell to it, not the normal slightly fish smell (Not a bad smell, but you fish people will know what I mean)

    At first I thought it was the decorations in the tank that were causing the problem, so I re-washed them all really well in scalding water. Still had the same issue. This week I cleaned the tank and thought to remove the heater. So far, I haven't had the same issue. I've never had water issues either, since we use well water. In fact, our water has always been better than the water I was using at my school.

    Does this make sense? Did I get a bad heater? I tried to choose one carefully that would be good for the size of the tank, safe with plastic, and was made to keep the water at the right temperature. It seemed to be keeping the water a pretty good temp, but the slime and white crusty stuff at the top of the tank was terrible (Crusty stuff looked like mineral deposits that we usually get with our hard water, but that usually takes a really LONG time to build up, and doesn't wash off like this crusty white stuff did)

  2. kcjones

    kcjones Songster

    May 2, 2011
    never had that problem with a tank before, maybe the heater has a crack in it ? now you got me wanting to get my tanks out of the closet again :)
  3. Mala

    Mala In the Brooder

    Dec 10, 2011
    (i assume you mean betta fish, not better fish- correct me if i'm wrong) by adding a heater, you may have increased the growth rate of the bacteria/alge. removing the heater has probably only slowed the problem. was the tank established already or did you drop a new fish into a new tank? if that is the case, you probably don't have the good kinds of bacteria built up yet and are seeing a bloom of nasty types.

    If it's an acrylic tank, the plastic smell may just be normal and need to work itself out.

    you really do need a filter for bettas, and i would suggest you consider getting a different tank if there is no way to put one on your current tank.

    I would test you ammonia/nitrate/nitrite levels regularly, do water changes every few days for a couple weeks, and be sure you're not overfeeding. If it doesn't get better after a few weeks, you will need a new tank with a filter. you can try a new heater, but as long as there are no cracks in yours and it is rated for the size tank you have, it is probably fine, and adding a removing it repeatedly can stress your fish.
  4. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks Mala! I definitely meant Betta fish! Sometimes autocorrect can do funny things!

    I went digging in my bag of fish stuff and actually found a perfect filter for my tank that I forgot I even had. I even had a brand new cartridge for it. The whole thing sticks inside of the tank and just the air line comes out to hook into an air pump. Within minutes the tank looked so much better. Even the fish looks happier. Hopefully this is a good solution and I can stick the heater back in the tank in a few days.

    I've never had an issue like this with a new tank and a betta. In the beginning I usually have to do more water changes and tank cleaning, but I've never had a gritty, oily slime build up on the tank or the surface.

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