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Film on water surface question

685 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Manel
Anyone familiar with this? For the past few days the water surface on my 10 gallon shows a wierd layer of some stuff, kind of like when you mix gasoline in water (which of course I didn’t). Parameters are the same as my last water change. could it be some bacteria or some fungus that I scraped from the wood with my last water change? Or maybe something from my tap water?

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(here is my journal for this tank:
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Anyone familiar with this? For the past few days the water surface on my 10 gallon shows a wierd layer of some stuff, kind of like when you mix gasoline in water (which of course I didn’t). Parameters are the same as my last water change. could it be some bacteria or some fungus that I scraped from the wood with my last water change? Or maybe something from my tap water?

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(here is my journal for this tank:
It's bacteria. Comes typically from feeding high protein foods like live blackworms or frozen foods. But it can also come from other things. Using a python (or other water changing system) to get it during water change can help. I also put some hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and mist some on it when doing a water change. It will knock it down until you feed some more high protein foods that can leave a slick on the surface bacteria can feed upon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Python water changer
I have one of those. Never knew it was called a python. Thanks


Also look into lilly pipes or other overflow means. I understand you have a small tank so it may not be practical though. On my 90 gallon tank, I have an overflow in the corner that handles surface skimming.

While the film is unsightly it's not so harmful.
I bought one for my 55 gallon tank but decided to swich back to the original one after a few days. The cap on top kept going up and down and air bubbles would continue to go into the tube, hence my canister filter was constantly struggling and I couldn’t get it to stay still. Maybe it was also because of all the mini water lettuce that was gathering around it.
have you ever experienced that?
 

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A quick fix for that is a surface skimmer. I believe Oase makes on that is readily available, and so does Eheim if I recall correctly.

What you're seeing is bacteria/protein. What's really weird about it is that it seems to be unique to planted tanks. Every planted tank I've had has that unless I'm actively skimming the surface, or if I have a ridiculous amount of surface agitation.

Completely normal though and nothing to be concerned with. The only issue I can potentially see is that it reduces the amount of light in the tank. Even then it's minimal at best.
 

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They also make small stand-alone powered surface skimmers that you could add. They have a very small powerhead which pulls in the scum and helps provide more surface movement by the return flow.

I am sure that some of the film is from bacteria but I also imagine that part of it is also oil from fish food that we might be overly generous with. If you have a lot of that film it can decrease the ability of the surface to exchange fresh oxygen.
 

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I have one of those. Never knew it was called a python. Thanks




I bought one for my 55 gallon tank but decided to swich back to the original one after a few days. The cap on top kept going up and down and air bubbles would continue to go into the tube, hence my canister filter was constantly struggling and I couldn’t get it to stay still. Maybe it was also because of all the mini water lettuce that was gathering around it.
have you ever experienced that?
I don't actually have a Lilly pipe/surface skimmer since my overflow corner built into the tank accomplishes the goal. I do have to make sure to keep my water level fairly constant (I add about a half gallon of RO water daily)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Did a thorough cleaning and used a cup to pick up most of the surface film. Also pulled out some of the old stems in the back and replanted the tops finishing with a ~40% water change. Looks really clean now.
thanks for all the replies, I’ll update the journal too.
Plant Wood Rectangle Vegetation Sunlight
 
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