Film on tank water surface?

coffeebean
  • #1
whats the deal with that? never had that in the 20 gallon tank, but there is very little surface movement on this tank as I'm using a canister filter. I'm guessing its protein from the fish food, maybe some oils from my hands as I'm in there all.the.time.
is it an issue that I need to worry about? how do I get rid of it?
 
pinkfloydpuffer
  • #2
Increased surface movement by use of a powerhead or airstone should take care of that.
 
katetnies
  • #3
Increased surface movement by use of a powerhead or airstone should take care of that.

I agree. the problem is just lack of surface movement. at work we had one row of tanks that had a filter on it. it took about a week to fix (no worries there were no fish in the tanks, the were moved) but the surface got a film on it. once fixed the film was gone and the water was clear and normal
 
lew2000
  • #4
You can also change the output on your filter by putting on a spray bar - I have my spray bar just below the surface and it agitates the surface of the water.
 
coffeebean
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I'm doing a planted tank with out co2 injection. I was under the impression that a bubble stone wasn't a good idea in that circumstance?

I had an airstone in there, but then took it out. hmm....
 
katetnies
  • #6
I'm doing a planted tank with out co2 injection. I was under the impression that a bubble stone wasn't a good idea in that circumstance?

I had an airstone in there, but then took it out. hmm....

an air stone might not be the best option then
 
coffeebean
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
is it doing any harm or is it just not that nice to look at? anyone know if it will get in the way of gas exchange?
 
lew2000
  • #8
an airstone will definitely contribute to outgassing, even surface agitation, but that is why I used a spray bar just below the surface to minimize and break up the film - there is rolling water which is not the same as bubbling water - some slight difference. How are you injecting C)2 into the water column, using a diffuser?


Sorry coffeebean - saw with CO2 missed the word "out" ops:
 
coffeebean
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
no, I am not using co2, keeping it lower tech which is why I took out the airstone as I need to try to keep as much co2 in there as possible. I had bought a spray bar initially when I got this new filter but I honestly couldnt figure out how to attach it **embarrassed** so I just took it back. ive got the output pointing up and to one corner so it is making some 'rolling' water on that side, but it doesn't carry across. perhaps I have to retry the spray bar.
 
katetnies
  • #10
maybe get another filter to put on the other side of the tank. or buy a higher powered filter
 
coffeebean
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
oh I am so not shelling out for another filter. the one I just bought for this tank is a fluval 305. it really should be enough. no way I have cash for another filter regardless.


if the film is just not nice to look at then I don't really care. is there anything bad about it?
 
katetnies
  • #12
I think its fairly harmless.. your fish haven't been affected at all right
 
Jonah
  • #13
oh I am so not shelling out for another filter. the one I just bought for this tank is a fluval 305. it really should be enough. no way I have cash for another filter regardless.


if the film is just not nice to look at then I don't really care. is there anything bad about it?

I have a Fluval 305 in one of my tanks, the filter came with a venturI unit with a pipe outlet on it that will fit standard air hose did yours?

If it did you could put the venturI unit on the outlet and run some airhose above the water level and allow you to introduce bubbles to the water flow.

Hope that makes sense to you.
 
bettafish2816
  • #14
i'd just go with a powerhead, chances are your plants don't necessarily need the extra CO2 that you'd keep in the tank without the powerhead to survive
 
ghardin
  • #15
HI I have a 5 gallon tank with 1 glofish, (others died, getting more this weekend) and I have a thin layer of like a film at the top of my water. Is this normal?
 
Jaysee
  • #16
welcome to the forum

Yes, it's normal (in that it's not uncommon), but no you don't want it. It is likely a protein film or something, and can interfere with the O2/CO2 exchange. Are you feeding flakes? They are the usual culprit - low quality food makes a mess.

Also, it normally happens when there isn't enough surface agitation, so that's another thing to look at.
 
pirahnah3
  • #17
I agree, its usually the result of either cheaper food, lack of surface movement, or both. Adding an air pump with stone will usually solve the problem quickly and easily.
 
ghardin
  • #18
Thanks, I did a water change to stir up the water and it helped
 
bellachan
  • #19
I just got a 75 gallon tank, I started cycling it, I have a fluval 406 canister running, I started heating to to the tempurature needed for my fish and I also added driftwood and water from my old tank to this one, just when I though the tank was ready,...I noticed some kind of oily film on the surface I can seperated it with my fingers. What is it!!? What can I do to get rid of it
 
ray64
  • #20
sounds like something you put in is leaching into the water shut the filter and aeration off for a while let the tank sit till there is no movement and look around the tank and see if you can spot where it is coming from should look like a ghost around whatever it is, hope this works for you, it might take a while to spot the problem
 
GuineaPigster
  • #21
Your params are what?
 
bellachan
  • #22
Nitrite is 0
Nitrate is very low but not at 0
Ph is at 7 right now
Kh is at around 25
Gh is like at 140

:S

I don't even know what gh should be and i'm not sure about kh either but I do want a soft tank not hard
 
EricV
  • #23
As far as getting rid of it goes just float a paper towel on the surface. Additionally you can use a turkey blaster at the surface to suck more of it out.
 
bellachan
  • #24
Do you supposed it would come back though? Should I do a bigger water change? It's like even keeping bubbles stuck to the surface it's kinda thick

I'm glad there's no fish in there but this sucks
 
plug
  • #25
Try running an air pump with an air stone to break it up...see if that helps
 
Teishokue
  • #26
I have this issue in my cull tanks. 1. Wash your hands before entering the water. #2 how much surface agitation do you have? I notice if my tank circulates, there are no chances oils would set on top.
 
bellachan
  • #27
I have my fluval canister output on the highest setting and it breaks the water, but maybe not enough on the oposite end of the tank... :S are those oils hurtful to the fish? What could have caused that?
 
