Stuff floating on water

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by Ejack, 4 Jul 2008.

  1. Ejack

    Ejack Member

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Berkshire, UK
    Hi Guys,

    I'm coming up to the end of week 2 of cycling my tank. Even though I had rinsde the gravel before placing it into the tank, looks like I didn't do a good enough job as it seems I've got residue or something floating at the top of my tank.

    Question is, is there some way to get rid of it i.e with a chemical non harmful solution? Or do I have to do a complete water change?

    CHeers
     
  2. REDSTEVEO

    REDSTEVEO Member

    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    A picture would help us to identify it and tell you the best way to get rid of it. It could be protein if it is a sort of oily scummy type of residue or it might just be particles of dust etc. Either way I would just get a large bucket, turn off the filter and skim the top of the water by using a plastic jug or anything that you can use to slowly let the water run off the surface into the container and then tip it into the bucket. Keep doing it until there is no more residue and monitor it for a day or two. If necessary repeat the process.
    Let us know how you get on.

    Cheers.

    Steve
     
  3. san-ho-zay

    san-ho-zay Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Otley, UK
    Laying sheets of kitchen towel on the surface for a few seconds then dumping into a bucket sometimes works for this.
     
  4. Ejack

    Ejack Member

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Berkshire, UK
    Thanks guys, It looks oily on top.

    I'll try both of your methods.

    Just wasn't sure if its ok to do a water change during a cycle.
     
  5. san-ho-zay

    san-ho-zay Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Otley, UK
    Fishless with ammonia?

    Once the ammonia is getting converted nicely, it does no harm to do a water change, in fact it's sometimes beneficial to reduce the nitrite backlog.
     
  6. milla

    milla Member

    Messages:
    241
    Location:
    Leeds
    Increase surface agitiation this will break up the film, you will have to adjust your co2 injection rate to compensate. The trade off been you will consume more co2 but i don't agree with the less / no surface agitaion is good philosophy. My plants and fish always look healthier when their is a fair amount of surface movement.

    ps Water changes are your friend, at the first sign of anything unusual in my tanks i do a 50% water change and then assess.
     
  7. Ejack

    Ejack Member

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Berkshire, UK
    Fishless without ammonia
     
  8. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    This can be protein film but can just as easily be anything else. You are fishless and not feeding any fish so will it be protein?

    The 'skin' of bubbles is very 'sticky' which is why films often develop on the surface. Whatever the 'oil' is from sticks to the bubbles and once at the surface the bubble bursts leaving the 'oil' there.

    Surface agitation will break it up but not remove it. It will just end up leaving a white line of 'scum' around the glass at the water's surface which you will then be able to clean off each water change.

    IMO the most likely source of these films is not protein from fish foods as it happens in fishless tanks as well as fish stocked tanks. I believe it is more likely from the fertilisers we add that a part of the fertiliser's make up includes the source for this film and then the CO2/Oxygen bubbles carry it to the surface.

    I am with Milla really. I tend to have some disturbance on the water's surface and inject more CO2. This IMO makes sure that none of the surface is stagnant and also pulls some extra O into the water. I do this wether I have fish or like at present have none. It also seems to improve the clarity of the water.

    Andy
     
  9. Ejack

    Ejack Member

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Berkshire, UK
    I tried the 'paper towel' method, and it seems to have soaked up some of the residue :)

    I see what you mean about the surface agitation and the implemantation of CO2 (just waiting on my diffuser to arrive the going to attempt a DIY system), I'll adjust my filter nozzel a little and get it moving the water surface a little

    :)

    Thanks for the help and advice guys
     
  10. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Milla's got the right idea here. Can't go wrong with a large water change if there's anything not quite right in the tank.
     

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