Surface Scum - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Surface Scum

Some film appeared on the water surface in my tank just this past week. It seems to have coincided with me starting fertilizing for the plants. After doing a quick Google search I found that this film is most often referred to as surface scum and is easily rid of with a protein skimmer, which is a piece of equipment I do not own. As for the questions I have, here we go:
  1. Do all protein skimmers attach to a canister filter's intake tube? I have an Aquaclear 50 hang-on-tank filter so I wouldn't be able to attach a skimmer to that filter...
  2. Are there alternatives that can be used to get rid of this surface scum?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 01:15 PM
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Surface scum is common and not harmful. Too much can theoretically hinder gas exchange at the surface and reflect back some light. Both would be detrimental, but its probably more of a cosmetic issue.

I used a Tom Aquatics surface skimming attachment that worked great in the past. More recently though, I wanted to add some flow to my tank and removed the skimmer and added one of these:

http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...m?pcatid=18381

This provides surface skimming and adds circulation. The extra filtration is just a bonus. My tank is 84g, so this device may not fit, ot add too much flow for your tank, but in lieu of a skimmer attachmnet, this would do the job if fits your system.

AB


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 01:41 PM
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protein skimmers are for saltwater, they remove dissolved organics from the water. You need a surface skimmer.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 02:14 PM
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or just more surface agitation. another filter, or better working one?

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StaleyDaBear View Post
or just more surface agitation. another filter, or better working one?
Some folks run an air stone at night and have good results.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 03:54 PM
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Hawkian, what filter does your tank have?


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 05:05 PM
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If you have a canister filter you can use Tom Aquatics Aquarium Surface Skimmer. It worked really well for me in the past. The skimmer part floats in the water and is self adjusting to the water level in the tank.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-04-2010, 01:07 AM
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Surface agitation, or teach your pond snails the back stroke

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-04-2010, 01:15 AM
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Surface agitation, or teach your pond snails the back stroke
Lol!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-04-2010, 04:52 AM
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Seriously, surface agitation.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-04-2010, 05:04 AM
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Seriously, surface agitation.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by FSM View Post
protein skimmers are for saltwater, they remove dissolved organics from the water. You need a surface skimmer.
They work for both, but a protein skimmer is for removing organics, which could be your fertilizer. I drilled a small hole in the return at water level for my tank to cause more surface agitation. This may work for you also. Try it on an old head before you waste a good though.
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