Oily surface wont quit! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Oily surface wont quit!

Hey guys, I've been battling oil slicks on my tanks for some time now. I can soak it all up with paper towel and it's back within a day. I have increased surface agitation so much that it's splashing onto my lights and still- the oil is there. I have done 50% water changes. I have eliminated ferts for a bit, changed foods, took out all driftwood and rocks. Still- it returns! It's so thick I worry about oxygen exchange. I am considering a protein skimmer but really don't want to spend the $$. Plus, I have no idea how they work and dont have a sump or anything- these are small tanks- 20 and 30 gallons. What the heck can I do?? It's driving me nuts cause I think it's really unsightly on top of the concerns about fish and plant health. Started about 2 months ago and just wont quit.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 01:05 PM
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simple. it will break the film up the same way a skimmer will. it just breaks it up on the rim and outside glass of the tank.

its a buildup of organics in the tank and the film is bacteria that is tryin to eat that excess organic.
the bubbles fom an airstone will do two things, help remove unbroken organics, and remove that bacteria

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 01:27 PM
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Ahh, I didnt know that either. I noticed the same thing happening after I started feeding frozen food.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 02:00 PM
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I don't see a protein skimmer working in FW tank. The foam production in FW vs SW just won't let the skimmer serve the same function in a FW tank. Depending on what filtration you use, you might consider some sort of surface skimming to feed the filter.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 02:22 PM
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I bought a surface skimmer that connects to my canister filter and haven't looked back since. Crystal clear water on the surface. Easily the best equipment I have for my tank.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed1976 View Post
Hey guys, I've been battling oil slicks on my tanks for some time now. I can soak it all up with paper towel and it's back within a day. I have increased surface agitation so much that it's splashing onto my lights and still- the oil is there. I have done 50% water changes. I have eliminated ferts for a bit, changed foods, took out all driftwood and rocks. Still- it returns! It's so thick I worry about oxygen exchange. I am considering a protein skimmer but really don't want to spend the $$. Plus, I have no idea how they work and dont have a sump or anything- these are small tanks- 20 and 30 gallons. What the heck can I do?? It's driving me nuts cause I think it's really unsightly on top of the concerns about fish and plant health. Started about 2 months ago and just wont quit.

i was having the same issue until i picked up some frogbit from somewhatshocked https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sp...g-frogbit.html received them on monday and haven't had any oily gunk on the surface of my tank so far
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 02:52 PM
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Most tanks get the film. I hate running airstones because they create too much splashing that ends up running down the back of my tank and getting everywhere. It's not a ton, but enough to make a little mess. I haven't found a way around that, plus airstones are so ugly for the most part. They're either that bright blue or green. Very hard to hide. Surface agitation is really your best bet. My 10 gallon has a HOB filter with a bio-wheel. No surface film. My 75 gallon has canister filters with spraybars below the water line...mega surface film. Luckily the tank sits very high so I have to stand on a chair to see the top of the water (top of the tank is over 6' off the ground.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefroastbeef View Post
I bought a surface skimmer that connects to my canister filter and haven't looked back since. Crystal clear water on the surface. Easily the best equipment I have for my tank.
Hagen makes a "skimmer" that attaches to the Aquaclear line of HOB filters. All it does is take a fraction of the inflow for the filter from the surface of the tank, essentially. A very clever design, works very well. I used to have an oily film on the surface, half an hour after installing the Aquaclear skimmer, the film was gone.

The only drawback is that it's rather large, and may be out of place in a small tank. In a 40 gallon tank like mine, I just hide it behind some plants.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 05:18 PM
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+1 on the air stone. I run a pair of them for 45 minutes when lights are off, and they eliminate the slick. I spray painted 1/8" hard tubing black (tank has a black background) and run those down the back corners of the tank and bury the airline hose that runs to the stone, which is the only thing sticking out of the substrate. You don't know they're there unless I show them to you.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Ok these "skimmers" sound like a possibility. And at $6.99 who can pass up trying?
Foud this one: http://www.petmountain.com/product/a...w-control.html

I will let you know how it works!
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 05:31 PM
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Every thing has pros and cons. I couldn't use one of those skimmers because they use smaller hose sizes than I require and I'd bury it with 600 GPH. They also catch unintended critters and load up with debris, and tend to gurgle and along with assorted other "features"...

...Air Stone

(Walmart has double pumpers for $11)
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 07:29 PM
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What I do is just run the air stone at night. Helps deal with night CO2 and no one's watching the fish then.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 08:16 PM
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It happens. I like to do a small water change (10-20%) while getting a cup and grabbing the surface water only and that does the trick. Easier for a small tank like mine rather than a large one of course.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 08:38 PM
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when i ran an airstone. i had one on a timer at night so as not to waste c02 and make noise while im awake and watching..
u cna get black white, green, or blue stones
and the same color tubing. black or clear suction cups

so multiple color options to try and hide them

and u can run the stone with a flow valve turned down so it doesn't splash everywhere if that is a concern.. or try a smaller pump.. multiple variablesthere as well

now i have a sump and it takes water off the surface anyway... blah blah never have to worry about it

oh yeah and runnign an airstone is very beneficial to ur tank.. u'll be more than happy u did... because it works like a protein skimmer in that the bubbles fuse with organics that haven't been broken down. so it helps keep them lower.. and it helps pomote higher oxyge levels which help the bio filter become more efficient

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 10:50 PM
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So glad I found this because I am having the same exact problem. Can I ask what kind of substrate you have in the tanks??
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