Dondomingo
  • #28
Most likely something on your hands is my guess or something inadvertently introduced that had a oil on it. When my vinyl tubes to my python was new it put a slick on the surface.

I did like ErikV mentioned, paper toweled it out.
 
19jimmy17
  • #29
As far as getting rid of it goes just float a paper towel on the surface. Additionally you can use a turkey blaster at the surface to suck more of it out.

I wouldn't use a paper towel to get it off the surface because it would fall apart, but you can use printer paper to genitally skI'm the surface of the water to clean it up very effective
 
EricV
  • #30
You don't leave the paper towel there. Just let it get wet and pull it back out. Unless you're using the cheapest paper towel known to man it's not going to fall apart.

It's not like paper towels instantly dissolve when they contact water.
 
Mamajin
  • #31
The stuff on the surface of the water is called Bio-Film. It can be caused by several different things; tanks with very little surface agitation, tiny uneaten food particles or dead plant material, new gravel that releases organic debris, too much bottled bacteria, unfiltered tank, or the mucus from a betta or gourami when they make their bubble nests.

In my personal experience, a water circulation pump to help prevent dead spots in both the water column and on the water surface can help get rid of it. An air stone or bubble wand running all night once or twice a week also helps remove it. A spraybar does help a little, but is more effective if it runs along the entire length of the tank. Ive tried all three and for me the first two work much better than a spraybar. It goes without saying that YMMV.
 
bellachan
  • #32
Wait!!? I did add bottled bacteria to my tank? Do you think that's it? I actually put less then what it asked for but that could be the reasoning for the film. Do I just clean that out as well? Or will the air stone get rid of it?
 
Aquarist
  • #33
Good morning,

I call it surface scum and is normal in most tanks. As others have mentioned, you can add an air stone to break it up and a good bit of it will filter out, however, due to oils on our skin and oils in foods, you will probably never get rid of all of it.

I highly recommend the Eheim SkI'm 350 Surface Skimmer in the link below:


https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...urface-skimmer-my-lfs-road-test-video.152292/

Two Thumbs Up! I rinse the sponge with every water change.

In the link below, scroll down to Surface Scum:


Ken
 
ricmcc
  • #34
Sorry if this is so elementary as to be insulting, it is not at all intended to be that way, just covering all bases, but you do make very sure that your hands are very thoroughly rinsed of soap, etc., prior to placing them in the tank?--rick
 
ScarletKitsune
  • #35
Sorry if this is so elementary as to be insulting, it is not at all intended to be that way, just covering all bases, but you do make very sure that your hands are very thoroughly rinsed of soap, etc., prior to placing them in the tank?--rick

In other words you mean by thoroughly rinsing your hands before putting them in the tank? Yes, it is important to do so as to not affect the water quality. (Or at least that's what I do )
 
bellachan
  • #36
Thank you so much guys!! I'm going to try and resolve this today. Hopefully the air bubbles will help but a surface skimmer would be a good idea for a tank that big I assume

Wish me luck!

Oh and no offence taken guys!! Lol my hands are clean and clear of anything I could come in contact with that could cause oil before putting them in the tank
 
Aquarist
  • #37
Hello,

The surface skimmer that I linked to in my previous post would be good for almost any size tank. It's very small and compact, has its own pump. I actually use it in my 55 gallon drum that I use to prefilter all my water for water changes. My 265g tank has HOB over flow so I do not have scum issues in this tank at all.

The 33g tank, I have a refugium on 1 side and an Aqua Clear 50 on the other side, so it's rare that I see any surface scum. When I turn everything off, there is a bit of it but not enough to worry about. Just part of the hobby.

When I start to do water changes, I only rinse my hands in warm water and NO SOAP. I wash my hands with soap, (shower actually) after I complete my water changes. I do not want to risk soap residue getting into my tanks. The smallest drop of soap will be fatal to your fish.

Ken
 
ray64
  • #38
If it something leaching into your tank you will still need to find the problem and correct it.just how much of a slick is it, I had a piece of wood it put in my tank that leached more than tannins, I took it back and got my money back, the wood had an oil like stuff in it and was leaching even after I boiled and soaked it.the guy at the lfs had put some in one of there display tanks and pulled it out of there also and he said he sent that shipment back. I never did find out what happened or if they ever found out what it was. but I know I did not like the way it put a slick in the tank I was setting up.when I shut everything off after a couple hours you could see it like stringing if that makes sense off the wood in the water. I took the wood out and did a big water change and all was fine after that.
 
Mamajin
  • #39
Wait!!? I did add bottled bacteria to my tank? Do you think that's it? I actually put less then what it asked for but that could be the reasoning for the film. Do I just clean that out as well? Or will the air stone get rid of it?

Just toss in an air stone and let it pass normally. As long as you have the air stone in there to break up the film on the surface there will be no danger of reduced oxygen in the water (the Bio-Film can actually reduce the oxygen in the water).

I'm currently going through an even worse case than normal with this myself due to switching over to a new canister (using bio-media from two filters that were on the tank already), and I tossed in a bottle of Dr Tim's One & Only to ensure I didn't disrupt the cycle. It's normally on the surface of my tanks anyway, but a water circulation pump in the 30G and an air stone running all night once a week in my 6G Edge takes care of it. Come to think of it, my QT does not have Bio-Film.
 
aquatic1
  • #40
I get film on the betta side of my divided tank, I just run an airstone (gently) overnight and it helps keep things clear.
 

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