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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to talk about one tank, not to confuse, my heavily planted 90g. I used miracle organic soil capped with inert pea gravel. Some beds are 6" deep, at the back/sides. There are swords and deep rooters planted in those areas. The tank has been running for about a year. No co2, I dose weekly with a water change; Flourish Comprehensive. I add 1/4 tsp of equilibrium to my soft tap water every w/c.

Occupants are: 10 congo tetras, 2 breeding bushynose (so a handful of babies), 4 medium sized angelfish.

I have an oily white film on my water's surface, after researching, I decided it was protein from a high organic level. I remove the film during my weekly (or so) 40% w/cs, but it comes back in a day or two.

Also, I have a BBA problem. I've been fighting it for a while with Excel, double dose and/or spot treating, and it seemed to get better, but when I slowed down with the dosing, it seems to have gotten a foothold again.

All this leads me to think I have too much organics in my water. But with all the water changes I do, (lightly syphoning the substrate and cleaning the filter), I feel my water quality should be better.

My gut instinct is to say 'do more water changes and clean more often, maybe twice a week'. I just don't know if that's overkill, it seems to be with all those plants.

Basically, what does it mean if I have high organics in my water? There is absolutely 0 nitrate. So is it dangerous for my fish?

Also, would it be a good or bad idea for me to use Purigen? Even if it was for a short while? What action (if any) should I take?
 

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I noticed that when I don't allow my filter return to splash a little on the water I also get the white oily substance on the surface.

I also scaled my lights back to 8 hours and noticed that the hair algae started to subside. I also put some co2 in as this is usually the common cause, a lack of co2 or other imbalance. Excel worked against the algae for me but, at regular dosing, destroyed my anacharis and some other stems plants.

When I started co2 I quit fertilizer dosing for a week. I added FlorinMulti and FlorinAxis. I decided to let my tank reset instead of just dumping stuff in. I know that if I see my plants not doing what I want I can then get them what they need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response, I didn't think anyone would :) Yes, I find that too, allowing surface disruption keeps the film from presenting itself, but then I figure, it's still there, just mixing with the water. I just don't know if too many nutrients is something to worry about.

I dose flourish comprehensive once a week, or after a w/c. I wouldn't think that was too much, but who knows, that's a good strategy you have there. I don't have co2, and my lighting at the moment, I think I would consider medium. It's hard to assess lighting with all the different kinds. But I think my BBA might be attributed to the high organics in the water, I didn't want to deal with too many issues at once, and I've done a lot of reading on BBA. It's all a mystery and individual.

Maybe the organic levels are because of the dirt I use as a substrate in all my tanks. Anyone else have this film on their water's surface?

Btw, sprmankalel, I love your avatar, it's the cutest thing.
 
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