Reasons Why Aquarium Bubbles are present in Fish tank?

For those who enjoy maintaining fish tanks, it is common to observe the fish making bubbles at top of tank. It seems that this is a natural occurrence in the underwater environment.

However, there is no need for concern as complete elimination of these bubbles in aquarium may not be possible nor necessary. In fact, certain bubbles can indicate proper functioning of your tank.

Nonetheless, there are instances where such bubbles might indicate issues with water quality or the well-being of your fish companions.

Therefore, let us explore why bubbles in fish tank form and how they can serve as indicators either of potential problems or a healthy aquarium.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. When you follow a link to purchase the products, I sometime earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here

10 Causes of Bubble in Fish Tank with Their Solution

New Fish Tank

Air bubbles frequently appear on a new fish tank’s surfaces and in the water during the first few days after installation.

Fish making bubbles at top of tank are a result of oxygen naturally escaping from the aquarium’s substrate and decorations. This is completely normal during the start-up phase, and you can anticipate that these bubbles will disappear after about a week.

Therefore, there is no cause for alarm because it is all a normal part of setting up a new fish tank.

New Fish Tank

Solution

  • Before adding any substrate, decorations, tools, or filter media to the tank, give them a thorough rinse and soak.
  • To reduce the amount that of oxygen entering the aquarium, fill it with warm or hot water at first.
  • Perform water changes early on to get rid of any foam bubbles on the water’s surface.
  • To get rid of any air bubbles forming on the tank’s glass, use an algae scrubber.

New Fish Tank Solution

 

Air Pumps and Filters

The second common formation of bubbles is bubbles in fish tank from filter.

Common sources of air bubbles in the tank include devices such as air pumps and filters. These tools serve to pump oxygen into the aquarium, facilitating the exchange between oxygen and carbon dioxide between the water and air through surface water movement.

The bubbles in fish tank from filter and air stone are a result increased oxygen levels in the aquatic environment. Occasionally, residual clusters of bubbles in fish tank from filter may form on the water’s surface due to prolonged presence.

Air Pumps and Filters

Solution

  • Make sure your equipment is properly installed and that all connections and joints have been completely submerged to prevent bubbles in fish tank from filter.
  • To avoid bubbles in fish tank from filter being pulled back into filter, keep air stones and filters apart.

Air Pumps and Filters

 

Water Changes

One way to increase the oxygen saturation in your tank is by introducing tiny bubbles through water changes. When you mix the water, more oxygen enters and can be released as tiny bubbles in fish tank on the glass.

However, it is important to consider temperature as well. Cold water has a higher capacity for holding oxygen compared to warm water.

Water Changes

 

Solution

  • To prevent any sudden temperature changes that may stress your fish, it is recommended to use a heater and match the temperature of the new water with that of your tank.

Water Changes

 

Medications

Aquarium medications can result in fish making bubbles at top of tank, with certain medications producing thicker and longer-lasting bubbles.

To avoid this effect, it is often advised to enhance water circulation when using potent medications. Although fish making bubbles at top of tank are typically transparent, some medications may induce variations such as shimmering or foamy appearances.

The use of antibacterial treatments can alter the chemical composition of water, leading to the development of a harmless foam bubbles in fish tank caused by organic waste. This foam usually dissipates within several days following treatment completion.

Medications

 

Solution

  • To disperse bubbles in aquarium and offset the effects of medications on oxygen levels, stir the water’s surface more vigorously.
  • Increased oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange can counteract treatment-related drops in oxygen levels.

Medications Solution

 

Protein Foam

The formation of protein foam bubbles in fish tank is one of the common occurrence. These small foam bubble in fish tank are trapped in a surface film created by organic waste such as fish waste and uneaten food. Moreover,  this phenomenon is commonly observed in both saltwater and freshwater tanks.

Protein Foam

 

Solution

To address the issue of protein foam bubbles in fish tank, here is what you can do;

  • Maintain cleanliness in your tank and regularly clean your filter.
  • Thoroughly inspect your tank for any debris buildup or dead fish. Regular cleaning practices will effectively reduce the occurrence of protein foam bubbles in fish tank.

