oily film on surface

miawyatt

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I recently bought a new 2.5 gallon Minibow tank with Whisper filter for my 2nd female betta fish (after I had to separate the 2 females). I noticed that the filter style had changed since I purchased my first one...the motor unit is now on the outside of the unit and is prone to detaching accidentally. Anyway, I've noticed there is constantly an oily film on the surface of the water...it comes back as soon as it is skimmed off. There is some slight film in my older tank, but it's not as bad. I'm wondering if anyone knows what this is caused by and how to eradicate it. The only additives I use are the water conditioner, some aquarium salt and food, of course. I rinsed all the gravel and plants thoroughly before setting up the tank..also, I rinsed the charcoal off the filter. The only other thing I've added is one of those live plant bulbs, but I doubt that is the culprit. Could the motor be leaking oil of some type? Perhaps I should contact the makers of the filter. Please advise. Thanks much, Mia
 

Boxermom

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No, its normal but usually the turbulance of the water reincorporates it into the tank water. With the filters that the minibow come with, there's not much water movement. Add an airstone and it'll disappear.
 

chickadee

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Yes you definitely need an airstone and please put a small valve in it to regulate the amount of air going through the tubing since your tank is so small.  They are very cheap and keep the water just rippling and not bubbling hard enough to throw your fish around.  You just cut the tubing between the check valve and the tank and insert one of these and use the little knob to control the amount of air.  Always be sure to use a check valve on the air line to protect your air pump.  (they keep the water from backing up into the tubing and damaging your pump if the power fails and the electricity is off for any length of time.)

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=8017&N=2004+113403  (adjustment valves) just another kind of the same thing below you don't need both

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=3690&N=2004+113403  (the one for $1.49 -the green one - is plenty good enough and has the little adjustment valve you need)

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=3701&N=2004+113403  (this is an example of the check valves)  you only need one per air pump.

Rose
 

inari

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yeah i've been having the same problem but mine is a 10 gallon and I have a question about it actually, do u really need the air stone or is it a kind of if u find it annoying thing?
thanx

Inari
 

Boxermom

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No, you don't really need an airstone as long as you have enough surface aggitation to oxygenate the water enough for the fish to live. Of course this doesn't apply to bettas. Some fish like swimming around in the bubbles and current.
 

inari

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o of course when i move the shield to clean out behind the filter because my hydras are constatly losing some leaves it seems Inari will come over to see what is going on but refuses to come see the other side because of the current. thanx
 

chickadee

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The reason that I usually strongly recommend an airstone in a Betta tank - not a requirement but a recommendation - is that it is very important that the surface be kept clean and relatively dust free so that they have a clean surface when they come to the surface to Breathe. When there is a slick or film on the water of any foreign substances settled from the air it poses a barrier to the use of their Labyrinth organ. Bettas bred in the wild are better able to handle the dirty water they live in, but today's Betta bred and born in captivity are used to having fairly decent water conditions, at least when they are first born. The airstone and air pump is a fairly inexpensive way to keep the surface "ruffled" so the dust and any pollutants or things that settle in the water do not build up and just sit there. If the filter is keeping the surface moving and the surface is not dusty or filmy then an airstone is probably not necessary.

Rose
 

inari

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ok so all u really need for an air stone is: the pump, some tubing, and the actual rock right? can't u get this at any lfs too? i've been thinking of getting Inari one but wasn't sure thanx
 

chickadee

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Yep and airpump and it can be a fairly cheap one - some stores have them for around $5 and the tubing should run around $2 to $3 and the stone will probably be in a package of 2 for around $2. You plug the airpump into the wall after the tubing has been cut the length you need and the airstone put on the end and the other end put on the airpump. There are check valves that are recommended that keep the water from coming back into the tubing in case of a power failure and causing your litte guy from getting fried but you can use your own judgment. There are also small valves that some airpumps use to control the amount of bubbles the stone puts out but again use your own judgment.

Rose
 
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