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Oily film on the top of a betta tank
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kdomagala
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Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Location: Chicago IL

PostPosted: 2008.01.15(Tue)1:03    Post subject: Oily film on the top of a betta tank Reply with quote

I just completely redid my fishtank, and I'm noticing a new problem. The water conditions are perfect, my fish is acting like the happiest little fish on the planet, and I set everything up right this time. I put him in the tank on Sunday (two days ago) and now there is an oily film on his water, and it seems like much of it is by the filter and water heater, which has become his new toy. (He will hide behind and weave between the spaces all day long)

I never noticed this problem before, and there was nothing wrong before I put him in.

I did a little bit of research and found two main things
1: I'm feeding him too much, food is rotting, or something similar. I feed him 4 pellets three times a day or 6 two times a day. I watch him eat every last pellet, and its gone in seconds. This is because he literally eats two at a time. My fish is a very good eater... There is no possible way that food could be rotting. It can't be his wastes either because hes been there for only two days

2: Its not bad, its just that some male bettas make more of a slime coat than others. I don't know if its because more of the film is where he likes to play, or if its because I'm hoping that this isn't a sign of illness, but I'm kind of leaning towards that.

I just really want someone who knows more about this to either reassure me or to offer me a solution on how to fix the problem




As a side note, I noticed a little jumping habit. I have a completely covered tank, but every so often I hear a little plop and I believe that hes doing a little jump. Could it be because he isn't getting enough air from the surface because of the film? This habit of his worries me because I have a hood with a light, and I don't want him risk jumping too close to the bulb, even though its covered.
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lenoirj
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Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2008.01.15(Tue)8:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, what are the exact readings of your ammonia, nitrITES, and nitrATES and how often do you do water changes? Also, what size is your tank?

Secondly, you really need to cut back on the feedings. I feed my bettas 3 pellets once EVERY OTHER DAY. Not every day. There may not be food rotting in your tank but for every time you feed your fish, your fish is creating waste which can lower water quality. I don't feed any of my fish every day (with the exception of my cory fry) because they don't need it every day. Another option would be to feed him 1 pellet once a day for 6 days then nothing on the seventh day (fasting). It won't be long before your boy has a very round belly and becomes very unhealthy if you continue to feed him like you are! Wink

As for the oily film, it is not harmful to your fish. It's a natural occurrence and can be cleaned up with water changes. I've even seen it suggested that you take a paper towel and lay it on the surface of the water for a few seconds to soak up that oily film. If it really bothers you then a little surface agitation will keep it at bay. You can create that by lowering your water level so that your filter makes a splash or by adding an airstone.

Yes, bettas like to jump. They're natural jumpers!

Good luck and keep asking questions!
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10 gallon #1:5 bronze corys
10 gallon #2:1 VT betta, 11 rasbora
5 gallon: cory fry tank
1 gallon: 1 ghost shrimp
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Jun
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Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Location: Danbury, WI

PostPosted: 2008.01.15(Tue)12:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lenoirj's got most of it covered, I think. Very Happy The oily film will result on water that has little or no flow. My 10 gallon, both heated and filtered (a little. Laughing), gets this whenever the algae builds up on my bubble stone enough to slow the flow down. In this case I just wipe off the algae and it's good to go again. My 2.5 gallon is unfiltered, and has this almost perpetually. The paper towel thing works wonders, clears it right up. Very Happy It's nothing to worry about, really. ^^

I do have to disagree on the feeding aspect, however. I do agree that you're feeding a bit too much, but I would definitely feed more than 1 pellet/day. For one thing, it really depends on what kind of food you're feeding him -- different companies = different sized pellets -- as well as what temperature you're keeping him at. I keep my most of my betta tanks at ~80-82*, and everyone is on a strict feeding schedule (Monday-Tuesday: 5-6 Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets/day. Wednesday: Frozen bloodworms. Thursday-Friday: 5-6 Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets/day. Saturday: Thawed, deshelled peas. Sunday: Nothing.). No one is obese, everyone has excess energy, and they apparently feel healthy enough to flare at their neighbors and build giant bubblenests. My females are all happily plump, and clearly have enough energy to still bicker with their sisters and keep up with a very high filter output. I do have one little tank that I am unable to heat, which houses a young male betta who was purchased as a female (But quickly showed us that he was very much a male), and it stays at only about 73*. This tank is only fed 4 Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets every two days because the cooler temperature decreases his metabolism.

So, let's figure this out. Smile Get back to us with what kind of food you're feeding him, and how warm you keep his tank. Then we can try and figure out a happy medium. Very Happy
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lenoirj
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Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2008.01.15(Tue)16:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I guess I tend to underfeed because I have community tanks. My bettas eat their food plus some of everyone else's Rolling Eyes .
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10 gallon #1:5 bronze corys
10 gallon #2:1 VT betta, 11 rasbora
5 gallon: cory fry tank
1 gallon: 1 ghost shrimp
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2008.01.15(Tue)17:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jun, I'm glad you posted your feeding regime because I had been looking for it on the Betta thread (I think you posted it there for me awhile ago) but I couldn't find it. Wink

lenoirj, my betta also likes to gobble up the food I offer to the other fish in his tank (habrosus cories). The cories are rather slow in eating so Apollo rushes through his own food and then goes to the bottom for some Omega One shrimp pellets. Rolling Eyes

What would the recommended feeding schedule be for a betta that gets to steal food from other fish?

