Layer of something at surface of water - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Malta
Posts: 75
Layer of something at surface of water

As you can see from the attached image, the surface of my water has a layer of something. No idea what it is. The photo is taken from below to show the surface. To describe it i'd say it reminds me of when you drop oil in water. Any ideas what it can be, how its coming and how I can avoid it from happening? My tank is a 100G planted and I have a pressurized CO2 system. I dose EI ferts and do regular weekly water changes
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMAGE_153.jpg
Views:	51
Size:	237.6 KB
ID:	14544  

ilaizm is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 12:58 PM
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,241
I think you could do a search for surface scum. I'm not familiar with any cure for it personally, but the 3 common cures for it are:
1. Live bearers like mollies eat it.
2. A paper towel laid on the surface will pick it up.
3. A skimmer will filter it out.

I don't know what causes it, but I have some and I'd like to know.

65 gallon journal:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
kid creole is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 01:08 PM
Wannabe Guru
hbosman's Avatar
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Leesburg Virginia
Posts: 1,728
I've read that it is proteins that build up in the water. For some reason it seems to be more of an issue when pressurized co2 is used. I experience this as well. To counter act it, I aim the output of my canister filter to create some surface agitation. This causes me to have to increase co2 output but I seem to have found a balance between reduced surface scum and co2 output. Some people use surface skimmers attached to the input of their canister filters and this seems to be effective. I personally can't use this method because I have to much evaporation with my open top tank. My co2 output is about 3 bps on a 46 gallon tank. Since co2 is inexpensive, I don't mind the co2 loss to much. Also, the surface agitation will benefit by adding additional oxygen to the water.
hbosman is online now  
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 02:20 PM
Algae Grower
art_t's Avatar
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 101
I had something very similar to this in my new tank. I was adding ammonia for my fishless cycle and a day or so later I had an oil slick on the surface. I had a crappy little filter as a "just in case filter" for a 10g tank. I threw that on to circulate the water closer to the top. The next day the oil slick was completely gone. I think the canister filter doesn't circulate the water close to the suface. That's the only thing I came up with.
art_t is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 03:00 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
snoz0r's Avatar
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Brownsburg, IN
Posts: 390
Send a message via AIM to snoz0r
It could also be iron bacteria. That's the problem i have, lots of rust/iron in my water.. so after every water change they thrive and then by the end of the week it's gone... if it's really bad i'll running my koralia nano at the surface of the water for a little while to draw air and churn it up which helps

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
click above for my tank journal - Eheim Pimp Club #357 - SunSun Pimp #3
snoz0r is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 04:06 PM
Planted Tank Guru
wkndracer's Avatar
PTrader: (68/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Citrus County,Florida
Posts: 6,186
I've also experienced this in my injected tanks. No harm to fish or plant IMO.
Directing the spraybar or a power head parallel below the surface to break surface tension w/o splash will make it disappear.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

If at first you don't succeed,,, keep kicking it
2-75g planted, 3-55g planted, 110g w/30g sump, 2018 update returning to sanity (Nutz)
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
wkndracer is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 01:52 PM
Wannabe Guru
FSM's Avatar
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,189
I point the spraybar on my fluval 404 (DIY made out of PVC) horizontally across the tank, about an inch below the surface. That works well. When I had my 29 set up, I noticed that if the water level was high, the filter didn't create much surface agitation (whisper 60 or something like that) and the surface film appeared. When the water level dropped, the film disappeared.

On another tank, I have a wet/dry sump with a corner overflow, it skims water from the surface plus the output is directed across the tank a few inches from the surface. No surface film.
FSM is offline  


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome