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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have plenty of flow.. and it seems to come and go.. what causes it?
I don't want to have to buy a skimmer.. do I need to worry about this?

Where my filter outlet is I get plenty of agitation but almost half the surface still has the white film on it..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes.. its my 75.. Im using Omega One color flakes.. thats it right now..

I have reduced my lighting to get rid of some thread algae.. but that is the only change..
 

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Supplement the filter with a small powerhead aimed just below the surface of the water (just enough to see the water slightly move).

Aim too high and you risk gassing off some of your CO2; aim too low and you don't get rid of the film.
 

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Mine went away when I broke the surface tension. I aimed my filter outlet up and added some floating plants. I've heard you can also get a paper towel and rest it flat on the surface of your water. When you pull it up, it will obsorb the protein.
 

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Keeping up with water changes will probably help if more surface agitation isn't an option. I just ignore it on my tank though. All of my parameters are good and I haven't had a death in a while so the film obviously isn't doing much harm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Keeping up with water changes will probably help if more surface agitation isn't an option. I just ignore it on my tank though. All of my parameters are good and I haven't had a death in a while so the film obviously isn't doing much harm.
Sarge.. I do weekly 30 to 50 percent changes.. and funny thing was this film turned up after the last water change.. but you are right everything seems ok so far.. so I'll just keep an eye on it I guess
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is a pic.. not sure if you can see it.

 

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Got any small powerheads to spare? I wanted to try a surface skimmer without buying one. I was not sure if it would do what I needed. The only out I could find was to make one using spare parts. I had a small pump left over from some long gone table fountain and it just fit the 1 liter soda bottles. I cut the bottom out and poked a hole for the output, added a bit of filter media in the bottle and now it works as a skimmer. Had to cut some really cute slots for the skimming at the top. Hung in a back corner it gives me circulation down low where it may help and skimming at the top where I need it. Some day if I really feel it helps, I plan to paint it black to blend better.
 

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+1 on the surface skimmer. I got a good one for cheap on amazon. I have a aquaclear hob, and the skimmer attached nicely to existing tubes. It was a little hard to hide, but it does the job well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
could it be caused by a dead fish that might be decaying somewhere?
It appears my SAE has gone missing :(
 

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Yeah the fact that you said your film is "white" (versus just a greasy mostly transparent film) makes me think there's some THING that's floating on the surface... like some fert didn't get mixed in, or something...?

A decomposing fish might do it :/
 

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I was dealing with that garbage for a while in my 80. At first I thought it might be because I wasn't thawing my frozen foods out before feeding. So I washed the frozen foods before feeding. Still had a ton of the stuff. Sometimes it would get so thick that I could almost scrape it off the surface. The outlet for my canister was on the right hand side pointed toward center and up a little bit. I tried moving my outlet up more but then I had to do top offs more which was a hassle.

So finally I resorted to a small airstone and it went away completely. I don't normally like the look of a mass of bubbles coming up so I kind of hid it behind a lard sword and I've had a crystal clear surface since.
 

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+1 on the surface skimmer. I got a good one for cheap on amazon. I have a aquaclear hob, and the skimmer attached nicely to existing tubes. It was a little hard to hide, but it does the job well.
+2 on the surface skimmer. Surface agitation may put it out of sight, but just puts in solution. Dissolved organics will concentrate at the water's surface and dispersing them into the water column only helps if you have ramped up filtration that can actually remove them. SW tanks deal with it in the form of protein skimmers that can extract it from the surface of foaming salt water. Unfortunately, FW doesn't foam....at all.

While 30/50% water changes every week sounds great, it may not be enough. Don't take that statement the wrong way, it really is great. But the frequency may not be; until you get ahead of the curve where you're extracting pollutants faster then they are produced. There isn't a specific formula to be found, and it will differ for each and every tank. It's a balance you have to tinker with to see what works best for your tank. So that doing 30% every 3 days (a decent starting point) may be your best bet until you see visible improvements.
 

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Another vote for the surface skimmer here. I fought using it for a long time because to dislike visible equipment. I bought one on e*ay and hooked it up to a spare 2213 I had and things couldn't be better. Now I realize I dislike surface skum more than visible equipment, Against a black background its barely noticeable.
 

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I have to say increased surface agitation did not help with the film on my tank.
This was what I was dealing with:



This is what increased movement gave me:



I did not solve the question but I have now shut down that tank and moved all the fish from the 75 to an existing established 125. The group moved included about 6-10 bottom feeders and about 10-12 African cichlids. Now that I have them in the 125 and started feeding algae tablets for the bottom feeders, I have a scum on the 125 which was not there before. With no change in feeding and using two canister filters on the 125, it seems the scum is from the tabs I was feeding. Maybe some type of binder in the tabs? If I feed only my normal flakes, pellet food and krill, the scum goes away.
That is why I am trying the surface skimmer to see if it works for my tank. Not all tanks are the same.
 

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The "air stone on a timer for an hour every day" works. Go to Walmart and buy their $10 dual port pump and put a stone on each side of the tank hidden behind something. Throw a timer on it and run it when the lights are off for an hour every day. This will eliminate the film. I have tried the skimmer idea and it became another headache to clean, especially if you have floating plants...
 
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