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Prevention of supersaturated gases


*Amanda*

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With each weekly 70% water change, I get bubbles EVERYWHERE in the tank. Today, I even noticed them on my fish after the water change. They seemed to be stuck to the fishes' slime coat, because when I lifted the affected fish out of the tank, the bubbles came off along with tiny pieces of slime coat.

I was just wondering if there is any way to prevent this from happening, because it really scares me. I have heard suggestions to always leave the end of the Python tube above the water line when filling the tank, but I see absolutely no difference whether I do this or not - the bubbles still form. (I do this now after I heard the suggestion, just to be on the safe side.)

To make matters worse, today when I was doing my water change Panache slipped under the tube and got suctioned against it on her side - thank goodness she is OK with no apparent physical damage, because I have the end covered with a filter bag (though she is freaked out). I was stunned and devastated; that has never happened to any of my fish before! :(

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Oh, and I should add that this also happens at my boyfriend's house - we are both on Watsonville city water.

Tap water test results:

Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 0

PH: 8.1

GH: 13 drops

KH: 10 drops

Temp: 68F

The tank is the same, except the temp is slightly higher, at 72F. There is no way to alter the temp of the tap water. However, the fact that this also happens at Mario's makes me think this is not the issue.

I add Ultimate, Excel and Flourish with each water change. Mario adds Stress Coat only.

Edit: And Panache is behaving normally now. I still feel guilty, but would have been absolutely devastated if she had been injured. :wall

Edited by *Amanda*
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The only way that I know of is aging the water. I used to take a big garbage can, fill it, and then stick a big pond pump in it, the morning of my next water change.

So aging the water allows the supersaturated gases to escape? Did you age it for 24 hours? I'm sure I could manage that. Don't think my mom would be too happy about a big trash can out on the patio all the time, but one day a week should be fine. :)

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I usually aged it somewhere between 12-24. It just depended on when I filled the can up. ;) Just make sure that the pump is on, as it's the water circulation that helps clear all that stuff up.

So I will need to buy a pond pump? You mean the submersible kind, right?

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Great, I will get a pond pump from Harbor Freight then. I'd been considering doing that anyway for water changes, since we are in a drought here in California, but hadn't because I had so much waste on the bottom that needed to be siphoned up that the pump couldn't take care of. However, I haven't had that issue lately, and I'm not sure why. Maybe the plants are using the poop (they are growing FAST - thanks for all the help Tammy!), or maybe my more regular filter maintenance is helping the filter to operate more efficiently?

Will a large Rubbermaid storage container work just as well for aging the water? I am going to try to find a discarded drum from my work first, but just wanted to know if that would be an option. :)

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Yes any container will do as long as it is only used for aging water. I think the can was suggest as it would hold enough water for a large water change, when I have to do large water changes I age only 50% of the water (due to space) but that seems to be enough of a reduction for me that the bubbles aren't everywhere :)

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Just to add some:

Supersaturation occurs when you heat (tap) water. Cold water contains more gasses then warmer water and when heating the cold water air bubbles are formed. It is the difference in temperature between the tank/environment which can cause supersaturation.

Aging/airating tapwater before WC solves this problem, the gasses in the water balance with the environment your tank is in aswell, when both are at the same temperature your ready to go(can be 12 or 24 hours.

Saves on the heating bill aswell by the way! :thumb:

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Is supersaturation dangerous for fish? I've been getting these bubbles too.

Yes, fish can get Gas Bubble Disease http://goldfish-emergency.com/viewpage.php?page_id=68

Note though this is a risk when you do large WC's and have to really heat the tapwater in cold climates or winter. I have read supersaturation at 120% is harmfull to fish, over 100% causes bubbles on the glass, so there is no direct need for alarm if you see airbubbles forming. Savest would be to not cause airbubbles to form though.

Easy way around this if you cannot age the water you WC with is to WC more often or refill the tank in increments and let circulate/airate for a couple of hours.

Edited by Hinfin
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Just to add some:

Supersaturation occurs when you heat (tap) water. Cold water contains more gasses then warmer water and when heating the cold water air bubbles are formed. It is the difference in temperature between the tank/environment which can cause supersaturation.

Aging/airating tapwater before WC solves this problem, the gasses in the water balance with the environment your tank is in aswell, when both are at the same temperature your ready to go(can be 12 or 24 hours.

Saves on the heating bill aswell by the way! :thumb:

Thanks Hinfin ... there goes my idea of leaving the water aging container out on the patio overnight, since it's colder out there. I may have to put it in the garage. But since I use a heater in the tank (to keep it at 72F, mostly for my plants), will this cause any trouble even if the water has been aged? The temp in my house is probably around 68-70F; I don't use a home heater and don't have A/C (no need; the weather is fairly stable year round here).

I had thought it had something to do with the temp, but I wonder why my boyfriend still gets bubbles even though he can adjust the temp on his tap water to the same level as the tank? He doesn't get nearly as much as I do, though. Maybe the temp difference is just greater at my house, since I have to use my hose faucet, which cannot be heated so the water coming out is colder. He has a sink that is compatible with the Python. (I know I could remove the aerator, but my sink was brand-new when I bought the condo and I don't want to destroy it by trying to do something myself. I already did that when I installed mirrored sliding closet doors rather than hiring a handyman, thinking it would be silly to pay someone almost as much as the doors were worth, and I ended up cutting the wall by mistake ...) :wall

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Pressure also make a difference and also if you go full blast on the refill or just let it fill up slowly. The cap(sort of filterscreen) in the tap should be removed before connecting the syphon. The above link discribes it also, but maybe there is more background info you could use.

What also can make a difference is letting the tapwater run into a bucket in the sink and then pump it from the bucket to the tank with a pondpump/hose. This way the water is airated vigurously and part of the airbubbles in the water should have gone.

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Pressure also make a difference and also if you go full blast on the refill or just let it fill up slowly. The cap(sort of filterscreen) in the tap should be removed before connecting the syphon. The above link discribes it also, but maybe there is more background info you could use.

What also can make a difference is letting the tapwater run into a bucket in the sink and then pump it from the bucket to the tank with a pondpump/hose. This way the water is airated vigurously and part of the airbubbles in the water should have gone.

This is how I do my WCs now. It's easy. Perhaps you should try it before you go to all of the trouble of aging water. :)

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Pressure also make a difference and also if you go full blast on the refill or just let it fill up slowly. The cap(sort of filterscreen) in the tap should be removed before connecting the syphon. The above link discribes it also, but maybe there is more background info you could use.

What also can make a difference is letting the tapwater run into a bucket in the sink and then pump it from the bucket to the tank with a pondpump/hose. This way the water is airated vigurously and part of the airbubbles in the water should have gone.

This is how I do my WCs now. It's easy. Perhaps you should try it before you go to all of the trouble of aging water. :)

I do this as well, and even though it is out of necessity (no sink python compatible) it does have that little "safety feature" in regards to the gasses. Since you aren't seeing symptoms of gas bubble disease in the fish, I would hazard a guess that this will be enough to solve the problem.

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I will try that first next week - thanks. I have been going full blast with refilling the tank, so maybe if I turn the pressure down, it will be enough. If it's not, I will try the bucket idea next. :)

Edited by *Amanda*
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  • 2 weeks later...
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Did you try using the pond pump? Did it help?

I have not, but what I ended up doing last week was turning the water pressure WAY down when refilling my tank. It took longer, but hey, I have nowhere to be on a Sunday afternoon. :) And, no bubbles! I think it was the high water pressure that was causing them - like when you fill a glass of water from the tap at full blast vs. filling it with low water pressure.

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