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The film on the water in the aquarium

maintenance, care, compatibility

In the life of each aquarium, sometimes unpleasant events occur that negatively affect the well-being of its inhabitants. One of these undesirable moments is the appearance of a film on the surface of the water.

True, this is not fatal, and if you take urgent measures, then this situation can be safely corrected.

There are several of them, and each case should be considered separately.

Harmful Chemistry. It happens that a thin surface oily layer is formed in a new aquarium. Sometimes he even shimmers with all the colors of the rainbow.

Such a phenomenon is observed if substances evolving soluble components have appeared inside the aquarium. This can occur due to improper putty (when gluing or repairing “cans”), as well as when placing decorative elements painted with nitro-paint, linseed oil, or oil paints inside the aquarium.

Heating appliances. An oily film may appear due to the use of oil radiators to heat the room where the aquarium is located.

The fumes caused by their work can even cause poisoning of aquarium animals. In the case when such radiators are working, experts strongly recommend closing the aquarium with a lid.

Organics. If a pale gray foil has formed on the water surface, the reason for its appearance may be an excess of residual food in the water, waste products of fish and other inhabitants, as well as plant rot.

Thus, this phenomenon has an organic nature, and the listed elements are an excellent feed for saprophyte bacteria. Actually, this film consists of these very bacteria.

Seaweed. Another common cause of the phenomenon under consideration is the proliferation of microscopic algae, which thrive when water stagnates.

Priming. It is also possible the emergence of a harmful surface layer and the acidification of the soil.

In this case, the colloidal layer consists of the smallest particles of soil and carbon dioxide. The nature of this phenomenon is as follows: upon acidification, the acid reacts with the substrate of the soil, as a result of which carbon dioxide bubbles are released.

Rising to the surface, they carry with them microscopic particles of rotting substrate.

Briefly, the nature of the film and its composition can be described as follows: dead microorganisms, live bacteria, fats, chemicals.

By the way, there are cases when one type of “sick” surface water layer passes into another.

Thus, the process of film formation in an aquarium is almost always based on insufficient purification of the aquatic environment.

How does the film affect the state of the home aqua system

In this matter there is no consensus. Some experienced aquarists argue that the organic film does not bring much harm.

For example, it prevents the release of CO2 to the surface, which contributes to the good development of aquatic vegetation.

However, most experts are inclined to believe that such a phenomenon is harmful to the inhabitants of the aquarium. In such a situation, the enrichment of water with oxygen becomes difficult, the process of evaporation of water practically stops, the heat balance is disturbed.

Under these conditions, the temperature of the aqua can rise, and the fish will simply start to choke.

Only in one case, the experts are unanimous: if the film appeared due to the dissolution of chemicals in the water, then the source of this “chemistry” should be removed as soon as possible, and the film itself should be eliminated.

Perfectly cope with dirty film special technical devices. For example, the VUPPA-1 surface extractor, which is attached directly to a vertical glass, quickly and effectively removes all harmful elements from the surface of the water.

This device, in appearance resembling a glass, collects the upper layer of water, which then passes through 3 stages of filtration inside the device. Purified water then returns to the aquarium.

The device has proven itself in large-capacity aquariums.

  1. Chemical components can form an oily layer on the surface of the water. Sometimes he shimmers with rainbow colors. If you used drugs with chemistry, put untreated decorations to the bottom of the tank, all the paint could slip away and go up. If you made a repair or decoration in an aquarium using nitro-painting, linseed oil, or oil-based paints, they will not be able to completely dissolve.
  2. An oily layer can also form due to improper use of heating devices, or a radiator that stands near the tank, emitting harmful fumes.
  3. Organic film on the water has a pale gray color, and it appears due to decomposition of the remains of fish food, their waste products, and the rotting of plants. The organic layer is formed by the bacteria saprophytes, which feed on organic matter.
  4. Blue-green algae. They appear due to the rapid reproduction of cyanobacteria, which are very fond of bright light and stagnant water.
  5. The film on the surface of the water can be formed by acidification of the soil in the aquarium. The smallest particles of the substrate and carbon dioxide can react, leading to the acidification of the colloidal soil layer. The CO2 bubbles carry rotten soil with them, lifting it to the surface.

Watch a video about one of the possible causes of the film on the water.

How to understand the composition of the film in the aquarium? Pay attention to all components of the tank, check the parameters of water, the concentration of nitrites in it, nitrates, ammonia, carbon dioxide and oxygen.

Sometimes one kind of film goes into another. Depending on the type of layer, it is removed by special means and methods of cleaning.

How to get rid of the formation of film in the home tank with fish

There is no unequivocal opinion whether a biological film affects the health of living organisms. Unlike the chemical layer, a film of cyanobacteria can serve as feed for some species of fish. However, an unnatural formation on the surface of the water carries the main danger – it prevents the penetration of light rays into the aquarium, which spoils the water quality.

What you need to do to get rid of it?


  1. Adjust filtration and aeration – mixing water will remove all bacteria and dirt, preventing the formation of a film.
  2. Take a sheet of blank paper (office napkin) and use it to remove the formation from the surface of the water. Put the paper on the water, hold it for a few minutes, then remove it with the sticky ball. The procedure can be repeated 2-3 times.
  3. Well cope with the film aquarium snails. They remove the organic layer, algae. Run into the tank a few snails (fizy, coils). They will attach to the glass walls, and quickly eat microscopic algae, the remnants of food, waste products of fish. After 2-3 days the film will completely disappear. After that, the mollusks can be removed – they multiply rapidly.
  4. Technical devices also serve as assistants for removing the organic, chemical or bacterial layer. There is a VUPPA-1 extractor available. The principle of its operation is as follows: the mechanism is attached to the vertical glass of the aquarium, and within a few hours it will remove all contaminants. The device looks like a glass; it sucks the top ball of water, which passes through three stages of cleaning inside the structure itself. The filtered water runs back into the tank. The device is perfect for large aquariums.

