Oil in aquarium?

Discussion in 'Advanced Freshwater Aquarium Topics' started by Fishfinatic, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. FishfinaticValued MemberMember

    Hey everyone

    A few months back, my dad decided to rearrange some plants in the aquarium (the one in my profile), but of course he had to do it right after he changed the oil in the car :(. It has been about 2-3 months now, everything seems fine to me, but there's still a fine layer of car oil on the top of the water. I managed to take out most of it with paper towels. Any ideas?


  2. troyvscWell Known MemberMember

    Are you sure it is engine oil. A filmy deposit on the surface of the water can come from over feeding and extra protein in the water. Better surface agitation or less overfeeding should go along way to solve that problem.

  3. RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    This film can also be in result of organics in your aquarium. Is there a reason you feel the film continues to be in result of the motor oil?

  4. FishfinaticValued MemberMember

    If I look up at the aquarium towards the lights, I can see the rainbowy hue of oil. I don't feed him very much, and only once a day. I have decent surface agitation due to my waterfall filter.
  5. 77ImpalaWell Known MemberMember

    My ADF tank is bad about having a film on the surface. I use a surface skimmer that I attached to one of my HOB filters.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  6. troyvscWell Known MemberMember

    The film I described earlier when looked at will have that same rainbow hue you mentioned. In fact I have one tank that has the Sam etching going on in it right now. I don't like it either so guess I will be looking up myself how to get rid of it. But I do not think it is engine oil so hopefully that eases your mind.
  7. Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    What kind of food do you use?
  8. WolfaraRoseValued MemberMember

    Sounds like a protein film. I thought it was oil as well, but a friend of mine informed me that it was probably protein buildup. I have this problem on my 10g Betta tank, since Bettas dont' like a lot of agitation.
  9. FishfinaticValued MemberMember

  10. FishfinaticValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the replies everyone, I was just worried that my betta fish would swallow some of this "oil" and I came here to look for help. I have tried to take it out with paper towels but it doesn't seem to work. Any suggestions?
  11. Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    A surface skimmer should help.
  12. tmillsNew MemberMember

    If he had oil on his hands and moved a few things in the tank wouldn't you think there might still be oil on what he touched in the tank not just the surface just an idea but take out the stuff he touched and clean very well might help, good luck!
  13. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    It's probably just biofilm. Won't hurt him, don't worry. Usually water changes and surface agitation are enough to dissolve it, but possibly there's something in your tank releasing proteins. Either way, I'm sure the fish is fine :)
  14. MamajinWell Known MemberMember

    What you are seeing is called Bio-Film, and can be caused by numerous things. One of those things are Bettas. It's caused by their saliva when they build bubble nests. The most efficient way to remove the film is to run a bubble wand just under the water line at night twice a week.

    And yes, Bio-Film can cause issues. It can lower oxygen levels which can harm the Nitrifying Bacteria in your filter.

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