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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I’m a complete newbie to aquarium keeping so I apologise in advance for my lack of knowledge here.

I’ve recently acquired an aquanano tank and have been accumulating what I think is biofilm on the surface of the water. I’ve had the tank for around 3 months now and I’m yet to put any fish or anything else into it yet. So far it’s just the pump, heater, filters, substrate and some ornaments in. However, in spite of this I’m still getting a thick daily buildup on the surface of the water even when removing it daily with paper towels.

I wondered if anyone could tell me where it could be coming from without fish in the tank? And if I need to worry about it before putting fish into the water?

Thanks for the help!

Nicola
 

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Hi everyone,

I’m a complete newbie to aquarium keeping so I apologise in advance for my lack of knowledge here.

I’ve recently acquired an aquanano tank and have been accumulating what I think is biofilm on the surface of the water. I’ve had the tank for around 3 months now and I’m yet to put any fish or anything else into it yet. So far it’s just the pump, heater, filters, substrate and some ornaments in. However, in spite of this I’m still getting a thick daily buildup on the surface of the water even when removing it daily with paper towels.

I wondered if anyone could tell me where it could be coming from without fish in the tank? And if I need to worry about it before putting fish into the water?

Thanks for the help!

Nicola
Welcome to the forum! What you are seeing is actually a form of bacteria. It is not harmful and you can definitely put fish in there with it. There are a few ways to solve it but the easiest is to have some kind of surface agitation, could be your filter output coming out slightly above the surface, or an air stone etc. Another way to solve it is with chemicals. Hydrogen peroxide can be used to kill some of the bacteria.

If you want to remove it manually I would stop the paper towel thing and go with a cup of your choice (I used a plastic spiderman cup because spiderman is cool ;P ) and submerge it in such a way that the scum on the surface gets sucked into the cup but little other water from deeper down. Generally you are going to live with the stuff for a while and its more a matter of controlling it or using a skimmer to keep it hidden. Here is a video on it (there are many others out there as well).

 

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Basically what everybody else is saying. Some things will eat it (shrimp) if given the chance to.

During water changes, I basically surface skim the biofilm out first and then go about with the gravel vacuum. If it's super thick, it might overly disrupt gas exchange, but that's only if your filter isn't powerful enough.

As for cause, what ornaments/substrate are you using? My guess is that dissolved nutrients from one of the additions to the tank is causing the biofilm on top of the tank, and that will lessen in time.
 

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The nutrients could be coming from plants too.

I wouldnt dismiss gas exchange so easily. It's a significant factor in the health of your tank. I would either get a surface skiller, or a Lily Pipe with a skimmer attached. Any future livestock you add are going to need that surface exchange to be as high as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi everyone,

Thank you for the welcome and for the replies to my post, they’re all really helpful! I do have my pump angling to the water surface and agitating this but it isn’t making much of a difference unfortunately. As for the contents of the tank, there’s a plant, a few ornaments and black gravel substrate. The gravel and the ornaments were all thoroughly cleaned with boiling water prior to putting them into the tank though. I’ve also had all new filters in the tank.

Can anyone recommend any particular fish / critters to introduce which will eat the biofilm?

I’ve attached a couple of photos just to be sure!

Thank you again for the help!!

Nic
 

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Shrimp love biofilm. They like a lot of live plants however, so you'd need to add more of those. Neocaridina are easier shrimp to start with, and culls or wild types are relatively inexpensive.

If you don't want to use invertebrates to tackle the biofilm, surface agitation helps as was mentioned above.
 

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It looks like the water level isn't high enough to pass through the overflow teeth.

Any chance you can post a video of the tank with the pump running so we can see some water movement at both the output to the tank and the drain to the overflow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again for the information! Shrimps sound like they will be a good idea. I have read that snails and potentially mollies too?

I’ve uploaded a video to the post and I’ve taken a photo having now cleared the surface with a jug again and topped up the water levels to cover the teeth.

Thanks 😊

Nic
 

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Thanks for the info!

Do you know what model or size Aquanano tank you have? I'm trying to find more info about how the filter and pump is supposed to work or at least a basic instruction manual.
 

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Thanks for the model and size!!

Did filling the tank with more water help to reduce the surface scum or is it still to early to tell?

Also, did you get a couple different outlet fittings that attach to your pump or just the one you showed in your video?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Dee :)

I think it’s still too early to tell if filling it more will help. I’ll give it 24 hours and update you!

As for the pump, it just came with what’s shown unfortunately. Though I may be able to buy attachments for it. I hadn’t looked before.

Thanks again for trying so hard to help!!
 
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