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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Surface Film - another..

I've tried to figure out a problem with surface film for some time, both by searching forums and trial and error. But nothing seems to solve it.

I redid my tank 2 weeks ago and cleaned everything out, replaced substrate etc but used my mature filter, plus some old plants and sand (the tank didn't need to go through cycling). I've also swapped to a different type of Fertilizer.

Now my old problem with surface film has come back to haunt me. I did a water change yesterday, removed any film and already this morning it's back and not a little bit either.

It's the same type of film as I've always had a problem with, definitly not algae. Just a silvery heavy film that breaks easily if you touch it.

In the past I've tried increasing the surface agitation but it doesn't really help much. It requires a very large amount of surface movement to make any difference.. for example raising the lilypipe half way up above the surface but it makes a lot of noise and requires me to inject a insane amount of CO2.

Any ideas at all where I'm going wrong?

Equipment:
Tank Volume: 50g
CO2: Drop checker is Lime Green (CO2 UP Aqua Atomiser)
Temperature: 26c / 79f
Light: 38PAR (3x GroBeam 1000 ND LED's at 33% power)
Filter: Eheim Pro3 600T (475 gph)
PH: 6.00
Substrate: ADA Amazonia (new)

Fertilizers by Aqua Rebell:

6ml / day Makro Basic NPK
3ml / day Micro Spezial Flowgrow

Plants:
1 x Echinodorus Osiris
2 x Echinodorus Compact
5-7 Different type of smaller Crypts
Myriophyllum mattogrossense
Nymphaea Lotus
6 x Blyxa Japonica
Mayaca Fluviatilis
Cladophora aegagrophila

Fish:
3 x Cory's
4 x Oto's
2 x Blue Rams
8 x Dwarf Chain Loaches
10 x Cherry Shrimps
8 x Neon Green Rasporas
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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 03:42 PM
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I have no idea what the specific cause of the surface film is... I have it on some tanks, and not on others, while other things seem to be comparable.

Couple of thoughts...

Increase water changes if that is an option. Go to 50% weekly for a while, or even 25% every other day. See if that makes a difference, and if so, scale it back and see at which rate the surface film returns. It might just be related to your recent re-doing of the tank, and whatever was stirred up needs to be dissolved/diluted.

Get a molly or gourami or some similar fish that suits your tank and will gobble up the surface film.

Add an air stone and run it at night to break up the film. Something like a Koralia pump directed at the surface, run it on a timer, say 10 minutes twice a day, should take care of it too.

In the end, the best solution would be a surface skimmer. But it is difficult to hide or make look good so I can see how you won't like that option.


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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 07:06 PM
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Completely off topic golightly, but beautiful tank, it looks amazing! I love the mix of different scaping techniques!

Matt


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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 07:07 PM
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Get a surface skimmer.

http://www.amazon.com/Clear-Surface-...0260932&sr=8-2


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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmrmotorhead View Post
Completely off topic golightly, but beautiful tank, it looks amazing! I love the mix of different scaping techniques!

Matt
Thank you!

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Originally Posted by Crispino Ramos View Post
It sort of defeats the purpose of having a minimalist tank with glassware etc. I was hoping there was something I was doing wrong that I could correct.
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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Increase water changes if that is an option. Go to 50% weekly for a while, or even 25% every other day. See if that makes a difference, and if so, scale it back and see at which rate the surface film returns. It might just be related to your recent re-doing of the tank, and whatever was stirred up needs to be dissolved/diluted.
It comes back the day after a water change where I also used paper towels to get rid of anything on the surface. More or bigger water changes are difficult. I do 40% weekly but any more than that requires more RO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Get a molly or gourami or some similar fish that suits your tank and will gobble up the surface film.
I can't really stock my tank any higher than I have now. I like how the fish work together and anything more would just be too much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Add an air stone and run it at night to break up the film. Something like a Koralia pump directed at the surface, run it on a timer, say 10 minutes twice a day, should take care of it too.
I tried air stone once, ran it all night until CO2 switched on. But didn't seem to help either.

Also tried 3 different types of pumps, none work very well and take up a lot of space. But vibration noise probably being the most annoying part. In the end though they don't work. I think it's because they don't really break the surface, just make it turbulent which isn't enough to break it up.

The only thing that seems to help for a while, is if I raise the lily pipe above the surface and run it like that for an hour or two. But it also de-gas the tank and because of that I can't do it during the day.
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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 08:57 PM
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what food are you using, how, how much and how often?
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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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what food are you using, how, how much and how often?
Not a huge amount, I think!?:

- Sera Vipan Flake Food (small amount once per day)
- 4-5 x Hikari Sinking Wafers (for catfish and loaches, a couple during the day and rest after dark)
- Frozen Cyclops (small amount every other day)
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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 09:43 PM
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If you will raise your lily pipe at night after lights are off that should take care of it, at least it does for me. Just raising it at night will, of course, not off gas your CO2 during the day but will at night when you want it to off gas anyway. I'm not sure what causes it. I've read everything from a high organic load to immature filter to low O2.

While a surface skimmer is really good at getting rid of it I'd not want to add one to your tank either. ADA does make a skimmer now, btw. I'm sure it costs the same as everything else ADA. Link below.

http://www.adana.co.jp/en/products/na_filter/cleaner/

You can also see it in this video at the 8:03 mark. Credit goes to Overstocked for finding.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjsZCac3Xds

Here's another.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCmgu0wSrTY&NR=1
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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 09:47 PM
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air stone is the best method. i run one all day on a low level. it helps with surface water turnover. a koralia pointed at the surface helped me but didn't solve the problem. i now have both. stone works best.
i've even turned off the koralia before and stone worked just fine
i use a fine pore stone with a low flow rate and it produces lots of tiny bubbles which don't stick out and don't splash so bad everything else gets dirty

and keep the lily pipe raised personally. don't let it splash but let it circulate the water. it does the same as an air stone it turns the water over. it won't off gas anything severe. off gassing with probably be on the negligable side.

Sump Pimp #7

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post #11 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff5614 View Post
If you will raise your lily pipe at night after lights are off that should take care of it, at least it does for me. Just raising it at night will, of course, not off gas your CO2 during the day but will at night when you want it to off gas anyway. I'm not sure what causes it. I've read everything from a high organic load to immature filter to low O2.

While a surface skimmer is really good at getting rid of it I'd not want to add one to your tank either. ADA does make a skimmer now, btw. I'm sure it costs the same as everything else ADA. Link below.

http://www.adana.co.jp/en/products/na_filter/cleaner/

You can also see it in this video at the 8:03 mark. Credit goes to Overstocked for finding.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjsZCac3Xds

Here's another.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCmgu0wSrTY&NR=1
I want one!

Can't see anywhere that actually stock them.
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post #12 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HD Blazingwolf View Post
air stone is the best method. i run one all day on a low level. it helps with surface water turnover. a koralia pointed at the surface helped me but didn't solve the problem. i now have both. stone works best.
i've even turned off the koralia before and stone worked just fine
i use a fine pore stone with a low flow rate and it produces lots of tiny bubbles which don't stick out and don't splash so bad everything else gets dirty

and keep the lily pipe raised personally. don't let it splash but let it circulate the water. it does the same as an air stone it turns the water over. it won't off gas anything severe. off gassing with probably be on the negligable side.
How high have you got the lily pipe raised? And at all times?

I might try air stone again but don't like the noise it makes as I sit and work in the same room.
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post #13 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 09:54 PM
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I want one!

Can't see anywhere that actually stock them.
If you really want one, ADG would special order it for you and I'm sure AFA would get one for you also.
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post #14 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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If you really want one, ADG would special order it for you and I'm sure AFA would get one for you also.
I'm in the UK, they don't seem to ship outside the USA.
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post #15 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 11:05 PM
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i have the same problem. always have, with my 20g and now my 36g.

but since my tank isn't as sexy as the OP's, i use a surface skimmer.

it IS a pain to maintain though. i have a piece of sponge over the bottom intake so my baby shrimp don't get sucked in. the sponge gets clogged very easily.
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