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Old 08-23-2011, 04:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Oily water ????

Hi guys,

water in my tank seems to be oily on the top.
The only new thing i started using is calcium blocks for snails.

If it helps , here is more info :
tank is planted,i do weekly 25% water changes,i got 7 neon tetras , 1 apple snail and 20 cherry shrimp.
I done all the water tests today:
Ammonia : 0 ppm
Nitrite : 0 ppm
Nitrate : 10-20 ppm
Phostate : 0.5 ppm.

To those who think i need to do water change to get nitrates down : it doesnt help,because my tap water is 40-80 ppm in nitrates , and plants dont really help to get it down aswell .

I have never had this problem before,and since the last water change,i only added cherry shrimps and calcium block for my apple snail .


The other thing i wanted to ask : when is the time to do 100% water change and good clean up of the tank ???
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oily water ????

[quote=sondre;117732]Hi guys,

Quote:
water in my tank seems to be oily on the top.
The only new thing i started using is calcium blocks for snails.
The oily film can be caused by protiens in the food your feeding. If you might have had lotion on your hands and such like that, but probably from food.

Quote:
If it helps , here is more info :
tank is planted,i do weekly 25% water changes,i got 7 neon tetras , 1 apple snail and 20 cherry shrimp.
I done all the water tests today:
Ammonia : 0 ppm
Nitrite : 0 ppm
Nitrate : 10-20 ppm
Phostate : 0.5 ppm.
Your readings look great.

Quote:
To those who think i need to do water change to get nitrates down : it doesnt help,because my tap water is 40-80 ppm in nitrates , and plants dont really help to get it down aswell .
Your nitrates aren't bad, as long as the tank stays below 40 its doing great. Plants are using up most of it if your tap is that high. I wouldn't worry. Plants need nitrates anyway. I have to dose it 3 times a week.

Quote:
I have never had this problem before,and since the last water change,i only added cherry shrimps and calcium block for my apple snail
.

Neither should cause the oily film.


Quote:
The other thing i wanted to ask : when is the time to do 100% water change and good clean up of the tank ???
Thats not needed at all unless you are changing substrate out, or something happens that you need to sterilize the tank.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oily water ????

Possible biofilm and not oil sheen? When you look at it, does multiple colors in the sheen or just like a light grayish/white film on the water?
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oily water ????

Biofilm does sort of look like oil. All of my tanks get it and seems dosing ferts adds to it since some small amount floats for a while....if its all colorful then you maybe should be concerned. Adding in thing for your snail may have made it more noticeable now.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oily water ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by James0816 View Post
Possible biofilm and not oil sheen? When you look at it, does multiple colors in the sheen or just like a light grayish/white film on the water?
Its like light grayish/white film , water change didnt help , its still there .
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oily water ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by sondre View Post
Its like light grayish/white film , water change didnt help , its still there .
Definately sounds like biofilm buildup. You should increase the aeration. Do you have an airstone?
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oily water ????

I've got biofilm as well (positive that's what you have). Surface agitation works to solve it, as does a protein skimmer, though you probably won't need to get the latter.
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oily water ????

Quote:
Originally Posted by James0816 View Post
Definately sounds like biofilm buildup. You should increase the aeration. Do you have an airstone?
yeah i got that , but only turm it on daytime,because its too noisy .
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oily water ????

I have had this as well, but mostly in my tanks that aren't getting much surface agitation. After I add some air it goes away quickly. In short I agree with what has already been said.

The folks above are far smarter than I anyway so your in great hands taking their advice.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oily water ????

The bad part is you said you run it during the day and turn it off at night. I know you said the noise is a factor, but they really should be ran just the opposite.

Another couple of options maybe....

1) lower the water level a bit. Me personally...I don't like this one but some do.
2) get a powerhead and have it directed just under the surface.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oily water ????

But is it going to affect health of my fish longterm ? ( this film/oil?)

What is powerhead , lol ????
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:47 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oily water ????

The biofilm won't harm a thing.

A powerhead is basically a fully submersible water pump. Google them
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oily water ????

Had a look on google,does it just move water arround ?

I do have a filter , 300lph , and bubble wall,which now i keep on all day all night.

But if this biofilm is not harmfull,then i think i got nothing to worry about.

Thank you guys
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oily water ????

It's nothing to worry about. The effect of a power head is to increase water movement and nothing else. If you want to rid of this film the best way is to increase surface agitation or look at the food. It is a protein film nothing more nothing less.
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