Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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jjflex 11-30-2007 11:52 AM

Oily Water?
Not sure exactly what is wrong or if there is anything wrong but there is an oily substance that floats on the top of the tank. Not a whole lot but it its noticeable when feeding and cleaning. Does anyone know what it is and if its bad.
Have a 55 gal tank, topfin 60 filter, 5 convict cichlids, 1 salefin pleco, and these two little crabs bought at the lfs.
thanks for any help you can give.

Amphitrite 11-30-2007 12:52 PM

I get the same oily film at the top of my water if there's isn't enough water disturbance - especially after feeding. Can you change the angle/setting of your filter so that the flow is breaking the surface?

fish_4_all 11-30-2007 12:54 PM

It seems to a common thing to happen once in a while. The only thing I know of that causes it is a protein that floats on the surface.

The best way to remove a majority of it is to float plain, uncolored and unscented paper towels on the surface to absorb it. Simply place the paper on the surface and remove it immediately.

Mirta 11-30-2007 01:38 PM

I also have this oily film in my tanks. I first had it in one of my tank and then noticed it in the others too. I thought it was some bacteria and was going to post a question about it. Now thanks to this thread I realise that it may not be so bad and can be cleaned up easily. Thank you all! :D

fish_4_all 11-30-2007 01:48 PM

Some foods will cause it. I have gotten it especially when I do not peel zucchini even after washing it really well.

Water changes can often help to control the oil slicks. When I neglect my tank it can take a couple weeks of regular water changes to finally get rid of it.

jjflex 11-30-2007 03:30 PM

thanks for the input, i do regular 15% water changes once a week, and have three other tanks none of them have the problem, the paper towel idea worked and we'll see how it goes from there thanks again

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