Bubbles on Aquarium Water: Causes and Cures


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How do I get rid of bubbles in my fish tank?

If you've ever noticed moss floating on top of your aquarium water, you may have wondered where it came from or worried that it could be a danger to your fish.

Foam in aquarium water can come from many sources; some are harmless while others can be fatal. These are the common causes of foam in aquarium water and what can be done to eliminate it.


Bubbles form quite easily when liquids are shaken. Shake the liquid hard enough and bubbles will form on the surface. When filling or filling an aquarium, it is not uncommon to agitate the water long enough to produce at least some foam, which is normal.

If you want to avoid bubbles when filling or refilling a tank, slowly pour the new water against a clean dish held at an angle so that the water runs down the dish and into the tank rather than splashing forcefully into the aquarium.

If you have a spray bar or powerheads, these can agitate the water enough to produce a lather. Generally, this pressure-generated foam will not be produced in large quantities and is made up of large bubbles that dissipate quickly.

This type of foam is completely harmless and you have nothing to worry about. But other types of foam can indicate chemical hazards.


One of the most common ways soap enters an aquarium is through cleaning materials, such as a bucket of water or scrubbing sponges.

Make sure the tools in your tank are not used for anything other than cleaning the aquarium. Label your aquarium buckets and educate everyone in the house on the importance of never using this toolkit for anything other than aquarium water.

If even a small amount of soap or cleaner gets into the aquarium, rainbow-tinted bubbles will usually form.

This type of foam is worrisome because the fish are likely to die; immediately move them to another ready tank (or a clean bucket if you don't have another tank).

Any soapy aquarium will need to be drained and rinsed thoroughly to remove even the slightest bit of soap.

Fill the aquarium with dechlorinated water at the same temperature as the aquarium. Be sure to remove the filter as well, replacing any filter media and pads that have accumulated soap residue.


Protein foam is the result of protein-based residues that coat tiny air bubbles, causing them to stick together and form a "smelly" foam. It is much more prevalent in saltwater aquariums but is also occasionally seen in freshwater aquariums.

Saltwater aquarium systems can take advantage of natural protein foam through the use of protein skimmers; This process removes excess protein from the surface of the water. However, protein skimmers are not effective in freshwater aquariums.

If there is protein foam, it indicates that the aquarium needs a good cleaning. Make sure the filter is clean and remove all debris from the aquarium with a gravel vacuum.

Regular water changes, filter maintenance, and regular gravel cleaning will ensure that you don't have any protein foam issues.

You may find that a fish has died in a protected hiding place behind plants or rocks. A decaying fish carcass is a rich source of protein and often the main cause of protein foam.

It is advisable to visualize and count the fish daily to ensure that none are missing. Decaying plants can also produce protein waste, so cut off dead leaves from your aquatic plants and remove them from the aquarium.

Bubble nest foam

If you have a male labyrinth fish, such as a Betta or Gourami, the new foam patches could be a bubble produced by the male fish. Blowing sticky bubbles onto a floating foamy mat or nest is a mating spectacle that attracts the female.

Males have no way of knowing that the only way a female can swim in the neighborhood is to bring one home from the pet store, so they will continue with nest production.

A bubble nest is actually an indicator that your male fish is quite happy and healthy, so consider this foam as a good sign rather than a problem. Try not to disturb the bubbles.

Even if there is only one fish in the aquarium, a disturbed nest can cause stress for its dedicated builder.

Enjoy The Video Tutorial about 7 Reasons Why Your Fish Tank Has Bubbles

Source:  Aquarium Co-Op

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