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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I have a 75 gal tank with a fluval 405 which has been up and running for almost a week. About a couple of days ago, I noticed an oily film at the surface. I tried the paper towel method for soaking up the "oil" which worked, but by the next day the "oil" was back. I have adjusted the outflow so that it is agitating the surface as much as possible which seems to keep one side clear. It looks like it's concentrtating it on the other side which is slightly less agitated. It has been a long time since I set a tank up, but this is my 3rd tank this size and have never had this problem before. I used a crushed coral substrate for the first time this time, I do not know if that could be doing it. I am waiting on an aquaclear 110 which may help as I plan on putting it on the trouble side. Is this something I should be concerned about? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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Usually it's oils from foods. I wouldn't be terribly concerned about it unless it becomes thick enough to significantly reduce the amount of oxygen in the water.
One option is to add a surface skimmer, I use one with my XP2 and it works well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the response, but there are no fish in the tank yet which is why I was confounded. I think I may have found the answer though. I did some research and found that another thing that can cause the white film is the breakdown of organic (not fish related) material that is floating to the top. I took a close look at my rocks and found some roots in some of the smaller holes and nooks in my favorite piece of holey rock. :( I thought I had cleaned everything really well but apparently I missed some stuff. My biggest concern now is that I may not be able to get it all out. I plan on soaking it in bleach overnight and boiling it tomorrow if the bleach doesn't do the trick. I hope I can get it all out. Like I said I really like the way the rock looks. If anyone has any tips on getting roots out from tight nooks and crannies, that would be extremely helpful.
 

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I think you will see a considerable difference once you put the AC110 on the tank.
 

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Nothing to worry about, other than looks. It's protein buildup, pretty common when only a canister is in use. As suggested, you can use a surface skimmer to combat it. Basically, you need more surface agitation, or something for the film to overflow into. I use a HOB without filter media to keep things stirred up on top.
 

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Had the same thing when I first set up my new tank. One night with the filter on (with carbon filters) did the trick. I think the carbon absorbed whatever the oil was.
 

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You have the same problem I have. I have the oily film from the minute I fill up a new tank. In my case it never goes away. I have tanks set up for over 5 years that still have the same amount of film from when I first set them up.

I suggest you hook up a surface skinner. I have one in every tank. I have them hooked to the input tubes of Rena XP3 & 4's and a HOT Magnum canister.
 

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Mine gets that way. Take some newspaper, all newspaper is soy based inks and wont hurt anything. Get sheets about half the size of the waters surface and lay it flat on the surface. It should float right on top, let it saturate for a few seconds. Pull it out straight towards you and into a bucket. Few sheets and its gone.
 

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Totalimmortal363 said:
Mine gets that way. Take some newspaper, all newspaper is soy based inks and wont hurt anything. Get sheets about half the size of the waters surface and lay it flat on the surface. It should float right on top, let it saturate for a few seconds. Pull it out straight towards you and into a bucket. Few sheets and its gone.
That is a very temporary solution for my surface film and I suspect the same for the OP. The film will be absorbed by the newspaper or paper towel, but within a few minutes it's back. Seems like there is a never ending supply.
 

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Agitating the water surface or removing the film with paper towels or newspaper are just temporary fixes. The film will be back. Get a surface skimmer and you won't have to worry about surface film any more.
 
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