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Old 03-18-2004, 08:15 PM   #1
OutKast
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Wow, searching for "surface film" did me no good...

Does having a thin film on the entire surface of my tank cause any issues (other than being unsightly)? I was wondering specifically about air-water gas exchange.

Also, what is a cheap and effective way to eliminate this film? I have a 55g densely planted tank. Only surface movement comes at night; I installed an air pump to agitate the water surface so my fish didn't have to gasp for air in the mornings.
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Old 03-18-2004, 08:26 PM   #2
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Use the 'and' feature when searching. If you search for 'surface film' it will find all thread with either word. If you search for 'surface and film' it will find thread with both those words.

The concerns you've mentioned have been mentioned before. Here's a recent thread on how to build a surface extractor. I've just been taking a Miller Highlife bottle to my tank once a week. I submerge it just below the water line and it sucks it all off. The cohesive properties of the scum is its downfall :twisted:


http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6466
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Old 03-18-2004, 08:31 PM   #3
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The surface film is from an lack of surface agitation.


If the film is very thick, it can be harmful to your fish at night depending on how much co2 you are injecting into your tank.
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Old 03-18-2004, 09:14 PM   #4
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I have an eheim surface extractor that fixes this problem for me.

Matt
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Old 03-19-2004, 01:24 AM   #5
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I've heard black mollies are good for removing surface scum
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Old 03-19-2004, 03:33 AM   #6
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I switched my Fish Food from OSI to PennPlax.

My scum went away.

And here's a positive review for PennPlax fish food. For being the dollar-store name in fish aquarium equipment, the food is actually pretty decent.

The container has this built-in measured dispenser.
Open the container, pour some food into the dispenser, close the container, and slide the dispenser door open. No need to touch it...
and you always feed the same amount.
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Old 03-19-2004, 03:46 AM   #7
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surface skimmer..you can do 1 yourself
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Old 03-19-2004, 01:53 PM   #8
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$8.50 and two minutes to install...


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Old 03-19-2004, 04:45 PM   #9
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As newmang suggests, a Black Mollie or two will clear up the problem in no time.

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Old 03-19-2004, 09:04 PM   #10
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You guys are the best
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Old 03-19-2004, 09:52 PM   #11
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You do need to keep the scum down, and as suggested either a DIY or commercial manufacture extractor will do the trick.

The problem with not having an extractor is that it will inhibit the gas exchange at the surface, particularly if your tank is at the 3-4 watts per gallon mark. Your tank will look like a bubble bath in a couple of hours and will prevent CO2 out gassing at night. Depending in CO2 levels you could wake up one morning with fish floating on the top of your water.

If you buy or make an extractor you won't need to worry about this problem.

Paul
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Old 03-20-2004, 04:58 PM   #12
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I introduced a few black molleys after reading about their ability to skim the surface and remove the scum on Hoa Nguyen's freshwater planted aquarium site. It did work aswell. Perhaps you can consider them?
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Old 03-21-2004, 06:29 AM   #13
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You know, it's funny. I've used them for a long time and find that the females are so much better at doing the job. One female will do three times the cleaning compared to males. They're just more industrious.

Len
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Old 07-24-2004, 10:28 AM   #14
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Sorry for pulling up this old thread, but I just had to comment on my experience on this. I'd never had any type of surface scum before having always had a HOT type filter and fish only tank. I didn't even know what this stuff was! I thought I had some sort of issue from all the remodeling I'd been doing 'til I started doing some poking around on the forum (when it kept coming back after I would clean it up.) Didn't like the idea of a slurping skimmer but I thought what the heck? I can probably stand a couple more small fish in there. Mollies are worth a shot. I always take this stuff with a grain of salt, so to speak, as it always seems like things that work for other folks won't work for me . Anyway I took the last two mollies my LFS had (a lyretail and a regular black molly) tossed them in (after acclimating them of course ) and the horrible stuff is gone and hasn't come back. Truly, I am amazed, and very, very pleased. It's always nice when something works as advertised. Just another example of a successful outcome from using some of the wonderful resources of this forum
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Old 07-25-2004, 12:10 AM   #15
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I am considering them as well. Did you get males or females? And also how long did it take them to clear it?
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