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I will be setting up new 135 gallon and 20 gallon tanks shortly and would like to run surface skimming without using the fluval surface skimmer I've used before, which works fine but requires more fussing with to remove caught leaves, accumulated crud, etc. because the surface area of the fluval skimmer is limited. Built in overflows tend to work very well for this. I could also use the Tunze Nano filter, which has a great surface intake with teeth, but I'd like to hear your suggestions. Would it be best to glue in a black acrylic filter box about 4-6 inches wide into the back of the tanks, which are black, with surface skimming teeth, and then the have the filter intake tube go down into that box?

Can anyone refer me to some good design instructions or a ready made model that can be glued in?
 

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Point your filter outlet towards the surface so there is plenty of water movement. The scum will not grow if there's water movement. There doesn't need to be any splashing, just movement.
 

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the surface film is a buildup of protein, normally caused by over-feeding. some people place a paper towel on top to remove it, while others (such as myself) use some fish to do the job. in my case, i have platys for this purpose along with them eating hair algae.
 
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