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Friday, 26 October 2012

Surface Film/Scum

An occasional one that bothers the aquarist.

I've come across this several times in the years, where a whitish film, sometimes with oily “rainbow” colours will be found floating on your waters surface. Its normally unsightly more than anything and can give misty effect to the water body as the light diffuses through it.

I've never been given a straight answer to its cause, normally it will divide opinion into…

  • Contamination of the water through hand creams or soap.
  • Atmospheric contamination (dust, aerosols)
  • Bacterial blooming
  • Protein overload (over feeding)

The latter i have always assumed myself, although i do feed quite heavily at the moment, and this film has only very recently appeared, normally the surface is crystal clear and flawless.

One other thing i am going to look into this weekend is, if it is indeed a bacterial thing and/or if the carbon in my filter system is exhausted.

If you have read previous i have been dragging out the Matrix Carbons life span in the filter for as long as i dare, until i see a poor condition in the tank. I'm wondering if now is the time to switch the carbon, and hopefully return to completely clear water again. If so it will finally give me a bench mark as to when the carbon does need changing and i can add it into my schedule accordingly.

Surface Film

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