Film on my water surface. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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Film on my water surface.

Yeah, I know there are probably a million other threads out there about this but I need some advice and was hoping that listing my tank parameters and situation might help. This is a 20g long tank. I'm using 9L of AS Amazonia New and 3L of Power Sand Special-S. I am following EI dosing and have preformed 3 50% water changes since 8/23 when the tank was setup. I am injecting paintball CO2 via a ceramic glass diffuser. The pH is around 6.2-6.4, ammonia is around 4ppm (from the AS), Nitrites are 0/very low, and Nitrates are in the safe range for EI dosing. The tank itself is empty since I'm using the excess ammonia from the AS to cycle the tank and letting my HC carpet grow in in the meantime. I am using Aquatic Magic Lily Pipes hooked up to an Eheim 2215. The film itself seems to show a rainbow of colors when viewed from an angle and breaks off into small whitish clumps when it's stirred. It doesn't seem overly thick. I've read that increasing surface agitation can help with this but if I use the powerhead I currently own I find it impossible to position it correctly to get good surface agitation AND keep my HC/soil from being blown around. The only chemicals I add to the tank aside from dry ferts are Seachem Prime when adding water and Seachem Stability to try to help the tank cycle. There's no dissolved fish waste since there aren't any fish in there...so what gives? Any idea as to what might be causing this film and how to safely get rid of it?


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 07:07 AM
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Maybe during the night, run a surface skimmer...?


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 07:12 AM
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That's a protien film and its normal when using ADA soil. You can increase surface agitation to try to get rid of it, add a surface skimmer, ignore it, or scoop it out with a cup. It will come back, at least for a few months.

You can also put some plants that almost touch the surface, and your shrimp will eat it.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 07:28 AM
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IME every tank gets them. My 20L with tahitian moon sand as substrate and crypts doesn't have any fauna, and I still get it. The shrimps in both my 2.5g sometimes graze on it upside down, but those guys aren't even making any damage to it. I remove it by skimming the surface and in a few days they slowly return.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 02:55 PM
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Running a surface skimmer 24/7 does the trick.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 03:49 PM
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airstone at night does th etrick EASILY.. however. u will also have to clean the rim and surrounding areas of ur tank as u will notice protein stains accumulate over time... HAHAHAHAHA "protein stain"

ok seriously it will take a long time for u to notice it on other things other than the rim or outter glass of ur aquarium.. a wet rag or glass cleaner go a LOOONNNGG way to keeping it all nice on the outside.
ex. it took 3 months on my sons 10 gallon to notice the film on outter surfaces.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Airstone would probably do the trick but I'm worried about the CO2 outgassing and causing the pH to rise overnight once I have shrimp in there. Also, can anyone recommend a good surface skimmer to use or maybe a more natural solution to it?


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 05:35 PM
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Maybe pointing the spray bar a bit upward? Just enough to cause a slight water movement on the surface. Powerhead for the surface is an overkill.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 05:53 PM
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Just raise your lily pipes up at night so you get good strong surface agitation. This will force the film into the water and it will be picked up by the filter. Doing this regularly along with an established biofilter will eliminate the film.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 06:06 PM
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an overflow box with a filter sock in a small sump would be ideal!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Lifting the lily pipe up while I went to town worked great. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll just run it like that while I'm not home.


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