White bubbles like soap lining the waterline in tank???

basilstorm

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Last night I noticed the entire rim of the tank at the waterline was covered in small white bubbles. It looked almost like soap or a chemical in the water, so I did a 50% water change today and scooped all bubbles out. Was wondering if anyone knew the cause? Water parameters are all normal:
pH: 8.0 (my water is always slightly basic, axolotl seems fine with it)
ammonia: between 0 and .25 ppm
nitrite: about 0 ppm
nitrate: between 10 and 20 ppm

My temperature has been stable at 62-65* F. I do a 30 to 50 percent water change every week and test my parameters once every two weeks. Axolotl seems unbothered by the bubbles, but he doesn't usually go to the top of the tank anyways. The only things that go into the water are prime, hikari sinking nuggets, and occasionally small frozen bloodworm cubes as treats. I clean out uneaten food and poop twice a day. Decorations are scrubbed with warm water and a new, clean sponge (kept in my room to make sure no one in the house uses soap on it). I don't know any way that there could be a chemical or soap in the water, but the bubbles didn't seem to be just air as I put a sample in a cup overnight and they didn't go away. Other threads suggested maybe the filter outflow was too high above the water, so I made sure to refill the tank with conditioned water to slightly above the bottom of the outflow spot. Other threads also said it could be cycling/ammonia issues, but this tank has been cycled since January and my axie has been in it since February 9th.

Does anyone know what the cause could be? Again, the axolotl didn't seem stressed out by the bubbles at all, gills and tail are normal, he's very active but not more than usual as he's still a juvenile. The bubbles haven't returned since I changed the water this morning. Should I do water changes twice a week for now?
 
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I’m no expert but I’ve had a similar problem before, which, after some investigations, I discovered three different possibilities:
My axolotl is about 6 months old and loves to try to eat my plants and disrupt them, even uprooting them sometimes while trying to crawl around. This activity seemed to cause weird bubbles on the surface, but I’m pretty sure these were air bubbles
It always could be caused by the food, sinking pellets sometimes create bubbles, but again, probably air ones.
I think the most likely cause of your bubble outbreak, and what I’m pretty sure caused mine, was that some type of soap did get in the water. With all of sanitizing we are doing, soap residue can be almost anywhere and even if you do wash your hands before placing them in the tank, it still can get in there.
if the bubble don’t come back, or do periodically but are easy to scoop out, then soap or oils in the water was the likely cause of the bubbles. Hope this helps!
 

kaixingin

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I’m no expert but I’ve had a similar problem before, which, after some investigations, I discovered three different possibilities:
My axolotl is about 6 months old and loves to try to eat my plants and disrupt them, even uprooting them sometimes while trying to crawl around. This activity seemed to cause weird bubbles on the surface, but I’m pretty sure these were air bubbles
It always could be caused by the food, sinking pellets sometimes create bubbles, but again, probably air ones.
I think the most likely cause of your bubble outbreak, and what I’m pretty sure caused mine, was that some type of soap did get in the water. With all of sanitizing we are doing, soap residue can be almost anywhere and even if you do wash your hands before placing them in the tank, it still can get in there.
if the bubble don’t come back, or do periodically but are easy to scoop out, then soap or oils in the water was the likely cause of the bubbles. Hope this helps!
Interesting... I am also getting some foam at the corners of my tank by the filter output. Someone also mentioned overdosing on dechlorinator which, in smaller tanks, is really easy to do. I guess it depends on what kind of bubbles were talking about xD
 

basilstorm

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I’m no expert but I’ve had a similar problem before, which, after some investigations, I discovered three different possibilities:
My axolotl is about 6 months old and loves to try to eat my plants and disrupt them, even uprooting them sometimes while trying to crawl around. This activity seemed to cause weird bubbles on the surface, but I’m pretty sure these were air bubbles
It always could be caused by the food, sinking pellets sometimes create bubbles, but again, probably air ones.
I think the most likely cause of your bubble outbreak, and what I’m pretty sure caused mine, was that some type of soap did get in the water. With all of sanitizing we are doing, soap residue can be almost anywhere and even if you do wash your hands before placing them in the tank, it still can get in there.
if the bubble don’t come back, or do periodically but are easy to scoop out, then soap or oils in the water was the likely cause of the bubbles. Hope this helps!
I think you’re right about soap residue, there’s usually a little bit of bubbles from the filter but never that much, and they usually are not easy to scoop like that. Must have somehow gotten on a decoration when I was cleaning, because I washed them all again to be sure with just water from the faucet and the problem went away
 
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I'm glad! I know whenever I see something odd in my tank, I freak out! We all want what's best for our axies!😁
 

faebugz

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I think you’re right about soap residue, there’s usually a little bit of bubbles from the filter but never that much, and they usually are not easy to scoop like that. Must have somehow gotten on a decoration when I was cleaning, because I washed them all again to be sure with just water from the faucet and the problem went away
Do you use soap on the decorations at all? Soap tends to slick and stick to things, despite rinsing. A safer way to clean things would be either boiling water, or diluted bleach soaks.

If it's safe to boil, just throw it in a pot and boil for 5-10m. I do this for new substrate and rocks.
For everything else new, including plants, they get put in a bleach bath for 30 minutes. I dilute it 19:1 water:bleach. Surprisingly, this is the safest thing to do. Bleach washes off pretty easy (also kills parasites/diseases that can stick to plants), so rinsing well and soaking again in pure water gets all the bleach off.

Although if you're just cleaning stuff from the tank, beneficial bacteria grows on everything so it's best just to rinse it in tank water gently and put back, no need to deep clean.
 
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  • Axolotl Queen:
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  • Smknmom421:
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    That sounds like severe skin damage. If you post a thread on the forum, you can attach pictures.
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  • Murk:
    It sounds like something went wrong with the water change, so this could be very dangerous. Did you use a dechlorinator? Could it be there are traces of chlorine or soap in the water? (Or for example, in the bucket you used?)
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    Normally, I would recommend taking them out of the tank asap and putting them in a tub with fresh water, but if there's something wrong with your tap water or dechlorinator, that might not help either. Do you have acces to bottled water or rain water?
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  • MuggleMiChu:
    They are about 2-3 inches long and I have them in a bare bottom tank
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu I would say try live black/blood worms untell they are full or just turn there head away ( that's what mine do) if that does not work try to get some live brine shrimp and see if they eat that. baby axolotl prefer live food over frozen food as the frozen food is too cold for them or they can't eat it in one go( that's if you do the blocks) mine eat chopped up frozen thawed shrimp. as for them not eating from what I have experienced with my second axolotl, I got her when she was about an inch long and she ate every day, when they start getting 3-4 inches long they will gradually slow down there eating. and if you really want to do substrate I would do sand because if they do ingest a little bit it won't hurt them.
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    Thank you so much for the information and advice! They are eating again, they ate a lot today. I think it might have been stress from the move or digesting old food, I also noticed they ate some of the food left in the tank (I removed the rest). I’m going to keep the tank bare bottom.
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