Watch a video on how to get rid of aquarium film.

  • Antibiotic and ultraviolet drugs are radical means for removing the film from the surface of the water in the aquarium. Intense UV irradiation kills harmful bacteria. Antibiotics will also help to remove the layer, however water will be unsuitable for fish habitat. Dissolve 1 tablet of Biomitsin in water in 10 liters of water, and pour the drug into the tank. Before the procedure, it is necessary to remove all fish and plants from the nursery by transplanting them into a previously prepared “otsadnik”.
  • To prevent the film from appearing, close the aquarium cover so that there is a gap between it and the water. Sometimes a sticky formation may appear due to room dust, which from dirt and microbes enters the pond.
  • Preventive procedures from the appearance of the film – new decorations, process the plants purchased in water and special solutions to remove contaminants and microbes from them. Make timely water changes in the aquarium, adjust the length of daylight, monitor the cleanliness of the soil, do not overfeed your pets.

  • Owners of aquariums often notice some unpleasant moments concerning such “water houses”. As you know, in order for small fish, snails and other living creatures not to suffer from various diseases and live as long as possible, it is necessary to provide them with full-fledged conditions.

    The film on the surface of the water – not uncommon. Many owners of aquariums can not understand why it was formed and what it means.

    Well, and accordingly, the most important question: what is the risk of such a phenomenon?

    The film found on the water often causes the owners of aquariums to suffer with questions: what is it and how can it harm the fish? In fact, such a phenomenon is most often the result of improper care of the aquarium. The main reasons for the appearance of films on water:

    • pollution of aquariums;
    • ingress of foreign particles into the water;
    • the presence of rotting products in an aquarium;
    • reproduction of bacteria.

    Accordingly, any negative processes related to aquarium water are accompanied by the presence of a large number of pathogens. If the presence of a film is detected in an aquarium, this always involves the reproduction of bacteria.

    They are known to have negative properties and can very seriously harm floating fish and snails, which are very sensitive to bacteria.

    In order to avoid troubles associated with the pollution of aquarium waters, you should constantly monitor the cleanliness in the aquarium. It is necessary to regularly clean the water in large tanks, and in small ones to replace it with fresh water. This will prevent such troubles and will be able to prevent diseases of the fish.

    It is important to properly clean the water and ensure that it does not appear any traces of reproduction of microorganisms that can harm animals and fish living in aquariums.

    Since the appearance of the film in the aquarium water is always an alarming bell, it is therefore important to notice such changes in time and take action. If nothing is done, then the following troubles are possible:

    • the growth of bacterial colonies;
    • diseases of aquarium inhabitants;
    • death of fish and other organisms living in aquariums;
    • oxygen starvation.

    In a polluted environment, harmful microorganisms feel particularly comfortable and begin to actively proliferate. They poison their environment with waste products and lead to the fact that the fish have nothing to breathe, as well as fish affect various diseases.

    To avoid serious problems, it is important to ensure that no film appears on the surface of the aquarium. It is important to note that it is the insufficient amount of oxygen that leads to the reproduction of malicious microbes.

    As you know, any trouble is easier to prevent than to try to get rid of it. At the same time, the appearance of such a problem does not mean hopelessness.

    If, nevertheless, aquariums are distinguished by the presence of unfavorable films, you should immediately begin to act, until the pathogens have spread at a furious rate throughout the aquarium element.

    Since the aquarium films have a bacterial nature, it should fight with bacteria. It is necessary to create conditions under which infections can not multiply and poison the fish. The easiest way to solve this problem: use a napkin, dry.

    It should be placed on the surface of the aquarium water, be sure to respect the accuracy. Then it will also need to be carefully removed. In this case, all the bacteria along with the film will be on a napkin, and the water will be cleared of such rubbish.

    But a single use of a napkin will not be enough. Dry wipes should be applied no less than four times.

    This is the only way to purify water.

    After the film surface on the water is removed, a siphon must be used. It will clear the bottom of all bacterial debris and allow the waters to actually become clean.

    Replacement of water is also necessary. If it is a large aquarium in which not less than seventy liters of water, in this case it is necessary to replace about twenty-five percent of the entire body of water.

    After the water spaces are cleared, it will be possible to proceed to the next stage of the struggle – to use the aerator and filter. This will help to fully cope with the existing problem and there will be no trace of it. But so that in the future a film does not appear on the water surface, it is advisable to observe the following rules:

    • unfinished fish feed must be extracted without preventing their decomposition;
    • it is better to feed the fish of the dry type infrequently, as they contain substances that provoke the appearance of films;
    • Before you put your hand in the aquarium, you need to wash it thoroughly with soap and water;
    • in order to avoid dusting of the water space, it is necessary to cover the aquarium with a lid;
    • the water that will be used to replace the old one must be separated (up to three days).

    This way you can track the occurrence of blockages in the aquarium. And it is extremely important to do everything necessary to prevent the development and reproduction of pathogenic microbes.

    Since they are very harmful to the health of small fish and snails, they must be immediately eliminated if they are found.

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