Protein Foam Solution

 

Excess Ammonia

Problems with the water quality in your tank may be indicated by the presence of unanticipated bubbles, particularly those caused by high levels of ammonia.

The presence of ammonia can damage fish gills, leading to fish making bubbles at top of tank. Additionally, excessive amounts of ammonia can disrupt the nitrogen cycle in your tank and impede beneficial bacteria from effectively eliminating it.

To determine if poor water quality is causing these bubbles in aquarium, we recommend using a dwater testing kit for accurate results. Bubbles in fish tank are typically formed when liquids are agitated, resulting in pockets of oxygenated water.

Excess Ammonia

 

Solution

  • Maintain your tank on a regular basis, cleaning the substrate, changing the water, and rinsing the filter media.
  • Run everyday water tests to check ammonia, especially when things are first starting out and when you’re facing problems.
  • Keep an eye on your tank every day to spot issues early.

Excess Ammonia Solution

 

Pearling

The presence of pearl like or foam bubbles in fish tank can actually indicate a phenomenon known as pearling.

Pearling occurs when the oxygen produced by aquarium plants surpasses the rate at which it dissolves into the water. It is considered a positive sign, indicating that your tank has healthy plant growth.

You may notice foam bubbles in fish tank forming on the leaves of your plants or floating to the surface of the water. This visual indicator suggests that there is an abundant supply of oxygen in your tank, benefiting both your aquatic friends and plant life.

Pearling

 

Solution

  • Although, it is of no harm but if you still want to disperse and remove foam bubbles in fish tank without damaging  the plants, increase water flow. Be careful to avoid flooding the plants with water.

Pearling Solution

 

Bubble Nests

Not all bubbles indicate trouble. Bubble nests, commonly constructed by labyrinth fish such as bettas and gouramis, are crucial for reproduction.

Fish making bubbles at top of tank consist of small bubbles gathered on the surface of the water, typically attaching to plants or equipment.

Although bubble nests are a positive indication, they do not ensure optimal tank health. If your fish are creating more nests than usual, it could imply stress and therefore require monitoring of water conditions.

Bubble Nests

 

Solution

  • Respect the work that bettas put into building their nests, but be aware that disrupting nests can lead to enrichment.
  • Be mindful that disturbing nests or fish making bubbles at top of tank may cause stress in your fish and cause behavioral changes.

Bubble Nests Solution

 

 

Oily Surface

If you observe a film with colors resembling a rainbow or an off-white layer on the surface of your aquarium, it is likely caused by contaminants.

These substances can originate from organic sources such as fish food or oil residue from handling, as well as inorganic materials. When these contaminants accumulate, they form bubbles in aquarium on the water’s surface.

To prevent this bubbles in aquarium, maintain cleanliness by washing your hands and arms before interacting with the tank. However, be cautious about using soaps or cleaning products that may create unnatural sheens which could harm your fish and impair their oxygenation capabilities.

Oily Surface

 

Solution

  • To remove natural oils, increase agitation of the water’s surface.
  • A significant water change might save any remaining tank inhabitants for chemical contaminants.
  • Use hot vinegar and warm water to clean the area around the tank instead of conventional cleaning products.

Oily Surface Solution

 

Bubble Algae

In your fish tank, fish making bubbles at top of tank are usually easy to spot, but bubble algae (Valonia ventricosa) can be deceiving in its appearance. These tiny troublemakers cover the rocks, corals, and tools in your tank as tiny green bubbles that look like sparkling jewels. Even aquarium filters and powerhead intakes can become clogged by them.

It can be perplexing when these bubbles in aquarium initially form because they might appear almost transparent. Although most people find algae bubbles in fish tank to be an annoyance, some people do enjoy the way it looks.

Bubble Algae Solution

 

Solution

  • Eliminate it through routine upkeep and various treatments.

Bubble Algae Solution

 

Conclusion

Understanding the reasons behind bubbles in fish tank from filter or fish making bubbles at top of tank generally, knowing how to address them is crucial for a healthy underwater ecosystem.

While it may initially be concerning, possessing the necessary knowledge and strategies ensures the well-being of your fish and other aquatic companions!

Scott Evans

View all posts