Film on top of water not going away - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Film on top of water not going away

I know that the film on top of my water is not harmful. I used to just change 10% of the water daily and that would make it go away mostly. Now, after I came home from vacation, it is thicker than ever. Now it reforms within 1 hour of the water change. The tank is vacant now for 3 days. The tank has not been fed for five days. It does instantly retreat when fed. what is it and is there anything I can do to be rid of it without buying another filter? Params below

Nitrate=<5
Nitrite=0
Ammonia=0
tank size=30gal
gh=8
kh=6
pH=7.2
water change=10% daily
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 12:43 AM
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I get a thick thick film on one of my 40b. its a dirt tank with TMS cap and a bunch of plants/driftwood. No inhabitants and no food has ever been put in, but the film is so bad, I have to put a gallon jug in the aquarium so that it fills up with water from the surface and sucks in the film. it stains my plastic bottle and is back withing a day or 2. It blocks so much light that when I skim it off it looks like I added another light!

Sounds similar to yours, everyone tells me I must be overfeeding.... no food since setup 6 months ago!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by metallicanick78 View Post
I get a thick thick film on one of my 40b. its a dirt tank with TMS cap and a bunch of plants/driftwood. No inhabitants and no food has ever been put in, but the film is so bad, I have to put a gallon jug in the aquarium so that it fills up with water from the surface and sucks in the film. it stains my plastic bottle and is back withing a day or 2. It blocks so much light that when I skim it off it looks like I added another light!

Sounds similar to yours, everyone tells me I must be overfeeding.... no food since setup 6 months ago!
Its almost exactly like that. I think it is causing algae to form on my plants due to lack of oxygen. It visibly gets dimmer when the film is left to grow. People told me I am overfeeding but I had 22 fish in this tank in march and I just took out the last four 3 days ago. The film was not nearly as bad until halfway through July and less and less food has been going in since then. I don't understand it. I do have this brown slime in my filter tubes that I think is from my Flourite brand substrate. The dust is crazy bad if I stir it up. Most has been vacuumed off the top inch though. Soooooo... you would think as I vacuum off more it gets better but no it doesn't and at this point, I don't think it will. I've seen products that you can hook up to an HOB filter intake that will surface skim but I don't know where I saw that. anyway thanks for the feedback it's nice to know I'm not the only one with this problem. phew... that was a lot
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubSmacks View Post
Its almost exactly like that. I think it is causing algae to form on my plants due to lack of oxygen. It visibly gets dimmer when the film is left to grow. People told me I am overfeeding but I had 22 fish in this tank in march and I just took out the last four 3 days ago. The film was not nearly as bad until halfway through July and less and less food has been going in since then. I don't understand it. I do have this brown slime in my filter tubes that I think is from my Flourite brand substrate. The dust is crazy bad if I stir it up. Most has been vacuumed off the top inch though. Soooooo... you would think as I vacuum off more it gets better but no it doesn't and at this point, I don't think it will. I've seen products that you can hook up to an HOB filter intake that will surface skim but I don't know where I saw that. anyway thanks for the feedback it's nice to know I'm not the only one with this problem. phew... that was a lot
You are right, there is cheap surface skimmers like fluval $10.

Read this thread about surface scum, o2/co2 and gassing your livestock.

http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php?t=10282


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubSmacks View Post
Its almost exactly like that. I think it is causing algae to form on my plants due to lack of oxygen. It visibly gets dimmer when the film is left to grow. People told me I am overfeeding but I had 22 fish in this tank in march and I just took out the last four 3 days ago. The film was not nearly as bad until halfway through July and less and less food has been going in since then. I don't understand it. I do have this brown slime in my filter tubes that I think is from my Flourite brand substrate. The dust is crazy bad if I stir it up. Most has been vacuumed off the top inch though. Soooooo... you would think as I vacuum off more it gets better but no it doesn't and at this point, I don't think it will. I've seen products that you can hook up to an HOB filter intake that will surface skim but I don't know where I saw that. anyway thanks for the feedback it's nice to know I'm not the only one with this problem. phew... that was a lot
Thats funny, I also have a brown slime in my eheim tubes and dusting my TMS cap... It makes the black sand look so dirty. I vac it and it comes back... I do have tons of daphnia looking things, hydra, planaria and tiny white worms... I can only guess that they found something in the dirt/wood that they can feed on and they must be producing some kind of protien that accumulates at the surface... they havent bothered me because they are the only things in there. Im thinking if I get some fish they will eat up a bunch of them, otherwise ill have to find some safeguard or similar...
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 12:35 PM
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you might want to read https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=186502 his problem was probably worse but your's might develop into this.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 02:00 PM
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I have this tank that has no fish. I kept getting “white cloudy water” followed by green water. Also there seems to be almost a constant diatom problem. The surface film just kept getting worse and worse.
I started adding ferts to the tank to see if I could get the plants to outcompete the algae. I added some extra filter media to see if I could get the bacteria to stabilize. Then I started doing more water changes. Nothing seemed to be working.

One day I did a 100% water change and cleaned the tank glass and filters and vacuumed the bottom thoroughly. For almost a week I had perfectly clear water and no surface film. Then I started adding ferts to the tank again and white water, surface scum and green water returned.

So I did another 100 % water change and cleaned the tank thoroughly again. I changed the dosing of the ferts a bit but I just kept on adding them. The next week I did this again. The cleaner the tank got the less surface scum appeared.
Now it has been two weeks with no bacteria blooms and no algae blooms and no surface scum.

Just for the record again there are no fish in this tank. My best guess is that there is a mini cycle of sorts going on with the bacteria and various algae that is throwing off some kind of protein, lipids or something similar.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 07:06 PM
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Do these tanks have lots of flow and surface agitation? I am guessing this might have something to do with the problem, but it is only a guess.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 07:22 PM
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I have this too; it drives me nuts. Its' not as bad as some I've seen but if I squat in front of the tank and look up into the surface it looks cloudy and my tank has never been crystal clear---I figured maybe my water pipes are dirty but I have no idea. I have a good amount of agitation both in the tank and on the surface. I don't overfeed and I vacuum/water change 50% weekly.

I just bought the Fluval Protein Skimmer; I'll set it up today or tomorrow and let you know if it works.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 07:33 PM
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Surface agitation will get rid of surface film. Raise your filter or ad an airstone.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 07:58 PM
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I used to have the same problem, but then I installed an auto water changing system...
Mine uses an overflow and effectively works as a surface skimmer.
Automatic water change system DI/RO + tap water (lots of large pics)



Here's my current surface scum: BAM, none!

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...ater_scumc.jpg
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