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Old 11-10-2011, 07:08 PM   #1 
KirstyTat
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Oily stuff on top of water?

Yesterday I plugged my heater in for the first time and let it run overnight. Later today I looked into the tank and noticed this weird oily stuff at the top of the tank. I haven't put my fish in and I didn't put the filter in the tank either. The heater does seem to be working. Does anyone know what this might be?

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Old 11-10-2011, 07:32 PM   #2 
KirstyTat
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I stirred the water around a little bit a few minutes ago. When I llooked in the tank again I don't see the oily stuff anymore, but there seems to be dust particles (probably from the gravel?) on the surface still. The thermometer looks says it's around 78 degrees in the tank. I hope the heater isn't broken somehow. :( Do you think the dust particles from the gravel may have accumulated at the top due to no water movement?
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:46 PM   #3 
vilmarisv
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Yup, water movement will get rid of yucky stuff on the surface... once you plug in your filter you won't have that problem.
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:27 AM   #4 
Behati
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Did you put in any water conditioner? I've heard that the film on top of the water may come from it. If this is the case then it is probably called "biofilm" and it's harmless. Agitation will make it disappear, but I would clean the rocks and the tank again just in case (make sure they are aquarium safe).
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:18 PM   #5 
KirstyTat
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Thank you! And I did put water conditioner in.
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:22 PM   #6 
Sakura8
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That oily stuff is a protein film. It happens a lot in unfiltered tanks without water movement because of the high protein content in the food we feed our bettas. One member gave me a good tip for getting rid of it: place a paper towel on top of the water and let it soak up water. It removes the film.

The film is harmless but annoying.
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:07 PM   #7 
Thunderloon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura8 View Post
That oily stuff is a protein film. It happens a lot in unfiltered tanks without water movement because of the high protein content in the food we feed our bettas. One member gave me a good tip for getting rid of it: place a paper towel on top of the water and let it soak up water. It removes the film.

The film is harmless but annoying.

The film is ALMOST harmless but annoying.

Since betta breath in atmospheric air, if they can't break through the film they can actually inhale some of it and then have to rinse it out of their labyrinth gland. Kinda like breathing through your nose while washing baby shampoo out of your hair in the shower, even tho it's fairly neutral it is still irritating.

I keep some worn out acrylic tank cleaning pads around, when the film gets on the water I dip one below the film then mop it up from below, pushing it and lifting the scrub pad out of the water slowly. This gets dust, excess food, oil, slime, bacteria and hair out really well too.
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:37 PM   #8 
GreenTea
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It actually could be something no one has mentioned yet, some heaters like the awesome one advertised here often (it does work great) for small tanks on amazon actually ISNT totally submersible, so the oil used to lubricate the knob at the top is released into the water when you surmerse your heater. Since this film showed up shortly after you started using your heater, that might be it depending on the heater you have! You can find out if it is by looking at online reviews of the heater you bought, someone will definitely mention it if it's happening to others.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:16 PM   #9 
pieleld
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Originally Posted by GreenTea View Post
It actually could be something no one has mentioned yet, some heaters like the awesome one advertised here often (it does work great) for small tanks on amazon actually ISNT totally submersible, so the oil used to lubricate the knob at the top is released into the water when you surmerse your heater. Since this film showed up shortly after you started using your heater, that might be it depending on the heater you have! You can find out if it is by looking at online reviews of the heater you bought, someone will definitely mention it if it's happening to others.
+1

Stir the water a bit see if it goes away. If not, it's not a protein film.
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