Water level milky film - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Water level milky film

Anyone know what causes this milky film in a planted tank?
My water parameters are good, I do pressurized co2, led lights, and rarely dose ferts (havent in a while). Plants are doing fine but I have rwo tanks and both are doing this. Could snails be the cause?Click image for larger version

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 07:35 PM
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It's just a protein film that builds up on the water surface. You can alleviate it with a skimmer or surface agitation.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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If I keep taking that out of the water, does that mean the water will become softer? I only top off with filtered drinking water. No water changes.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 11:38 PM
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How long has your tank been set up? I used to get that film when my tank was new, before everything got "in balance." After a few weeks it went away and never came back.

55g: Finnex Planted+ and MonsterRay, Pressurized CO2 w/ Atomic inline diffuser, Eheim 2217, Eco-Complete, EI ferts. Lemon, Glowlight, and Black Neon Tetras; Harlequin Rasboras; Otos. Staurogyne repens, Hygrophila corymbosa, Ludwigia repens, Ludwigia glandulosa, Red Melon Sword, Wisteria, Water Sprite.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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How long has your tank been set up? I used to get that film when my tank was new, before everything got "in balance." After a few weeks it went away and never came back.
Its been setup for just under 2 years. It never got this bad untill snails made their way into the tank from plants I bought from someone (I think. Dont remember if it got this bad before).

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 02:58 AM
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If I keep taking that out of the water, does that mean the water will become softer? I only top off with filtered drinking water. No water changes.
Why are you not doing water changes? Are you attempting a natural low tech no water change tank? Even if you do that, do you ever notice how a stagnant pond builds a layer of stuff on top? The film is there for many varied reasons -- especially if you've had the tank for a while. So yes, the snails may or could cause that. So, like freph said, the easy solutions are to get the surface moving to break it up. So, if you run a filter, you can find a way to incorporate a skimmer to the intake tube or you can purchase an eheim skimmer. Either way will not remove water from your system.

Also, See this similar thread.. and the video of the eheim skim 350 in it.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...66#post5294866
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Why are you not doing water changes? Are you attempting a natural low tech no water change tank? Even if you do that, do you ever notice how a stagnant pond builds a layer of stuff on top? The film is there for many varied reasons -- especially if you've had the tank for a while. So yes, the snails may or could cause that. So, like freph said, the easy solutions are to get the surface moving to break it up. So, if you run a filter, you can find a way to incorporate a skimmer to the intake tube or you can purchase an eheim skimmer. Either way will not remove water from your system.

Also, See this similar thread.. and the video of the eheim skim 350 in it.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...66#post5294866
I dont see a point in water changes as my pH and hardness are perfect. My cardinal tetras are laying eggs in that tank. I am trying to breed them. Dont want to waste water. My tank isnt really low tech. I use led's and Pressurized co2. I guess a factor to this is my canister filter not being strong enough and the ripple, but i dont want to skim that stuff back into the water. Instead i just use a jar to have the gunk overflow into the jar and pour it out and top off with new water.
I saw your link, and the video there has some pretty bad oil. It looks really green. Not like mine.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 10:22 AM
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Ahh, so you're not asking for a alternative technique. You were more concerned whether your process will end up softening your water or not or why it's happening in the first place and keeps coming back. Well, I've seen all sorts of answers for that one. From type of fish food to fish poop and not cleaning filters. Perhaps it well could be the slimy snails.

Hmm. What if you net it? I suppose that's a little like skimming so you're not getting rid of it.

I suppose you could look into boosting back whatever hardness you soften with gh booster but now you're getting into adding "stuff" when you're trying to keep things pure. Actually, since you're testing hardness, have you seen any change since you started your jar removal and filtered water add? By the way, since we're throwing out ideas, I don't know how you filtered your drinking water but I recently got a TDS meter and was playing with it with water filtered by my PUR filter. It didn't seem to significantly reduce any TDS from tap. Sure, the PUR filter has carbon and other media to get rid of chlorine but one does wonder what its missing. I tried the one from my fridge and it cut half the TDS so maybe its a matter of needing to change but still it was in the 100s. I think this is the selling point of Zerowater filters. This is also probably why the serious shrimpers go out and buy an RO system.

Interesting conundrum. I hope someone here pipes up with something cool or you find a slick solution.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Ahh, so you're not asking for a alternative technique. You were more concerned whether your process will end up softening your water or not or why it's happening in the first place and keeps coming back.
Yeah, i am basically wondering why it happens in the first place and why it comes back.
I get my water from grocery store. Their machine does 7 or so stages of filtration (carbon and UV being some of them, not sure what else).

And so far i havent noticed much difference in hardness yet. It's relatively low at times at only 4 or 5 degrees which should be good.
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