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Old 05-30-2016, 12:11 AM   #1
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Oil slick

Hey all, I have what looks like an oil slick on the surface of the water. I had this along with a bad case of brown algae I couldn't get rid of. Last weekend I stripped the tank scrubbed it clean with warm water and algaecide solution I even boiled the gravel. Now a week later the slick is back.
Ph=7.8
Ph high=8.0
Nh3/nh4=0
No2=0
No3=80
I'm using a current satellite freshwater led + fixture that's on 7-8hrs per day. I have around 30 live plants. I have 17 fish the largest being three dwarf gouramis.
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:43 AM   #2
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There's a good chance your fish diet may be too fatty and both the food and the waste is producing too much fat (oil) in your water. A higher water movement can also improve this because it will keep the oil moving instead of rising and easier to be sorted out by your filter. I say if you don't already have a bubble bar I would get one. I have two because my Goby loves moving water and I have a 150gal tank. The brown algae can be sorted by providing additional high penetrating light. Unlike green algae, brown algae thrives in low light situations so if you don't have plants that could be hurt I would move the light closer and try leaving it on for closer to 10 hours a day. Also maybe it's time to invest in a tiny cleaning crew!

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Old 05-30-2016, 06:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jmrwiggly View Post
Hey all, I have what looks like an oil slick on the surface of the water. I had this along with a bad case of brown algae I couldn't get rid of. Last weekend I stripped the tank scrubbed it clean with warm water and algaecide solution I even boiled the gravel. Now a week later the slick is back.

Ph=7.8

Ph high=8.0

Nh3/nh4=0

No2=0

No3=80

I'm using a current satellite freshwater led + fixture that's on 7-8hrs per day. I have around 30 live plants. I have 17 fish the largest being three dwarf gouramis.

You need to increase surface movement. The biofilm will prevent proper surface gas exchange and houses unwanted bacteria. Your nitrates are higher than usual which means that either you could benefit with more regular water changes or need to feed less. At the very least you should regularly skim the film off but surface movement is key.


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Old 05-30-2016, 06:14 AM   #4
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Hi there as said above more water movement on the surface, or you could try adding a surface skimmer attachment.


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Old 05-30-2016, 09:48 AM   #5
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I will invest in a powerhead and or a skimmer. My nitrates are a pain in the butt. My water source in 40ppm I put seachem denitrate in my filter hoping this would help.
As for feeding I use flake twice daily 12hrs apart (small pinch) and on the night feeding I add 3-4 pellets in for the cory and the candy stripe.
Once a week I will put a pinch of dry bloodworms.
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:11 AM   #6
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I will invest in a powerhead and or a skimmer. My nitrates are a pain in the butt. My water source in 40ppm I put seachem denitrate in my filter hoping this would help.
As for feeding I use flake twice daily 12hrs apart (small pinch) and on the night feeding I add 3-4 pellets in for the cory and the candy stripe.
Once a week I will put a pinch of dry bloodworms.
Everyone has already hit in the main culprits, food and lack of surface agitation.
What brand of flake food are you using as that would be the prime suspect?

Seachem's De-Nitrate is a media for de-nitrifying bacteria to colonize, that process takes roughly 12 weeks for the media to be colonized enough to begin to see a difference.

You may try something like Chemi-Pure or Purigen or even both to help remove dissolved organics before they are converted by the nitrogen cycle thereby reducing the overall nitrate level.
They also do wonders for water clarification.
Aside from that, partial water changes are the only way to quickly lower levels, BUT,
80 ppm of nitrate, while high, is far from lethal or problematic for the fish.
In a planted tank you want about 10-20 ppm of nitrate anyway, IMHO.

ALSO since you scrubbed and boiled everything essentially killing all the beneficial bacteria except for what's in the filter, watch out for elevated ammonia levels and cloudy water.
You may have created a bigger problem for yourself.


Are there any places; supermarket or something, that has a water dispensing machine? My tap water has nitrate as well and I buy my fresh water from a machine @ .25 per gallon.

IMO, that radical of cleaning should ONLY ever be done if a pathogen is killing your livestock.
Algae is ugly, but not really worth that radical and risky of measures.
I have found that snails and pleco's do a pretty good job.
Good luck and keep tabs on all your parameters.
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:07 PM   #7
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Aqueon is the brand of flake I'm using.
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:27 PM   #8
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Water agitation is by far the best was to disperse the oily film. In the short term I float an absorbent kitchen paper on the surface for a second or two and pull it out slowly. The initial contact of the paper with the surface water will soak up the oil and improve the situation until extra water agitation is set up.


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Old 06-04-2016, 09:04 AM   #9
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The eheim 350 is an awesome skimmer for the price. Hard to beat it. Not expensive, performs great, quick/easy maintenance.
You can google it...available lots of places. This is only a example. I have no connection with this one:

http://www.kensfish.com/cgi-kensfish...065d4706fb927f


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