Water Surface Scum - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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Water Surface Scum

Should I be concerned about this. It just made water look dirty even I just did a 70% w/c two days ago. The tank has 2.25" Miracle Gro capped with 1.75" of mixed gravels with Eco-complete.

The water change helped a little. But it comes back quickly after the w/c.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 01:26 AM
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ngrubich View Post
It's normal biofilm. Increase surface agitation to keep it in check.
There is one small power head running to move the water at bottom of the tank. Should I add another one to point it to the water surface? I have one SunSun 303b and no HOB because I'm going to put a CO2 on this tank.

I've also noticed large bubbles coming out of the substrate today. More bubbles than usual.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 03:10 AM
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Go get an eheim 350 skimmer if it really bothers you, one of the best things I bought and its cheap/keeps the surface crystal clear


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 05:25 AM
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If you have a wey/dry vac you can use it to skim the surface while you add water back to the tank after a water change. It makes a world of difference and gets really clean for the most part. Then after that just add some surface agitation like mentioned and you're good to go.


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 05:29 AM
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I point a Hydor Nano 425 at the surface of my 90P. Opposite corner to my lily pipe outflow. Works wonderfully: promotes circular movement about the tank and has entirely eliminated any scum. Plus, the fish seem to enjoy swimming in its current.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 11:52 AM
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a surface skimmer is a great way to go about it. been using one for years.
you can also agitate the surface, but you need alot of agitation. pretty much enough to churn the surface and outgas your co2.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 12:29 PM
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How does a skimmer affect CO2 levels?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 12:44 PM
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Overfeeding contributes to the problem.



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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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I just remember my canister filter (SunSun 303B) comes with a skimmer. Let me try it to see if that works.

I feed my fish lightly once a day and the bows are ferocious eater. They always bumping off others while trying get the food. So the food would only last for seconds in the tank.

The Eheim 350 skimmer seems to be good after I read couple reviews and saw its action on YouTube.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 01:28 PM
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Dirty filter and protein from fish food leads to surface Scum. Some say higher level of Fe dosing contributes to this problem, I dont agree. I just installed Eheim 350 skimmer yesterday and to my surprise with in 5 minutes tank is sparkling crystal Clear. I never had the problem with Surface Scum till recently as I started to feed a lot for growing Discus.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 01:38 PM
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You could install a small internal overflow box on your tank and put the canister filter intake into it.

It accomplishes the same thing as the overflow leading to a sump, but since you're using the canister there's no real chance of overflowing anything.

People are too often merely stating an assumed truth from flawed observation.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 01:51 PM
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I just saw a video on how to make a very easy DIY skimmer I might try. Small pump from somewhere like Harbor Freight ~$10 or less and a clear water bottle with floss in it and done.

I'm still wondering about CO2 loss with a skimmer though?
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 02:27 PM
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I was having the same problem. I used a multifunction powerhead and added a diy spray bar towards the surface of my water, helped to circulate the water that is sitting on top.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FewestKitten896 View Post
I was having the same problem. I used a multifunction powerhead and added a diy spray bar towards the surface of my water, helped to circulate the water that is sitting on top.
The spreadbar (outlet of my canister) is currently being positioned facing the tank wall, so the water that coming out of the canister is being spread at the tank glass. I'm doing this because I want to eliminate noise when the water level goes below the spreadbar. I guess I can just turn it around and allow the water spreading towards the water surface to generate agitation.
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