The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 20 gallon long tank, with a height of only 12" and I'm running into issues with surface scum at one end of the tank. Because of the shallow depth, I have been unable to find a surface skimmer filter inlet than fits around my hardscape and because of the length of the tank, I can't get enough surface agitation from the outlet to break up the surface film consistently across the whole length of the tank. I'm currently rocking a lily pipe.

I'm more interested in what potential causes for the surface film might be, and any way that individuals have managed to reduce the production of the surface film in the first place so that I can get a better gaseous exchange in my tank. Anyone have any tips or suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
I've got a 20 gallon long tank, with a height of only 12" and I'm running into issues with surface scum at one end of the tank. Because of the shallow depth, I have been unable to find a surface skimmer filter inlet than fits around my hardscape and because of the length of the tank, I can't get enough surface agitation from the outlet to break up the surface film consistently across the whole length of the tank. I'm currently rocking a lily pipe.

I'm more interested in what potential causes for the surface film might be, and any way that individuals have managed to reduce the production of the surface film in the first place so that I can get a better gaseous exchange in my tank. Anyone have any tips or suggestions?

I’m in the same position, had it quite bad, the food wouldn’t sink through it at its worst, I run a canister filter so I managed to find a inlet pipe with skimmer attached that would fit, eBay for £15, definitely helped.

You may be able to find a Nano sized pipe, mines about 25cm in length, but have seen smaller.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Surface scum is a mixture of all the different particles in the water column that are bouyant. Mostly proteins and lipids from inside the tank, sometimes dust and other from outside the tank. I got tired of dealing with it so I drilled my tank and installed a sump. I have seen people run internal overflows using a canister filter succesfully, either aftermarket or diy. You could diy an internal oveflow out of pvc pipe cut in half if you feel handy. The problem then becomes water loss due to evaporation within that overflow...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
You can spray H2O2 - hydrogen peroxide. This will help to a certain extent.

The cause is too much organic substances in the water.

This will happen when you have insufficient filtration, or you have not cleaned your filter, and the filter has become dirty and clogged. you might be over feeding the fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
You can spray H2O2 - hydrogen peroxide. This will help to a certain extent.

The cause is too much organic substances in the water.

This will happen when you have insufficient filtration, or you have not cleaned your filter, and the filter has become dirty and clogged. you might be over feeding the fish.
I've read this a lot too, but I feel as if I keep my tank pretty clean. I already do weekly 50% water changes, have 300 gph filtration rate, clean the pre-filter weekly and the filter ever few months, and only feed once every 2 or 3 days...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
I also have a 20 gallon long and my HOB provides enough flow to keep the surface clear. However, I have floating plants that the filter tends to push underwater, so I have been experimenting with different ways to prevent that from happening. Often times these measures restrict the water flow in one way or another and that's when I started the see scum. My tank isn't any dirtier on the whole, but I'm sure that organics are accumulating in certain places now that they weren't able to before. I look at this as more a flow problem than a cleanliness problem, but I suppose that's a matter of perspective.

I haven't figured out exactly how to handle this completely in my own tank (I suspect I'm either going to have to remove the floaters or just accept a certain amount of scum), but I have found that if I only feed in areas with good flow it really slows the rate of scum build up. Also, if you float a paper towel on the scum it does a pretty good job of clearing the area quickly, but that's only a temporary measure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I second the Eheim skim 350 option. I have a 33 long which is the same dimensions as yours just a bit longer and the skim 350 works wonders
 

·
snails are your friend
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Haha Not to brag or anything, but the simplest solution pretty often works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts

I use an airstone. Once I fixed my oxygen issues in the tank everything woke up. Bacterial bloom stopped and my water became clear, and my snails started being very active relative to how they were before.
I have two 16-18" spraybars, one on either side of the middle brace along the back of my 55 gallon pointed towards the front glass, they cause a bit of rippling and even they weren't enough to oxygenate the water effectively. I added an airstone right under the middle brace and within a few hours the tank had completely changed. The snails were more active, there was no surface scum even in areas along the edges of the tank, and the plants were pearling more than they had been.

I would imagine a surface skimmer would do the same job located anywhere in the tank as the concept isn't that you're removing the surface film so much as you're increasing the oxygen/co2 exchange in the water allowing the bacteria to go back to normal.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top