Help me get rid of the film in my tank...
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:09 AM   #1
familyman03
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Help me get rid of the film in my tank...


I currently am running a 110 gallon cube and was wanting to know how I can get rid of the film that has developed at the top of the water. It looks almost like a fog on the top of the water. I am running a Hang on the back filter and an undergravel filter. The tank is moderatly planted wit onion plants, giant anubias, anubias barteri, a long leaf anubias, moss balls an a few other plants. How can i get rid of the surace film

thank you

jason
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:36 AM   #2
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The cheapest way is to take a soda bottle and push it straight down in the water so that it only sucks off the top layer of water. Do it a few times until the water clears.

A more effective way is to use a piece of hose connected to the input pipe on your HOB filter and connect the other end to a cup, bottle, whatever..so that when you put it just below the water line, it skims the surface through your HOB filter. Run it until the scum is gone.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:47 AM   #3
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http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=19345

better yet, http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...m?pcatid=12703
Available on ebay for about 10 bucks shipped, search for "surface skimmer" and you will find a load of them.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:50 AM   #4
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I find that film is usually the result of me putting my arm (oils) into the tank. Try rinsing your arm in hot water before you put it in the tank, and see if that helps.
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmas_one View Post
I find that film is usually the result of me putting my arm (oils) into the tank. Try rinsing your arm in hot water before you put it in the tank, and see if that helps.
I barfed a little... Mine is from a combination of excel, ferts, and food. Mostly the food I feed. I feed frozen food and am entirely too lazy to drain the water out of the cup, I just dump it in. Many flake and pellet foods cause protein film too.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:16 AM   #6
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If "This is a protein bio-film, probably triggered by hi organic levels, poor circulation and low CO2 levels." excerpt from Aquarium Algae ID, http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/ I find the Duetto DJ 100 works extremely well as a surface skimmer and it will provide extra circulation and surface agitation. Yea, wash your pits too.

To modify a DJ100 as a surface skimmer, remove all the filter media and place the filter horizontally, http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...urface-skimmer
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:31 PM   #7
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Is it okay to use these 'faux skimmers' in your tanks? At least with a marine setup, the skimmate (protiens, filth, whatever) is filtered out of the water into the collection cup, but with freshwater, it just mixes the scum back into the tank water, is that a good thing?
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:08 PM   #8
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Good question. IME, 'faux skimmers' clean up the surface of the water, which I do think is important. Most of this surface scum will go away with a well maintained aquarium (avoiding contact with dirty pits) and increased water circulation and surface agitation. Of course floating something like Crystalwort on the surface would probably work too.

The Duetto increases water circulation and surface agitation, mixing surface water with O2 to help break down the film (I think) and any oils/protein go back into the tank eventually to be filtered through the main filter (at least more likely to when the oil no longer sits on the water surface). You can even add a spray bar. The sponge filter can be left in it, but I didn't find it made any difference other then needing to be cleaned more frequently.

The SubCurrent Internal Wet/Dry Filter is bigger then the Duetto and I was not pleased with it. Honestly, I gave it away, I can not remember why. I think it was just too noisy for me.

The aquarium surface skimmer attaches to the intake of a power filter. So, it does run through the filter and add O2, but it is much bigger in reality then in the picture. I also found mine to be finicky and hard to connect, depending on the filter size. At that time I was using an Eheim ECCO Canister 2232. So, what filter it is attached to is a consideration.
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:24 PM   #9
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That still doesn't answer my question My point was, once the bio film / scum is removed from the surface, it's mixed into the water. A conventional filter system has no way to extract oils / other impurities from the water, whereas a protien skimmer does this in a marine system. Is this healthy for the fish?
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:37 PM   #10
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In my experience surface skimming filters trap the scum in the filter.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:06 PM   #11
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That's what water changes are for.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:22 PM   #12
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run an airstone at night.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:01 AM   #13
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I do not think it matters, remove it or water changes or good pearling, mist etc........it's removed more for aesthetics than due to protein skimmer needs.

So any surface skimmers will address it.


Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:30 AM   #14
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it happens in every tank, most of methods mentioned before will work, but unless it is too bad (to the point you get a noticable layer of it on your finger/hand) running airstone at night should keep it at bay (with periodic water changes of course).

I normally keep my filter outlet very close to the surface and the current prevents building up a stagnant layer.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over_stocked View Post
I barfed a little... Mine is from a combination of excel, ferts, and food. Mostly the food I feed. I feed frozen food and am entirely too lazy to drain the water out of the cup, I just dump it in. Many flake and pellet foods cause protein film too.
you have a weak stomach or something?
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