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Old 11-17-2019, 07:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Film on water surface

I have film on the surface of the water. I use a lily pipe return, and pressurized CO2. Is this something i need to deal with or should i just let it be?
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Old 11-17-2019, 08:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Film on water surface

Gourami & livebearers will eat it. You can also use mechanical skimmer to get rid of it. It does slow down gas exchange so it's better to get rid of it.
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Old 11-17-2019, 11:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Does everyone have this issue? Is this abnormal?
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Film on water surface

It's part of the process, at one point or another.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Film on water surface

You could always use this.

https://www.eheim.com/en_GB/products...kimmer_skim350
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Film on water surface

If you have fish in the tank, I would remove it. A thick film like this can block oxygen entry.

More importantly, though, it may be filled with environmental mycobacteria that can cause Mycobacteriosis ("Fish TB"). These common bacteria are oily and tend to gather at the water surface. My website contains a thorough, downloadable article about Mycobacteriosis.

When a film like this appears, I just take a cup and scoop it out. Wipe the outside of cup in between scoops, because the film will stick to the cup.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the helpful like to your article, Diana. In previous planted tanks, i didnt have the surface scum phenomenon. So i am puzzled why i have it now. I have 2 pieces of wood in there that could be shedding pollutants i suppose. I recently tore everything down and restarted due to unsolvable algae issues that were driving me nuts. So now its all new flourite, 2 chunks of wood, and new plants. Tank was disinfected with bleach for a few days before rebuilding. Only fish in there are otos atm.
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Film on water surface

I would agree with you that the driftwood is leaching nutrients into the water. The film is a little ecosystem of bacteria and other microorganisms feeding off of those nutrients.

For years, I have heard so many instances of driftwood rotting and causing problems. Rocks which are inert (don't release organic compounds), IMHO, are a much better choice for planted aquaria. I'm not saying don't use driftwood, just that it is organic in nature, and because of that, it can cause problems.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Film on water surface

IMO, removing the surface scum is a virtually a REQUIREMENT. As mentioned already, it inhibits gas exchange. That's a problem for your filter bacteria and everything else. If you're adding co2, it can trap excess. I now use the Eheim Skim 350 and though I have to clean it weekly, I like it a lot.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Film on water surface

Wood, tree leaves, and fish food are potential sources of oily film. I use paper towels to remove it. Lay the paper towel across one end of the tank and drag it across the surface toward the other end. Have a bucket or plastic shoebox waiting to drop it into.
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