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Biofilm?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by J Art, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Is this biofilm? Looks like oil on the water surface. Anything to worry about?

    IMG_1015.JPG
     
  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    pretty common in planted tanks. I know some get lucky and don't have it. It appears on nearly all of my tanks.

    It is a bio-organic film made up of (speculated anyways) a number of things. The issue with it is that it is unsightly and can compromise gas exchange. A couple ways you can tackle it. You can add an eheim skim 350. You can add timed aeration with an airstone at night. Or you can add a dribble of aeration 24/7 around the surface to break it up.

    I run an eheim skim 350 on my 90 cm. The drawback of the skimmer is that it will increase your CO2 degassing, so you should be mindful of that and adjust accordingly. You may have to bump up your rate a small amount.

    I don't like airstones because they splatter water all over an open top tank. They make some nifty glass covers that you can order from China. I've recently done so just to see how they work.

    In my 3.5 gallon nano, I've run some airline tubing up the corner that is the most stagnant from the return and have a glass u bend dipping into the tank. I use a flow control valve to have the bubbling at a minimum. It is enough to break the film up and keep the surface moving. No more film.

    In my 30 cm I kind of ignore it. It doesn't get bad and water changes take care of it. I've been trying to lift the lily pipe up at night like ADA does to add aeration over night.

    I've heard other folks spritz the top with a 2% solution of H2O2, which seems like it would work...but it will come back.

    Those are about all the options I know of. I have not heard of any tricks to keep it from forming. In my opinion its just byproduct of an organic system....free floating protiens, polypeptides, organic molecules, etc. and bacteria, algae, diatoms maybe...
     
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  3. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm surprised you are getting it with an HOB filter.
     
  4. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    I just take an old yogurt container and skim it off when it gets particularly bad. But with you HOB, you shouldn't get that kind of stuff. Maybe it's time to clean it?
     
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  5. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hmmmm. Interesting stuff. Cleaned the filter less than a week ago.

    I would be the same way with the airstone...I wouldn't like the splatter everywhere. I'm going to try a spritz of hydrogen peroxide next time I do a water change to see if that helps at all.

    I like the control valve idea also. Something to think about if it remains.
     
  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    J Art

    As a double check get a glass of water from your water supply and check that, there is a very faint chance something could be in your water supply especially if any construction work in being done in your are or at your water supply.

    I have never had it in all the years I had Aquariums, possibly because I always had plenty of aeration in every tank.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    You ran a UGF and low tech, this is why.

    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Shawn plus the Eheim Canister.

    As far as oil in the water it happened to a family member while doing a load of washing.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    So you had bubbles breaking the surface. Breaking the surface is what gets rid of it or prevents it from appearing.

    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
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