White film on water's surface? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-31-2007, 06:24 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Phoneix, AZ
Posts: 5
White film on water's surface?

I'm just getting a new tank set up and here's what I've got:
55 gallon tank
Soilmaster substrate (thin layer of laterite and peat beneath it)
Rena XP-2 (all the usual foam and filtration pad and ceramic rings)
The water is dechlorinated and I added Big Al's Multi-purpose Bio-Support

Water hardness is off the scale - it's very, very hard

No plants or fish or lighting as of yet.

After about two weeks, I noticed a white film on the water's surface. It covered the entire surface and when I dipped it out with a net it was rather slimy. I turned off the filter and cleaned it, finding more of the white film floating at the bottom. After a good cleaning and water change, the water looked fine for about three days and then the white scum returned.

When I first set up the filter, I squirted some of the Bio-Support directly on the ceramic rings with the idea that it would speed up cycling. This is the only thing I can think of as odd.

Any ideas on what's happening? What do I need to do?

thanks for your help,
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-31-2007, 12:16 PM
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Location: Maryland USA
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It will go away, this is sort of an organic film that goes away when the bacteria population in your tank gets fully established. If you want you can put a surface extractor on you Rena intake, Ehiem makes one that you can buy or DIY duplicate.

Basically, the worst thing you can do for this is extra water changes. BTW if you do something later that significantly disturbs the bacterial balance, you'll see the white film again.

It would be a good idea to plant the tank. You don't need to cycle the tank if you are planting it.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-01-2007, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Phoneix, AZ
Posts: 5
Thanks for your help. I will have the tank planted, but not for another week. I'm glad to learn it's nothing horrible.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 06:01 PM
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Location: Centerline, MI
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Curious, I've had this white film for six months. 12 hours after a water change it comes back. By 3 days it's all bubbley looking. BTW, I have BGA as well. I thought it was just BGA.

You can't polish a turd...
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 06:03 PM
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Check your filter? Last time I had film that wouldn't go away, my filter was clogged with a couple dwarf sag strands.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 06:22 PM
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Ive also read that all you need to do is adjust your outflow to add a small amount of surface aggitation and this will help it go away

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by kunerd View Post
Ive also read that all you need to do is adjust your outflow to add a small amount of surface aggitation and this will help it go away
You can also try a surface skimmer. I have one and my surface is always crystal clear.

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