Oily film on top of water

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by NickNiz, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. NickNiz

    NickNiz Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I'm not sure if this is the correct thread for this, but I have an oily film on top of my reef aquariums water... The tank is a 12 gallon nano cube. Details are below.

    Livestock
    1 scooter Blenny
    1 serpent star
    2 zebra turbo snails
    1 emerald crab
    1 clown(recently passed, not sure if film is a cause as the clown always swam at the top of the tank...)

    Corals
    Green and orange Acans (about 18 heads between them)
    Toadstool leather
    Frogspawn

    Normal dosages of food and supplements
    1mL Red Sea Reef Energy A&B daily
    0.5mL Red Sea Reef Foundation A,B,C every other day
    1/3 cube Mysis shrimp per day

    Filtration
    Carbon (4x more than minimum recommended)
    Purigen
    Sponge
    LR Rubble

    Water changes done every 2 weeks using Red Sea Coral Pro Salt

    Does anyone have any idea what is causing this or how to get rid of it? Water changes reduce it a bit and then it comes back... As seen in the pictures, the tank looks fine through the glass, but when looking through the top the film makes viewing blurry...

    image.jpeg
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  2. Florida Sunshine

    Florida Sunshine Active Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019

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    Do you have a surface skimmer? If not you may want to consider one.
    A couple of things that will help is to point a power head at the surface of the water. This will increase oxygen exchange and help break up the film. Take a dry paper towel and gently lay it on the surface of the water for a second or two. Some of the oily substance will be absorbed by the towel and thus removed.
     
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  3. NickNiz

    NickNiz Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    @Florida Sunshine thank you for the quick reply! I will try absorbing some and point the Koralia power head upwards as well. The water flow from the main pump decreased overall when I put that rotating outlet on... Perhaps that was a factor in not having enough surface disturbance.
     
  4. AllSignsPointToFish

    AllSignsPointToFish Valuable Member Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    This happens in my tank, too, when the powerheads trap the film in the middle of the tank. I just turn off one of the powerheads and the overflow weirs take care of it. Since you don't have an overflow, you can use the powerheads to agitate the surface. I've even used a kitchen whisk to agitate the surface, and the film clumps and can be removed by normal filtration.
     
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  5. ahiggins

    ahiggins Valuable Member

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    totally agree, aim a powerhead at the surface and it will go away/get filtered out.
     
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