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ugly white film

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Htomassini, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Htomassini

    Htomassini Guest

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    My wife keeps a 3 gallon betta tank with a large mat of java fern non co2 and led lighting. Water changes consist of skimming about 2-3 dixie cups of water from surface to remove a white slime film that develops on the surface. The tank has a small HOB so there is circulation. I fertilize it about once a month. I have tried excell and sometimes it make film go away and sometimes it makes it worse. I have not been able to pinpoint the cause of this film. Sometime we will go a week with out it and sometimes it shows up. We use ro water in the tank. Any ideas?
     
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Probably the Fe in the traces is the cause. You could try to make a nice surface ripple. if that doesn't help, a surface skimmer is a good solution although this might have to be a DIY version for such a small tank.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  3. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    A small airstone in the tank may supply adequate agitation to the surface to break this up.

    -
    S
     
  4. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Many theories about this skum:

    Iron, organic waste, food, surface mouvement, airstone, PH...

    Why so many theories? Just like with algae, many factors, different for everyone, and no definite solution.

    I expierienced this with so different tanks (EI and no ferts, CO2 and non CO2, dusty and clean tanks, soft and hard water, alcaline and acidic...)

    All tanks can show that film. Sometimes it goes by its self, other times you'll fight it for months.

    My last terrible film was with my 60 gal Malawi tank, during a 3 months fishless cycling. Alcaline hard water, very high filtering with surface agitation, no fish, no plants, no food, no significant organic matter, no light. Nitrates near 0, no ferts, a neutral sand

    That tank kept forming a so thick surface skum that forms back in 24h even more thick. I tried letting it alone for 6 weeks, it only became thicker and dustier. Later with fish in the tank, when I began water changes, the problem disappeared a while, then came back in 2 weeks. Sometimes, it forms in 24h after a waterchange, othertimes it doesn't appear before 2-4 days after the water change. Stopping food won't change this problem (as it appeared even before I add fish).

    The only viable solution for such a pest is a surface skimmer

    Also, nano in my signature never showed that surface film. But, since 3 months, it formed a very thick one. I kept removing it daily for 2 months without success. Now, also with a surface skimmer, I no longer have to fight it. Why it decided to begin with that film? I don't know
     
    #4 jonny_ftm, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2011
  5. pat w

    pat w Member

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    I can also confirm the efficacy of a surface skimmer for eradicating surface film/scum. It also aids in O2 transfer and CO2 degassing (may or may not be helpful there depending on your situation). It allows me to remove the surface ripple for that "still pond" apperarance I like.

    Pat
     
  6. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Surface Skimmers---- Good!

    Hi,

    The film is no doubt a bio-film...:gw Which really doesn't tell you anything. :eek:

    What everybody else said...

    [​IMG]

    Biollante
     
  7. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    By the way,

    In the Malawi tank, the surface biofilm was so thick that it was very easy to remove it: I only had to use my hand to collect it from surface. It collected in my hand in few turns, without even breaking at the surface. When thinner, it is more time consuming to remove it on a daily basis
     
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