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Old 10-09-2011, 06:04 PM   #1
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Help Please With Cycling Questions Foam In Filter Sock See Photos

Started cycling my 65g on 10/4 (last Tuesday), so today is Day 6.

Sometime this morning I noticed a "mystery" foam appearing in the filter sock that captures the water from the tank return into the sum (see 2 still photos): looks just like soap suds. BUT, nothing was washed or rinsed in soap.

I removed the sock and rinsed in tap water followed by a RO/DI rinse (I'm waiting for socks to arrive or would have used a new one). During the rinse, nothing seem abnormal. Placed the sock back on the return line and the foaming action continued.

To me (through novice eyes) it appears like what I would expect from a protein skimmer (based on the numerous videos I've seen).

The greenish tint shows up more in the photos but water is slightly green tinted - I assume an algae bloom starting.

Anyone?

Here are the numbers I've tested today - same as yesterday, save that the nitrates are showing an increase:

Salinity (with refractometer): 1.026
pH: 8.0
Ammonia: 1 ppm
Nitrite: 2 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm

Thanks!
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:21 PM   #2
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Looks like you may just have a clogged filter sock and all the air from your overflow is coming out of the top. Air always rises and depending on the flow rate of your tank air can turn to foam rather quickly. My 125 gallon does the same thing but I yanked the socks out after cycle was complete so it didn't turn into a nitrate factory
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:22 PM   #3
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Also your water level looks really high in your sump. Do you have other protection in case of power outage
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:20 PM   #4
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Looks like you may just have a clogged filter sock and all the air from your overflow is coming out of the top. Air always rises and depending on the flow rate of your tank air can turn to foam rather quickly. My 125 gallon does the same thing but I yanked the socks out after cycle was complete so it didn't turn into a nitrate factory
Actually, not. The sock is not clogged. This was verified today when I received my supply of socks. Same thing with a new sock.

So, with your 125 the problem of bubbly foam went away when you did away with socks?
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:28 PM   #5
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Also your water level looks really high in your sump. Do you have other protection in case of power outage
Yes. I intentionally overfilled a small amount. I discovered that the refractometer was not properly calibrated when I filled the tank but the small error was not discovered until after topping of the tank with RO/DI the day of the photo. To bring the salinity up, I added a small amount of premixed saltwater. I will be siphoning water off when the salinity reaches exactly 1.026. Most likely by tomorrow morning as it is nearly exact now and the evaporation rate at this time is fairly slow.

Meanwhile, there is a check valve on the return. Being new, it's still reliable and the power-off/on tests I've run confirm enough margin of safety at the level in the photo.

Good call BTW!
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:29 PM   #6
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I'm still not clear if the foam is an issue.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:47 PM   #7
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I'm still not clear if the foam is an issue.
They seem to dissipate quickly from the photo.I think the foam is just from your water falling into the confined space of the sock.It does give you good oxygen exchange.I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:28 PM   #8
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They seem to dissipate quickly from the photo.I think the foam is just from your water falling into the confined space of the sock.It does give you good oxygen exchange.I wouldn't worry about it.
But something is causing the foam to have started appearing now. I've run numerous plumbing tests, etc. prior to installing the rock and filling with saltwater and never had it.

The fact that is is happening a few days after.. and in the cycle process must tell us something.... even if it is benign.

No?
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by LarryS

But something is causing the foam to have started appearing now. I've run numerous plumbing tests, etc. prior to installing the rock and filling with saltwater and never had it.

The fact that is is happening a few days after.. and in the cycle process must tell us something.... even if it is benign.

No?
When I had my 46 gallon with HOB filter I would get the the same thing.Still don't think it is a problem.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:06 PM   #10
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When I had my 46 gallon with HOB filter I would get the the same thing.Still don't think it is a problem.
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