Oil Like Substance ontop of my water? should i be worried?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by CanadianMade, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. CanadianMade

    CanadianMadeValued MemberMember

    I noticed yesterday morning there was an "oil slick" ontop of the water in my 30gallon tank. Ive read in some places it may be from the oils in the flakes being fed. if this is the case do i feed them less frequently? if not what is this? how do i fix it? and is it harmful?
  2. Nympxzie

    NympxzieValued MemberMember

    This is probably Biofilm. I'm pretty sure it comes from lack of water surface agitation eg low filter flow.
  3. Jswin

    JswinWell Known MemberMember

    I'm battling this in my betta tank. I have to find a way to increase the agitation without creating more current

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  4. BDpups

    BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    It's build up from the food. You can take a paper towel and kind of soak it up. It doesn't work all that well, but in a small tank it might get some descent results. Or put an air stone in for some more surface agitation.

    In a 30 gallon you could add another HOB filter to help move the water on the top of the tank. Or a power head would work pointed toward the surface as well.

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  5. OP

    CanadianMadeValued MemberMember

    oh okay, thanks guys i will give that stuff a shot!
  6. Kimberly4403

    Kimberly4403Well Known MemberMember

    Im battling this too.. I moved my canister outlet so it pointed up more breaking water surface.. I also ran an airstone in it for 1hr yesturday as a trial and in just 1 hr it made a big difference so im going to set one up over the weekend.. I love the look of the bubbles anyway and my cherry barbs enjoyed playing in the bubbles.. Im going to set mine up on an 8hr timer to come on and go off with the lights as my air pump is a bit noisy so dont want it on all nightlol

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  7. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Just make sure you have a stop valve attached to your airstone tubing so you don't accidentally siphon your tank onto the floor.

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  8. Dadio

    DadioWell Known MemberMember

    Installing a surface skimmer works. I use one on my 55G and have a crystal clear surface.
  9. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    I use the Tom 45gph internal filter with spray arm in my betta tank. It's super gentle yet agitates the water enough. This can be a common problem in betta tanks and also because they put out a protein film just by making their bubble nests.

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  10. New Fish in Town

    New Fish in TownWell Known MemberMember

    I too have this problem when I put food in the tank for fish. That is all it is.
  11. BDpups

    BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    From what I hear, unless it is planted, or you are really overfeeding, it doesn't hurt. But if there is an abundance of it, it can mess with the oxygen exchange.
  12. ppt

    pptNew MemberMember

    Nope, i dont think that it is slime.
    I recommend 30% water changes

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  13. Dadio

    DadioWell Known MemberMember

    Thus the reason protein skimmers exist or any type of skimmer for that fact.

    If after feeding there's an oily film or any kind of film then I'd be questioning the food quality or how much food is being given. I hand feed all my tanks/ponds and I don't get any such film after or during feeding using frozen or dry foods from Hikari.

    Surface agitation helps keep films minimal but do not resolve the issue. Skimmers do and pass it through your active filtration.
  14. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

  15. Demontay1

    Demontay1Well Known MemberMember

    I had this when I first started my tank it cleared itself up it was caused by lack of surface agitation but clearing it up is pretty easy using just a plain peice of paper and running it over the top of the tank

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  16. Jswin

    JswinWell Known MemberMember

    I got a little skimmer for my fluval spec v with the the new media basket I ordered. I forgot about it until last night. Problem solved

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  17. OP

    CanadianMadeValued MemberMember

    Good news, lastnight i adjusted my filter to create more surface agitation. First thing this morning before work i checked on it and it looks good as new! After i fed them it was all good too so it makes sense.

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  18. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    I'm not sure why more people don't use surface skimming in freshwater aquariums.

    I've even run protein skimmers for freshwater and had them capture an amazing amount of gunk.

    But at the least, I do like having good surface disruption to get the stuff that tends to float to mix back into the water column so it can be accessed by the main filters, and won't just collect on the surface.

    I always worry about gas exchange in any aquarium that develops a surface film.
  19. Gena

    GenaWell Known MemberMember

    I have the same problem in my 20 gallon. I'm getting a surface skimmer soon. The paper towel method didn't work for me.

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  20. BDpups

    BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    Jsigmo Aquarist
    Do you use skimmers 24/7? Or just until the film is gone? I think I'm going to get a Eheim. But wondering if I can move one from tank to tank, or get a bunch of them and leave them running.

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