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Old 10-19-2012, 12:28 PM   #1 
Blacklight
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How to deal with oily scum on the surface of the water?

Both of my wife's tanks have developed this oily looking crap filled film on the surface of the water. This stuff will not scoop out with a net and it actually avoids a cup when I try to scoop it with that (it actually moves away from anything I put in there like oil being pushed by soap) . I think it's probably from the fish flakes that my wife was feeding them. The filter isn't going to get this stuff. Is there any way to get this crap sopped up?
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:40 PM   #2 
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Its just a protein film, harmless and normal. Actually I don't think I've ever had a fish tank without it....
Generally I just leave mine alone. It doesn't hurt anything and just comes back even when you take it out, so I've kinda given up on it. xD Doesn't really bother me much anyway.

I remember way back that a few people removed it by placing a paper towel flat over the top of the water for a few seconds. I'm not sure if thats still a relevant method or if there is another/better way to go about it.....I don't hear too much on the subject any more, honestly.
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:52 PM   #3 
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I was thinking about a paper towel, but I'm a little paranoid about it. You don't really know what chemicals go into those things when they're made.
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:58 PM   #4 
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Location: Chautauqua County, NY - My mind is in my fish tank usually
My bubbler keeps that from forming
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:59 PM   #5 
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This is very true, which, though I recall hearing about this method during my earlier days of keeping, is why I hesitantly suggest it. I have used paper towels many times when rinsing and wiping out a new tank or tank that I have broken down and have had absolutely no issues, but I've never used one in a fully set up aquarium with fish in it.

Its probably best to let the film be, but hopefully someone else has a little more input on the matter for you.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:03 PM   #6 
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It's funny. Back when I had my old aquariums years ago, I never had this in any of my tanks. Both of these tanks had those filters that were like a box with charcoal, filter fluff, and an airstone in it that sat at the bottom of the tanks (I don't see these kind any more at all.)
Does oxygenating the water kill this stuff?

I hate the idea of the bettas having to poke their noses through this crap to breathe.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:08 PM   #7 
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I think just keeping the water moving a little bit will keep it from forming.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:12 PM   #8 
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Fish keeping and produces have certainly changes over the years, thats for sure. xD I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like that....

I don't know if its necessarily oxygenated water as the disturbance of the waters surface that has to do with this stuff forming. It seems to be much more common in betta tanks without filters, though I have it in all my tanks, where my filters are baffled, mostly in the stillest areas.
Air stones and bubblers tend to keep the surface of the water moving, which probably stops this stuff from forming, but for the most part bettas do tend to prefer the stiller water.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:09 PM   #9 
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I notice this after feeding pellets so I think it is fish oil from the yummy protein-packed NLSpectrum.

I used a paper towel n mine once and my betta is fine. We have Bounty and Brawny.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:25 PM   #10 
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I keep it to a minimum (never totally gone) with bubbling filters and surface plants. The combination of the 2 deprives the film of a flat surface and seems to keep it from thickening too much. If I overdose on water conditioner it seems to get worse.
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