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Generally i've not had issues with a film, even though i have little to no surface agitation. I rotate between pellets, tetra colour crisps, blood worms, and an algae wafer every now and then. Recently i decided to crack open another food i had sittin in my cabinet, Aquadine flakes, and since then i got this film on my water surface.

So figured a thread to point out culprit foods so others know might come in handy, im more for fixing the cause rather then installing a skimmer, increasing surface agitation further or paper towel soaking up the film
 

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Does anybody else have any info on this? I would prefer to not install a skimmer as well but don't know another option to reduce the film. Upping the surface agitation doesn't affect my film. I wonder if flake food is a common culprit for this. I have Odessa barbs and have read several times that they like a good flake as a staple food and to supplement that with a couple others, bloodworms etc.
 

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I’ve found this with some brands of flake food... they seem to have a high fat/oil content.

You could try using a feeding ring to hold the oil in one spot. You can make one ease by taking a circle of airline tubing and silicone the ends together so it won’t fill with water and sink.
 

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You need to have quite a bit of surface agitation to make the oil blend into the water. Before, i didnt have any surface agitation and there was oily film all over the water. Now after i added a powerhead its all gone.
 

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^ but would it be better if we just let the oil float on the top as opposed to letting it mix into the water, would that effect the fish?
 

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^ but would it be better if we just let the oil float on the top as opposed to letting it mix into the water, would that effect the fish?
I dont think it affects the fish. But i wouldnt know cuz i keep shrimp not fish anymore:)My shrimp are fine though
 

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I've tried creating a lot more surface agitation with either the spray bar or a powerhead and it simply pushes the film more to one end and creates much more current than i want. Take away the powerhead and spraybar and the surface is covered immediately again. I agree with neven in that i'd like to eliminate the cause rather than put a surface skimmer in the tank. If a particular food is a major contributor to the film, this could take a while to figure out which one. I hope my feeding habits are not creating some of it.

I'm still thinking about this. I'd like to ignore it but can't seem to and am resisting the urge to add the skimmer.


I'd sure like to know what others are doing or not doing to have their tanks film free without adding one. I see these tanks but don't know what i am doing wrong.
I wonder how much effect the film has on light penetration for plants also.
 

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My film has greatly reduced with a few things i've done.

1. Feeding routine altered. I have 2 flake, 1 pellet, bloodworms, and algae wafers. I feed. I feed two days in a row and skip the third. Blood worms twice a week, algae wafer 1, rest i alternate. So the aquadine is still being used, but rarely (its really a nice mix besides the oil). I found when i don't skip the third day, the tetra's don't react to the feeding as swiftly and my two danios feast and a couple amano's (my huge ones) steal the food.

2. Changed the current. I took out the elbow and have the spray bar vertical now, angled to the glass towards the intake, fishies just love the flow now, and its not affecting my plants much :D Advantage is top hole in the spray bar is just under the surface so it creates a mild agitation that is not affecting the co2 levels. It keeps the top swirling and rippling very calmly.

3. Added a guppy, seemed to be the least messy of the fish that eat surface film.

4. I use a power head during my weekly 50% changes, if i flip it upside down, and hold it by the grate, i can adjust the level perfectly to suck out the majority of the film, its noisy, slows the water change, but it helps significantly, when the top is clear i place the power head next to the stagnant spots in the tank to suck out the little bit of debris. If you don't have a power head to do this, a baby bottle, or a water bottle can help suck in the film.

These all together have greatly reduced the cloudiness of the film, even on water change day its barely there. Maybe in a few more weeks i wont see it at all
 

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I had the same issue and added an airstone that runs for 4 hours a night. It turns on at midnight shuts off at 4 so that it doesn't mess my co2 injection levels during the day. Now there is no longer a film anymore.
 

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I had this problem a few months ago too. For me, I was something as simple as not crushing the flakes I was feeding my fish. My water was super oily at the top when I did that, after I stopped crushing the flakes - the oil dissappeared.

I also alternate my feeding days and I skip every third day and so far the oil hasn't come back.
 

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The only way to solve this problem, and by solve I mean to rid the tank of it and not hide it or mask it or blend it, is to use a surface extractor. Eheim makes one and I think there are a few other brands.
 
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