in saltwater tanks I had a surface skimmer that took that nasty stuff out of the water and kept the surface of the aquarium clear of junk. I am wondering if there is the same thing for freshwater tanks as mine seems to have a film and or small things floating on the surface. I would like a diy fix that I can make. or a link to one so I can get the info I need thanks in advance
Most folks who keep planted tanks do not need to skim the proteins that form on the water surface like the keepers of salt water tanks. Some suggestions I have seen range from periodically laying a paper towel on the water surface or increasing surface agitation by directing the outflow from the filter to help break up the film. In my estimation, either method works quite well. Additionally, if you have a sump, you can allow the overflow to act as a surface skimmer. This also seems to work quite well. I've made several overflows like this one:
I take a powerhead, turn it upside down and attach a top of a water or soda bottle (funnel-like part) and put a piece of filter floss in there. Turn it on, adjust it so its skimming the surface, let it run for a few minutes and done! I do this after trimming, to get any floaters and clear up the surface film. Works like a charm!
I have wondered if one could use this DIY overflow as a replacement to the intake tube on a canister filter?
I was thinking that you could put the strainer on the top of the tube to keep floating plants and other possible debris / food from going down the top of the tube. This would seem like a win win. You get surface skimming and get the silence of a canister.
75g Planted Discus tank
65g Planted Angel / Tetra / Cory Tank
40b Planted Dwarf Cichlid / Angel Tank
40b Planted Apistogramma tank
20g Planted Apistogramma tank
16g Artificially planted Blue Crayfish / Red Cherry Shrimp tank
I picked up an $8 surface skimmer from Big Als Online that works great. I used to get a nasty film from the dust in my house and from the flake food. Since I implemented the surface skimmer, in the words of Edgar Allen Poe, Nevermore.