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Do I try to get rid of the scum on the waters surface. Maybe with a surface extractor for my Ehiem canister filter??? I have used one in the past, but some people on this forum have said it doesn't hurt anything. What do you do??


Also. Do I agitate the water's surface or leave it as still as possible?? I have a spray bar on the return from my canister filter. I was always taught that with saltwater tanks, you want to agitate the surface for better oxygen exchange. But with freshwater tank, you want a sheet of glass on top. Is this true??
 

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I use my spraybar under the surface of the water for better water flow across the tank, and it is angled up slightly. It doesnt really break the water much, just gives it a slight ripple to break up that oily scum stuff. The scum your speaking of is just that oily film that breaks with a finger, not the scum that you can stick your finger in and then it seals right back up right?
 

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I find the Eheim surface extractor works well for breaking up the surface scum. However, in a planted tank, it does accumulate leaves quite quickly.

As for the water surface; you don't want an entirely still water surface, but you don't want one that is turbulent either. This is especially true if you are injecting CO2. Having less agitation means less CO2 will off gas, however, you risk asphyxiating your fish. Conversely, having too much agitation means that you are wasting the CO2 you are injecting. It is a fine balance between the two.
 

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I was able to rid my tanks of scum by running an airstone at night. Perhaps a coincidence? Anyway, I've convinced myself that adding O2 at night is beneficial for a variety of reasons.
 

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I was also having a scum problem in my 120 a few months back - this was a weird clear scum with bubbles. I cured it, apparently, by one or both of two changes:

1. I angled part of the spray bar up so that it ruffles the surface. I have the Eheim spraybars that come in section so you can point different parts of it different ways.

2. I added an airstone at night. I don't leave mine on all night but rather have it come on for an hour at a time three times during the night.

Since I changed both factors at the same time, I don't know which is responsible. :icon_sad:

Incidentally, I have run an Eheim surface extractor before. It helped with the scum but I stopped using it after a tetra got stuck in it and died.
 

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my daughters mollies had babies a few weeks ago once they get a little bigger im gonna grab a male (they look better) to stick in my tank. they keep the surface crystal clear, just don't get a pair they breed faster than guppies it seems.
 
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