My water surface is shiny....help please - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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My water surface is shiny....help please

Hey guys...All of a sudden lately the surface of my tank has got this shiny sheen look to it almost like gasoline, but not as rainbow-y...

Is this something normal or is some leeching this crap in my tank? The fish and shrimp all seem to be alive alert awake and enthusiastic...

Its starting to get me worried. Thanks
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 02:52 AM
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I think it is a film made mostly of protein. This buildup is usually caused by a lack of surface agitation and shouldn't be harmful.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 02:55 AM
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Protein film is normally whitish. If it's slightly colorful, it could be oils from your fish food, hands or maybe something else.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 02:58 AM
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This could be a simple bio film, try and remove excess organics in your tank and increase the surface agitation. It could also be Eisenbacteria which can be fixed with more surface agitation. Good luck
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Wow you guys are so quick to answer. I really appreciate everyones help. I just gave my tank a good look-over...

Whats getting me nervous is the water right around my heater has that look of like...looking at the roof of a car on a hot day. Im getting nervous thinking the heater is heating up the plastic suction cup holder and leeching this crap into the tank.

Does the water look like that when your heaters are actively heating? The bottom of the heater was resting on the substrate, so i moved it up and moved the heating portion farther from the plastic holder...still looks the same.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 03:17 AM
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Yes, the hot water from the heater mixing with the cool water looks the same as hot air from the road/ the hood of a car mixing with cool air. Just make sure that the clip isn't over the part of the heater that gets hot, and you'll be fine.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 04:21 AM
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surface agitation should do the trick. a skimmer that hooks up to your filter only costs about $10. use it for a week and then remove it, then increase your surface agitation a little bit and it should stay away.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 08:17 PM
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could be all of the above or eisenbacteria, an iron eating form of bacteria.. when it was present in my aquarium it somewhat resembled oil or gasoline as you had mentioned

here's a decent place with pics to see what you may have

http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2010, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
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Oh man, great site. After seeing that its DEF the Eisenbacteria. I used a small cup and siphoned off all of it from the surface. Looked great but its slowly coming back again.

Ive also noticed that the bowl I have in my bedroom containing the java moss that i took out of my old tank about a month and a half ago has this on the water surface also.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2010, 07:00 AM
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I am having this issue as well. I try and agitate the surface with my power head and spray bar pointing towards it, I have also tried just removing the surface water as much as possible when doing weekly water changes. I have not tried placing paper towels on the surface just long enough to begin to soak up the oily looking water, but that will be my next attempt. :/


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2010, 02:19 PM
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get this. http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...3&pcatid=12703

hook it up to your filter when you need it and take it out when everything is clear. and THEN increase surface agitation. thats how i got rid of mine
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2010, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Really neat product! but ive got a HOB filter. Looks like ill be hand skimming often haha.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2010, 09:44 PM
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try an airstone. it creates good surface agitation.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2010, 10:10 PM
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The surface skimmer linked above should work on most HOB filters as well. Hagen markets a very similar one for their Aqua Clear series.

At most a little extra tubing and some creativity should get it connected.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2010, 11:18 PM
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or hook it up to a powerhead
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