Problem: thin film on water surface

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by sen5241b, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    I did a water change out a week ago but today I noticed a thin white film on the surface of the water. The film is not uniform, it seems to be a little thicker in some places. A piece of floating food will create a little trail behind it clear of the film. There is good flow and a new charcoal filter is in place Anybody seen this before?

    I did add some very salty water in slow increments to bring the salinity up starting a couple days ago.
     
    sen5241b, Mar 3, 2008
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  2. sen5241b

    hibye

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    whats ur salinity?

    protein skimmer maybe producin too much bubles?

    air pump?
     
    hibye, Mar 3, 2008
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  3. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    Salinity is a little on the low side at 1.021. I do not have a protein skimmer. Of all the things that can go wrong, water problems are the worst.
     
    sen5241b, Mar 4, 2008
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  4. sen5241b

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    We've all had that film at one time or another.Its desolved proteins.Which a good quality skimmer would help.
    What kind of filtration are you running?
     
    yote, Mar 4, 2008
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  5. sen5241b

    Doc I don't work for anybody

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    even a skimmer will not get rid of all the scum on the top of the water. Unless you use a surface skimmer (not necessary), you will have some film. The best way of handling this problem is pointing your powerheads upward to break (make lots of ripples) the water. it forces the scum into the water column so the filter can pick it up.

    -Doc
     
    Doc, Mar 4, 2008
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  6. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    thx, good answers. I have the Oceanic 29G BioCube with 1) charcoal/fiber, 2) wet/dry bioballs, and 3) a decent amount of live rock and sand.
     
    sen5241b, Mar 4, 2008
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  7. sen5241b

    Doc I don't work for anybody

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    point those powerheads up toward the surface of the water, that should take care of it

    -Doc
     
    Doc, Mar 4, 2008
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  8. sen5241b

    tddeggers

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    i,m having problems with film to, but i do have a new protein skimmer and one power head. whats up with all i,m have problems with. 1-brown algea 2- scum on surface.
     
    tddeggers, Mar 5, 2008
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  9. sen5241b

    Altohombre The Tennis Pro Reefer

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    if you have the cash, buy an Aqua C Remora Pro Protein skimmer if you have a larger tank and get the preskimmer with it. The preskimmer will control the microbubbles better and take in more of the skimmate on the top surface.
     
    Altohombre, Mar 5, 2008
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  10. sen5241b

    sen5241b

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    Pointing the head upwards has gotten rid of the film but there is less flow on the rock.
     
    sen5241b, Mar 5, 2008
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  11. sen5241b

    McCrary Always Learning

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    Pointing a powerhead at the surface is going to remove the film, but not the problem. Better skimming and more water changes are going to help a lot. The film that is seen on the top of the water is composed of organic amphipathic and hydrophobic proteins that are removed through skimming. Organics that are larger and not hydrophilic are going to need water changes to remove them.

    Altohombre- The AquaC Remora may not be a good choice. It uses a spray injector technology which is dated at best and not nearly as efficient as the new needlewheel and pinwheel designs seen on other skimmers. The Remora is also hand made and there is variability in the height of the spray injector. This difference in height means that many Remoras will have poor performance when compared to other Remoras. The Remora also has limited dwell time which limits the interaction that can take place between the air, water and organics.

    Activated carbon can be used to remove unwanted contaminants in the water. But many carbons are washed in phosphoric acid and will release phosphates when they bind with contaminants. Unfortunately most carbons that are available at retail stores are washed in phosphoric acid, as the price of carbons that are not washed in phosphoric acid is higher. The phosphates that are released can often cause algae outbreaks and damage coral that are sensitive to phosphates, such as SPS.
     
    McCrary, Mar 5, 2008
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  12. sen5241b

    Doc I don't work for anybody

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    you may need another powerhead. Many tanks are far to calm and can handle more flow

    -Doc
     
    Doc, Mar 5, 2008
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  13. sen5241b

    tddeggers

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    I shut the protein skimmer off and a 35% water change it helped
     
    tddeggers, Mar 6, 2008
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  14. sen5241b

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Smaller water changes are better. Unless it's an emergency, you shouldn't have to do more than 10 to 20% at a time. Doing large water changes can do more harm than good.
     
    Bifferwine, Mar 6, 2008
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  15. sen5241b

    Doc I don't work for anybody

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    try to avoid doing more than 50% water change in a month

    -Doc
     
    Doc, Mar 6, 2008
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