Grrrrrr! surface scum - help please!

myboyshay

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2 Apr 2009
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Hi everyone,

I'm having a real problem with surface scum (White/greyish).

It's a 60cm Iwagumi (Serenity Peak Journal) planted with hairgrass, Tetratec EX700 & Hydor Koreli nano 900lph for filtration/flow, I dose daily with 3ml Easycarbo(I've got a feeling this is the problem) - no CO2 injection, 4ml Brighty step 1 and 3ml Brighty K. I raise the lily pipe every night and it comes straight back (frothy, scummy surface :twisted: ) I perform a 50% water change every week.

I know it won't do any real harm but I hate the look of it, can anyone out there help or will it always be like this.

Thanks in advance

Mark
 

Stu Worrall

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id bet on it being the carbo too. When I stopped using it on my nano the scum dissapeared straight away. Aside from more frequent water changes or going over to gas im not sure how youd get over it? maybe someone on here has had luck with seeing it off on their tank
 

john starkey

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8 Jul 2007
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worcester
Hi shay,
i personally would be surprised if it was your easycarbo,i dose 15ml a day and have been for 18mths and i dont have surface scum,now i used to feed my fish every day and i had surface scum,for the last 12mths or so i have fed them every other day and the surface is scum free and water clarity is great,so try cutting down on the amount of food you feed or go alternate days,

regards john.
 

Superman

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29 Jan 2008
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Cheltenham
stuworrall said:
id bet on it being the carbo too. When I stopped using it on my nano the scum dissapeared straight away.
Thinking of it, that happend on mine too. Didn't think it was the EC just improved plant conditions as I believed the surface scum is some organic output from the plants.
There was another thread all about me trying to get rid on my bigger tank: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=2389
 

YzemaN

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6 Nov 2007
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Copenhagen
Try adding Nitrogen and Phosphorous. None of the products you are using contain these so your plants are disintegrating, hence the surface scum. If you just add the amount of EC it says on the bottle you should be OK for carbon. It also depends on your lighting level. If you have a lot of light your will need to add CO2.
 

SunnyP

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19 Jul 2008
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130
I've been following this post as I am having similar problems. I get an oily, hydrophobic layer build up. I understand its most likely from plants releasing lipids and carbs as I reduced my EC dosage by half and noticed an increase build up of this oily layer.
Did a water change on Sunday and removed majority of the oily layer by using a cup and surface tension to draw the oily layer off. Works really well but rather not spend time doing it. With the new water, I added an extra 25% of macro Potassium, Phosphorus (NO3 is 20ppm from tap so don't add any extra Nitrates) and small traces.

Monday morning I noticed small amounts of the oily layer aggregating in the corner. Its still building up which it will for a while but seems to be better with news plantlets forming. Resumed EC dosing at the normal doasge.

Hopefully increase EI dosing will fix it. Will give an update next week.
 

myboyshay

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2 Apr 2009
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Location
South Shields, Tyne and Wear
Thanks all, I've cut down on the food (only a very small amount twice daily)

I cleaned the filter and I'll do the 50% water changes twice a week, I've also ponted the Korali more towards the surface causing a nice ripple. So far it's looking good, not completely gone but getting better.

None of the products you are using contain these so your plants are disintegrating, hence the surface scum.
Cheers Yzeman, I hope not...I spent a small fortune on the complete ADA substrate system, I'm only dosing these products because I'm following the ADA step series and my set up is only 7 weeks old.

Cheers

Mark
 

SunnyP

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19 Jul 2008
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I have had a great decrease in the amount of surface scum in my tank since upping the macronutrients. Mine was plant related and not food related.

What do people feed their fish to get this scum on the tank? I use tetra pro colour and when I feed the fish the oily surface film contracts away from where I added the food. ( Don't know if I've said it right)
 

AndyOx

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25 Oct 2007
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South Oxfordshire
It is easy to remove any scum with someting absorbent like newspaper laid on the surface and then drawn off, this doesn't deal with the cause though. A degree of surface movement will definately help. In the lifespan of a previous tank I had persistant BGA which was a right pain in the a** and used to grow on the surface like a scum. Might be worth checking you have a reasonable nitrate reading in your water. Most people tend to go for 10 -20 mg/l the upper end being most favoured.

Hope this helps
 
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