What's The Slick? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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What's The Slick?

Hi, I have an open top 4 gal tank with a few plants, and 10 shrimp. I keep getting a daily slick on the surface of the water. When I look at it with a flashlight, it is multicolored..almost like oil would look in water. Any idea what this is?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 01:45 PM
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lots of people get this. do a search for water film or simular terms. basically you can adjust the water flow to cause a little suface agitation to keep it from building up, or take a paper towel and wipe it up, or get mollies they like to eat it up. Lots of options for you.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 03:14 PM
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from what Ive read its a protein film. Like kunerd says get some surface agitation going and problem solved

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I figured proteins...but wondered from what? The shrimp eat mostly algae based food, but I guess there must be some protein in it as well. There sure are all kinds of weird critters in this tank. Some kind of tiny white worms all through the substrate, and I think I might have hydra. It looks like white frilly things attached to everything, even some of the plant stems.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 05:47 PM
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Organic wastes, proteins, etc...
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 08:52 PM
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It might be a paramecium of some sort, I had something similiar happen in my cherry shrimp tank. I kept noticing these sand sized white crustaceans and a few white worms that seemed to float in the water column, not to mention the plant leeches I would see from time to time. I called up my LFS and they told me that if they were not bothering the shrimp then they were essentially paramecium...however, after a few water changes and a little aging of the driftwood in the water they seemed to disappear...
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psybock View Post
It might be a paramecium of some sort, I had something similiar happen in my cherry shrimp tank. I kept noticing these sand sized white crustaceans and a few white worms that seemed to float in the water column, not to mention the plant leeches I would see from time to time. I called up my LFS and they told me that if they were not bothering the shrimp then they were essentially paramecium...however, after a few water changes and a little aging of the driftwood in the water they seemed to disappear...
??

The OP is talking about a surface film on top of the water's surface...kinda like an oil spill on top of a lake.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 10:43 PM
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"Thanks, I figured proteins...but wondered from what? The shrimp eat mostly algae based food, but I guess there must be some protein in it as well. There sure are all kinds of weird critters in this tank. Some kind of tiny white worms all through the substrate, and I think I might have hydra. It looks like white frilly things attached to everything, even some of the plant stems."

I was replying to this remark...

By the way the plant "critters" might be planeria or something, and the oil slick could be caused by dust as well. It is easily removed with a paper towel or strong current. By the way, remember that everything has protiens in it's makeup, plants included, so even the algae foods could cause such a slick... Also an airstone with even a soft flow could remedy this...
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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I am more familiar with what we call planeria in keeping saltwater tanks, is this planeria a flatworm as well? The things on the plants are stationary, not mobile. Shaped like a flower sort of, attached with a single stem, and teeny tiny. I also thought I am supposed to keep surface movement at a minimum, is this wrong?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 10:56 PM
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Um that could be something completely different, everything that was in my tank were moving, and hydra would be attaching itself to tank occupants I think. However, from what I know, flatworms inhabit freshwater as well, I've actually seen some of these plant leeches on store bought plants, and they can be rather big (size of a pea). Anyway as far as surface agitation, it depends on what you have, if you're using CO2 then that might be a problem, but if your dosing with flourish excel then that shouldn't be a problem. With an open topped aquarium, some of the surface agitation might cause splashing depending on what you use. A minimum will also introduce more oxygen exchange in the water, so it isn't necessarily a bad idea, of course I could be wrong, but it never seemed to hurt any of my tanks that had a lot of plants. It will help keep that slick off and allow more light to reach your plants. However, if the agitation is too great it could deflect too much light. I guess what I'm trying to get at is there can be too much agitation, but a little bit will not hurt anything, at least not to my knowledge...
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