Oil slick please help! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Oil slick please help!

Hi everyone! My tank has been planted for about 3 weeks and running for a month.( water filter and substrate were added a week before plants arrived. It is a 45 gallon long filter is an eheim 2215 and the light is a 48" planted +. I am overall pleased with how my plant growth has been but ever since i added water i get this nasty milky ashy looking oil slick. If i run my net through it with some paper towel wadded in it i can get most of it or obviously skim it out manually which is a major PITA! My subrate is eco complete i thought maybe its leaching something but i'm not so sure. Im wondering if anyone has experienced this filmy oil slick before?how can i get rid of it?? Can it be the eco complete? For hardscape i have 2pcs of malaysian driftwood and thats it no rocks. I dose per the tom barr non co2 method except i use flourish instead of eq my ferts are dry from GLA My tank has cycled im pretty sure anyway my basic params are
Ph 7.5
Gh 6
Kh 4
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrates 5
Please help me
Scott
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 06:49 PM
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If your seeing it on the surface, add agitation and it will go away
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqualady View Post
If your seeing it on the surface, add agitation and it will go away
I have my spray putting out pretty good ripples if i point it up anymore it will be spraying out of the water. I can run my fingers through this stuff and it really doesnt break up. When i skim it out it appears like it is some kind of clear jelly type substance. I forgot to mention that being new to this whole thing i bit hook line amd sinker on the api stress coat drops and it has aloe vera in it,but wouldnt it go away after repeated skimming without a pwc? I have been using that since day one maybe i answered my own question lol. Does anyone use api stress coat or heard of this happening with that?
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 07:33 PM
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Switching to Prime as your dechlorinater and doing extra water changes should help. I would do 2 50% water changes a week and see if it goes away.
Maybe give the filter a quick cleaning too. IMO, the 2215 might be too small for a 45 long. It will probably work but you might need to clean it more often.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquabruce View Post
Switching to Prime as your dechlorinater and doing extra water changes should help. I would do 2 50% water changes a week and see if it goes away.
Maybe give the filter a quick cleaning too. IMO, the 2215 might be too small for a 45 long. It will probably work but you might need to clean it more often.
+1 agree ^^ also you could add an airstone to help surface agitation
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 07:54 PM
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I'm with aqualady, before doing anything drastic, add an airstone.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies folks. I have a question about the airstone i am not running co2 in this tank, i thought i have read somewhere the airstones reduce co2 levels in the water? With an airstone running wouldn't this be harmful to my plants/co2 levels? Sorry if my questions are stupid but i gotta ask.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 09:43 PM
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i'm having the same problem and it's been 6 months now. it goes away when i have the hob on but comes back overnight.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 11:06 PM
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With film on the surface you probably aren't getting good O2/CO2 gas exchange.

The air stone will help with surface agitation, breaking up the layer of film.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 11:22 PM
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If all the agitation you provide still fails to solve your problem in the long term, you might want to consider a skimmer either by DIY methods to attach to your filter intake or one of these
.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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This is what it looks like hours after i skim it like little clumps of some kind of white particles by tomorrow at this time it will look like a toxic cess pool. I will give an airstone a try but as of right now before the film develops i can see the particles moving in the current the entire length of the tank as in i don't see dead spots. After the film forms the water becomes stagnant on the opposite end of the spray bar.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 01:40 AM
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Your tank is still very young and surface scum like that is not uncommon, especially in newer tanks. What's the root cause? dunno.. too many variables. Bacteria from overfeeding and/or organic compounds breaking down? Something in the tap water? Poor maintenance? Poor air quality? Do you spray air fresheners, perfumes, deodorant, anywhere near the tank?

I had similar scum in a 5 gallon I set up a few months ago.

What worked for me : swapped out the filter with a bigger one I had kicking around to create more flow and surface agitation, did a couple extra water changes and it was gone in a couple weeks. One of those Eheim skimmers would be cheaper then a new filter.

What you can try:
More surface agitation is needed to help break that layer.
Raise your spraybar so it's breaking the water surface, a little ripple isn't going to cut it.
Add an air stone to help break up the scum.
More water changes with Prime. I wouldn't use that Stress Coat for regular water changes, maybe in your case it's the aloe or something else in there reacting with your tank. Stress Coat is known to cause excess foaming in salt water skimmers, maybe under certain fresh water conditions it causes surface scum. Some people have reported that they get an oily looking film on the surface from using Stress Coat in fresh water tanks.

my.02
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Bruce! I don't know how it can be breakdown or overfeeding since its been going on before i planted or added fish. I only have a few danios i used to cycle their food is gone in under a minute so i dont think im overfeeding. What i am going to do first is try prime and some big water changes. I have my spray bar breaking the surface of the water the slick is back its breaking the surface to the point of minor bubbling. If the prime and water changes dont work i guess i will add a bubbler. I will post a pic just so you can see the difference from the last one i posted and this time theres major surface movement.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 08:18 PM
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Nice picture to show what really is there. That's also what my one tank looks like. I have a 75 which I have had up for several years with constant changes but the substrate has stayed the same from African cichlids to planted and back to Africans. That makes me think it is not your substrate or new tank or wood. My slick came about when I took out the plants and shut down the CO2 as well as moving some fish out. Same decor other than plants. I am playing with moving the water in more ways but currently I have a major slick in any part of the tank where there is not a gushing fountain. When I do a water change or add, the incoming water carries white bits of "stuff" down to float around until sucked in by the filter. Fish take it in but spit it out.


Thick layer to the left but less to the right of the brace where there is a ripple going. My main worry is that it will get thick enough to block gas exchange.
No idea on the cause but I can say it is not from new tank, CO2, substrate, etc. No change in food used but just less of it due to fewer fish as I removed and angel and one rainbow cichlid to make this a totally African tank again.
I can't imagine it being overfeeding as there are only about 15 small 1-2 inch fish in a 75 gallon tank. The 2217 filter cleaned 8 days ago. Water change 4 days ago. No ideas from me???
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 08:53 PM
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I used to get surface film from a certain brand of flake I fed. Fish loved it tho. Like aquabruce suggested a skimmer would help. I have three of those eheim skim 350 and they do a great job. Not that you wanna spend money to fix surface film but they work great.
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