How do you guys prevent surface scrum?? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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How do you guys prevent surface scrum??

Hey guys,

I'm looking to start 2 or 3 nano tanks, they will be in the 5.5 - 6.5 gallon range. My main challenge at the moment is figuring out how to get rid of anticipated surface scum. My tanks will be rimless and open-top so a clear water surface is a must.

I have a Eheim Skim 350 on my 50 gallon, I love it - best thing ever. But I was suggested in another thread that I can't use the Skim 350 as the sole filter. That said, Aquaclears - they can't prevent surface scrum can they??

The tanks will be heavily planted, low tech, low bio-load.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 06:34 AM
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Air stone or small powerhead...anything to provide water movement, especially across the surface.

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I did have a bluegill once that ate cooked pasta and bologna rinds as a treat.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 06:40 AM
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I have seen that oily slick on a planted tank before, with very little fish. Owner of tank said he didn't know where it comes from but thinks it's the soil under the gravel. He had surface agitation too, only water changes helped him.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 08:59 AM
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Overflow with a sump.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 09:09 AM
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Eheim 350. Doesn't degas CO2 and removes scum.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2015, 11:54 AM
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I have done several no tech bowls before. Surface scum only appeared when the plants were suffering. I have read, although I have no proof, that surface scum is the result of plants leaching proteins back into the water when they suffer deficiencies.
So, if that is true, and my experience supports it, if you can keep your plants growing well it won't be a problem.
However, the aquaclear, or anything that disturbs the water surface will break up surface scum.

If in doubt, add more plants!

My not-enough-plants-but-not-enough-space-to-put-anymore-so-will-start-going-up-box-of-water.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2015, 02:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepguy View Post
I have done several no tech bowls before. Surface scum only appeared when the plants were suffering. I have read, although I have no proof, that surface scum is the result of plants leaching proteins back into the water when they suffer deficiencies.
So, if that is true, and my experience supports it, if you can keep your plants growing well it won't be a problem.
However, the aquaclear, or anything that disturbs the water surface will break up surface scum.
I've had the scum with thriving plants. Anything that disturbs the surface tension will take care of it.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2015, 02:26 AM
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A little bit of surface agitation gets rid of mine.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2015, 02:47 AM
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I think it is simply a case of waste products. Where you have breakdown of plant material (waste) or high growth causing high waste, you get scum.


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| Eheim Prof 3, 2217, 2213 (Purigen only) + 350 Skim, Reeflex UV 800 | HC300A Chiller | 3xKessil A360WE LED + Spectral Controller | Pres. CO2 + Aqua Medic Reactor1000 | DIY Fertz + 2 x Jabeo DP-4 | CAL AQUA LABSí Black Earth & GreenBase subst. + root tabs


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2015, 03:02 AM
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Quit sticking your hand in the tank and you won't get oil...
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2015, 03:03 AM
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Quit sticking your hand in the tank and you won't get oil...
Gosh, how oily are you?


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| Eheim Prof 3, 2217, 2213 (Purigen only) + 350 Skim, Reeflex UV 800 | HC300A Chiller | 3xKessil A360WE LED + Spectral Controller | Pres. CO2 + Aqua Medic Reactor1000 | DIY Fertz + 2 x Jabeo DP-4 | CAL AQUA LABSí Black Earth & GreenBase subst. + root tabs


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2015, 03:05 AM
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I wash my hands beforehand and don't get films, idk what y'all are doing... Or maybe it's because of my bubbler or output on my 405 being set near the surface
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2015, 05:59 PM
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The oil is normal in every tank if the water surface is not moving enough. What it is really is proteins, lipids, and other organic matter that get stuck at the surface. Some bacteria and even invertebrates produce chemicals that help in preventing this surface water movement. In order to maintain the fluidity, a constant current must be moving the surface (like a filter output pointing to the water surface or a skimmer). Then again, agitating the surface too much also limits the amount of CO2 that can be dissolved in water column if it is greater than the atmospheric CO2. Ideally you should get a soft flow going, and do the weekly water changes.


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