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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2 gallon beta tank with a well used piece of mopani and some anubias under a standing lamp with a CFL bulb. I'm using an air pump driven mini filter. I'm developing a layer of slime on the surface of the water which when I run my finger through it, it shows up white against my fingertip. While on the surface it looks semi transparent and veiny. My wife's tank is beginning to show a simliar problem. I'm thinking it must be something in the tap water which freaks me out quite a bit frankly!! Any other ideas?
 

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First thing I would do is confirm that it isn't your tap. Run some into a bowl and leave it settle (as a blind sample).

Most likely it is a protein or biofilm layer, resulting from something in your tank. My tanks experience a film when I feed my fish heavily (particularly frozen foods like blood worms). The only real danger is that this film can prevent gas exchange. You can remove it by a host of methods, including: submerging a bottle just below the surface, and having the film run into it (like a tiny waterfall), or, my preference, just take a paper towel and roll it up a bit (like a cigar); then, using two hands, stretch it out across the tank and run it from one side to the other. Run the paper towel up the glass, and you'll get it 90% of it on the first run. Rinse paper towel, and repeat a couple more times until it's all gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've "skimmed" the surface of the water with a papertowel a couple time as well as done the waterfall effect to simulate an overflow surface skimmer with a small cup and gotten most of it each time, but each time it QUICKLY grows back, like covering 2/3 of the small tanks surface in 2 days. I'm switching to filtered water for all tanks since discovering the tap water here is like liquid rock anyhow, so if it IS the tap, that will cease to be a problem as far as continuing to introduce more of the source at least. On another forum it was suggested this might be a bacterial bloom of some sort which makes sense to me considering the spread and pattern. I HATE using antibiotics in a tank so I'll likely just completely reset the tank with a MASSIVE water change using the filtered water and see if that resolves the matter. The same person suggested maintaining a lot of surface agitation, however I don't want to encourage too much gas exchange and deplete whatever CO2 that little tank holds for the plants sake, not just the anubias but also the other plants I intended to add shortly. Due to the high light level from the CFL bulb just above the tank I actually wondered if this could be some form of algae I'm not familiar with, but when I discovered the same thing beginning to develop in my wifes tank across the room under moderate light I discarded the idea. I thought that I'd pretty much seen them all, though so it was more or less wishful thinking to pin it on something I'm familiar with. <shrug> I'm most inclined to blame it on some sort of airborne bacteria or even fungal spore that has settled on the surface of the 2 tanks, all things considered.
 

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i'm using a surface skimmer to get rid of a constant film that i have. i'm not skimming too much, just a little trickle. it's low tech tank with no co2. that's not bad is it? sorry for the thread jack...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Raise you're spray bar or pipe to break the surface
for a light splash over night, it will be gone by morning.
These suggestions are appriciated, but I'm really hoping someone will post who has had this problem and can tell me something more about it. Basicly sinking it doesn't seem like a long term resolution for the problem to me. Even if it's gone by morning, when I go back to running things as I am now I don't see why it would not just come right back? I'd like to figure out what it IS as well as get rid of it, so I can avoid having it returning on me later down the line.
 

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These suggestions are appriciated, but I'm really hoping someone will post who has had this problem and can tell me something more about it. Basicly sinking it doesn't seem like a long term resolution for the problem to me. Even if it's gone by morning, when I go back to running things as I am now I don't see why it would not just come right back? I'd like to figure out what it IS as well as get rid of it, so I can avoid having it returning on me later down the line.
We have all experienced it at some point in time during our
planted tank endeavors.
The exact cause of surface film? who knows, I tend to think
it is simply the beginning of stagnation, poor flow, low 02
levels, whatever the cause I don't really care, it is a non-issue
for me because the cure is the same for whatever the cause.,
Surface agitation/aeration oxygen and flow.

I've made it a habit to aerate the water through surface agitation
on a daily basis, I have this recommendation in the dosing sticky
for the benefits of adding it far outweigh the side effects of not.

Add this and it becomes a non-issue for you as well!
 

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I've had the whitish almost oily looking film at the surface on two different tanks in the past. I also googled and found that there were educated guesses at best as to what it actually was. Recommendations to get rid of it were as above: surface agitation, skim the surface, etc... I no longer have this situation because some fish will eat it... like my guppies... also; Mollies and other surface feeders will do the trick.. my Ram's Horn snails will also feed on the stuff.

If you have the milky/oily stuff that I had then I think it's not a critical issue, except of course if it stops you light penetration.. Good luck .. HTH.
 
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