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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not black like engine oil, but something keeps forming a layer at the top floating on the water, what is it? Is it stopping some light?
 

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I don't think any light blockage/reflection/refraction/whatever would make any noticeable difference.

It will limit gas exchange though, which would have much more of an affect on your tank's inhabitants.
 

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+1 add airstone/surface agitation will rid it
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, I've been using a kitchen roll to get rid of it, it seems to be working, also tried using toilet paper and it instantly broke apart, not the smartest thing I've done! Yeah I have diy co2.
 

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you can use a small cup to skim it off the surface. I had this problem for awhile. just upped my W/C schedule a little and it went away. are you using some kind of a bubble counter/ gas filter chamber for your co2? if not get one set up.
 

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That's funny I was literally coming here to post this same thread, and this thread was at the top of the heap. thanks guys ;) an airstone sounds like the avenue I'm prolly gonna take.
EB
 

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I always get the oily surface sheen every time I start a new tank (such as right now). It seems pretty harmless and goes away on its own after a few weeks. Just carry on with normal tank maintenance and water changes.
 

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I pythoned the waste from last week's fungal treatment using the upside down method mentioned by THE V above, and it took out about 85% of it with one h20 change. With a better technique, I bet I can get it all next time ;)
 

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AS The V said the oil layer is made up of fats and protein waste from fish and their food. It is not made by plants. It is a sign of excess carbon waste build up. Unlike the N and P from fish waste, this organic carbon will not be consumed by plants. Surface agitation will break up the layer but it will also lower dissolved CO2 if you are injecting.

If it really bothers you also use charcoal or frequent water changes as others have suggested. There is nothing wrong with ignoring it too.
 

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It's far more likely to be a bacterial bloom. Evidence: it goes away on its own in a couple of months after tank set up even though you're still feeding. Test: take a clean sample of tank water and put it in a separate container. Wait a couple of days. The surface will again form the oily film. So don't waste your money on a protein skimmer nor an air pump if you don't already have one. But the aeration technique works very well.
 

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+1 on surface skimmer. I had the same problem, I would manually skim the surface during water changes but the slick would be back the next day. I bought a surface skimmer that hooks up to my filter for like $8 online and haven't had a problem since...
 

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After seeing this thread I got thinking in my industry we use oil obsorbing pats that are hydrophobic. Well after testing it on my own tank I can say it worked very well. All you have to do is run the pad over the surface to move all the film to one end, then alow the pad to obsorb the film. Admittedly this is not a pretty solution, but it works.

Have a gniess day. -Scott
 
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