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I have a film of tiny particles covering the surface of my tropical tank. They are so small they go straight through a net making them hard to get rid of even manually. I assume it's the remnants of flake food that doesn't sink for whatever reason, but still breaks up as it tumbles through the wash from the (canister) filter outlet. It looks almost like two layers of film moving over each other. Strange. I'm wondering if a surface skimmer would be a good idea. I don't need a filter/skimmer combo as I already have the canister and a sponge filter connected to an air line. Would one of these be ok? LINK 1 LINK 2
Hello friends, I hope you all are doing well. I'm a first time poster here but long time (subjective?) follower of Aquarium Co-Op. I'm sad to report that I have inadvertently killed some fish with my water skimmers and I've tried many possible remedies including various sponge additions and mesh fabric. Nothing has yielded a viable solution yet. However, I do think my tank does need a surface skimmer since I have a heavy bio-film build up and am running C02 so need gas exchange. In the interim, I'm running oxygen injection which I normally don't do but I can't currently use a surface skimmer as it is resulting in dead fish =( . The fish I'm keeping are CPDs, a few Dwarf Emerald Rasboras and now, 2 less Chili Rasboras as of this morning (I tried another solution to the problem but didn't work). Collectively, all of these fish are small enough to get sucked into my surface skimmer even when blockers are installed. Before I post pictures and provide more explanation, I wanted to see if anyone has derived a solution to this problem? Thanks for all your help.
Alongside many fellow aquarists/aquascapists, I find myself dealing with surface film far more often than I'd like. Also alongside my fellow a/a's, I've spent far more money than I could have ever imagined when I first decided to grow underwater plants. In an attempt to arbitrarily draw the money line somewhere, at least until I gave a DIY system a try, I decided that purchasing a skimmer system for my "nano" tank was out of the question. Not to mention the lack of real estate in my 5 gallon cube, of which I decided HAD to have exactly half of its space taken up by substrate in an attempt to mimic something I saw in a recent Aquarium Hobbyist Mag—a decision I highly regret and appreciate at the same time. Surprisingly, the first attempt at a DIY skimmer worked! Now the question is whether or not the snorkel looks worse than the film it removes. Nonetheless, I've decided to show my work and how I did it, as well as my notes in case any fellow a/a would like to cheaply rid their tanks of surface film. Equipment: -Dymax Slim Flo HOB filter (the smallest they make) -length of 1/4” tubing (grab a piece longer than required, trim as needed) -scissors -patience Steps: 1: cut a small notch out of the 1/4” tube near one end. The notch will be a triangle shape with the narrowest part aiming down (toward the opposite end). My notch is about 1” in length and gets to as wide as half the tube’s circumference. 2: feed the other side of the 1/4” tube up the bottom of the intake tube to the filter. I had to cut a small opening in the intake tube in order for the 1/4” tube to fit through. 3: feed the 1/4” tube until one end is about halfway up the intake tube while the notch you cut from step 1 is at the waterline. Make sure to round the bottom of the 1/4” tube as it exits the intake tube so it doesn’t kink. If it’s too long, just trim it. Notes: -You’ll have to fiddle with the waterline on the notch as well as the amount of flow on the filter. You want a small amount of waterfall action. I found the best to be about 1” of a gap of air for the waterfall action (this is what brings the surface water into the tube) -The waterline too high on the notch and there will be no waterfall, so surface water will pretty much be stagnant unless you crank up the filter to max flow, but even then, you likely won't get surface water entering. -The waterline too low on the notch and you'll have a gap of air for the waterfall but surface tension will prevent water from entering the tube. -Filter flow too low and it won’t pull water from the tube into the filter. -Filter flow too high and you’ll get lots of skimming action but you might also suck in a tiny fish…like a phoenix rasbora…don’t ask how I know. -Keep in mind you’ll have to adjust the tube as evaporation lowers the waterline. -I routed my 1/4” tube in a quite visible location because I was fiddling with it and wanted to be able to move and see it easily. You can just as effectively route the 1/4” tube under the filter or behind some plants; something I’ll definitely do in the near future. -My tank is quite small, so, the 1/4” tube is perfect for me. Larger tanks might need a larger tube, but I imagine the same steps apply. Hope this was useful for anyone. If you make your own (using mine or a different setup) please share your project! Would love to see what’s out there. Cheers!