kdomagala, kind of a follow-up on the other two's questions, I notice that you said you completely redid your fish tank. Did this include cleaning the filter/changing the filter media?
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McP
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Joined: 24 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2008.01.15(Tue)22:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

What brand of food are you feeding? Tetra comes to mind as one food notorious for leaving an oil slick behind. I'm sure there are others but this is the only brand I've noticed the problem with.
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kdomagala
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Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Location: Chicago IL

PostPosted: 2008.01.16(Wed)18:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jun wrote:
Lenoirj's got most of it covered, I think. Very Happy The oily film will result on water that has little or no flow. My 10 gallon, both heated and filtered (a little. Laughing), gets this whenever the algae builds up on my bubble stone enough to slow the flow down. In this case I just wipe off the algae and it's good to go again. My 2.5 gallon is unfiltered, and has this almost perpetually. The paper towel thing works wonders, clears it right up. Very Happy It's nothing to worry about, really. ^^

I do have to disagree on the feeding aspect, however. I do agree that you're feeding a bit too much, but I would definitely feed more than 1 pellet/day. For one thing, it really depends on what kind of food you're feeding him -- different companies = different sized pellets -- as well as what temperature you're keeping him at. I keep my most of my betta tanks at ~80-82*, and everyone is on a strict feeding schedule (Monday-Tuesday: 5-6 Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets/day. Wednesday: Frozen bloodworms. Thursday-Friday: 5-6 Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets/day. Saturday: Thawed, deshelled peas. Sunday: Nothing.). No one is obese, everyone has excess energy, and they apparently feel healthy enough to flare at their neighbors and build giant bubblenests. My females are all happily plump, and clearly have enough energy to still bicker with their sisters and keep up with a very high filter output. I do have one little tank that I am unable to heat, which houses a young male betta who was purchased as a female (But quickly showed us that he was very much a male), and it stays at only about 73*. This tank is only fed 4 Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets every two days because the cooler temperature decreases his metabolism.

So, let's figure this out. Smile Get back to us with what kind of food you're feeding him, and how warm you keep his tank. Then we can try and figure out a happy medium. Very Happy


I feed him the exact food that you do, and his tank hasn't budged below or above 80 due to my new fancy water heater... which btw he LOVES to play with. He looks like the happiest fish, he plays with everything he can weave in and out of, rests on some leaves, and when I keep his light on but the room is dark (the inside is reflective under these conditions) he flares. Hes been in there for just under a week, and no bubble nest.

I started feeding lots of food when I got him five ghost shrimp tank buddies. I put a pellet for each of them every day until I realized that my fish was eating all the food I put in the tank. When I stopped feeding him as much, he would stare at me for hours until I fed him and then he would be happy again. Now he seems to be just happy all the time.
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kdomagala
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Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Location: Chicago IL

PostPosted: 2008.01.16(Wed)18:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

nikelodeon79 wrote:
Jun, I'm glad you posted your feeding regime because I had been looking for it on the Betta thread (I think you posted it there for me awhile ago) but I couldn't find it. Wink

lenoirj, my betta also likes to gobble up the food I offer to the other fish in his tank (habrosus cories). The cories are rather slow in eating so Apollo rushes through his own food and then goes to the bottom for some Omega One shrimp pellets. Rolling Eyes

What would the recommended feeding schedule be for a betta that gets to steal food from other fish?

kdomagala, kind of a follow-up on the other two's questions, I notice that you said you completely redid your fish tank. Did this include cleaning the filter/changing the filter media?


Yes it does. I cleaned everything out with pure water, put in a new filter, lots of new plants, some cycle and cycled it for about 3 weeks before I put him in there. The day I moved him, I took half a cup of his tiny tank water out, and replaced it with half a cup of his new water every 20 minutes for about two hours, which made it the same temperature and water conditions. I didn't change his conditioner or anything else though. I actually started fresh because I didn't properly cycle the tank the last time because some people told me that you don't need to do a full cycle with bettas. When he didn't look happy and the water test was just way messed up, I did a full cycle.
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Jun
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Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Location: Danbury, WI

PostPosted: 2008.01.16(Wed)19:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alrighty, well, because of the temperature and type of food, I'd say definitely tone it down to about 8 pellets/day. He also sounds like he's a very active fish, so I think he'll be able to metabolize this without gaining much/any weight. Do it slowly, like starting tomorrow do 4 in the morning, 3 in the middle, and 4 again at night. Then three-four days later, do 4/3/3, then 3/3/3 then 3/2/3 or 4/1/3, or you could eventually knock it down to just two feedings of 4 pellets. This will let his metabolism down slowly, so he won't feel hungry. I'd still watch him after you get him down to 8 pellets to make sure he doesn't put on more weight. If he does, knock him down to six. This is what I feed my boys, but they're kind of lazy, and 6 or so is all they can metabolize before they start getting overweight. Rolling Eyes Except my PK, but he's being conditioned for spawning right now so he's allowed to be a little fat. Laughing

I hope this works for you and your betta guy. I remember you coming around asking for help a while ago, and I'm so glad he's still doing alright. Very Happy If you have any pictures, be sure to share them in the Betta Thread in the Photo Album. We'd sure love to see him! ^^
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kdomagala
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Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Location: Chicago IL

PostPosted: 2008.01.16(Wed)19:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

He really could benefit from a little weight loss. I don't think he is overweight, but because he really loves food, we jokingly call him my little fatty. Its really endearing.

Thanks for all your help!
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