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Matten Filter Surface Skim Issues


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Hello everyone,

I am fairly new to the aquarium scene and just 2 months ago, added a 2nd tank (9.3gal) for a more stable environment for my caridina shrimp. I decided to be a bit ambitious and add a corner matten filter as I love my shrimp and have read this is a great medium between creating a nicer overall design and a place to baby shrimp to snack and not get sucked in. However, after cycling, I notice I will still get white bacteria film on top. Of course my next thought would be surface skimmer but... this takes away from filtering of the matten filter (unless pointing directly at the corner filter?), design of the tank, and shrimp can get stuck inside the skimmer. I also have Co2 and want to avoid the hindering of gaseous exchange.

I am wondering if anyone else had a solution for getting rid of this bacteria in a somewhat automated manner. I can use a paper towel every now and then sure... or even hydrogen peroxide from what I've seen, but perhaps there's already a solution out there? Perhaps the skimmer is just a small price to pay for a healthier environment. I'd love to hear anyone's experience with this.


A little corner filter action and amount of surface stuff: https://streamable.com/huqg0t

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On 8/3/2022 at 10:31 PM, DjangoAqua said:

I notice I will still get white bacteria film on top.

Usually this is caused by not rinsing something and it floats to the surface, especially if it's a white film.  The only other one I know of is wood fungus that is typically not at the surface.  I have seen "white film" where it is on the equipment itself where flow and filtration is a major issue.  Meaning, the pump has died and something is causing this white film on all the cords and hardscape.

A photo would help to alleviate which of these situations is the cause.  On your matten filter, was everything rinsed well?  Could this be due to something on your hands entering the water?

The easiest way to resolve this might be adding an airstone or making certain that your filter now breaks this film on the surface. You have surface movement, but not a lot of aeration if that makes sense.  You have water along the surface, but boosting that flow might be enough to break the surface tension.

Compared to this one, there is some air in the system and some bubbles.


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Hi Nabokov and Gardenman,

This completely solved my issue. I was feeding a pure tube into the PVC because the airstone didn't seem to affect flow rate. Now, with the airstone, overnight, no more film. Bubbles and some poppage, but no more film. 

Thank you so much! 

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