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Re: water surface film...

About the article at http://www.aquariacentral.com/articles/scum.shtml,
I'm sorry but that won't work. You cannot just suck in water from below
the surface to get rid of the film. The surface tension of the water itself
must be broken, and that takes a lot of energy. The surface film must be
drawn completely into the pipe and broken. That device may work for a
few seconds, but instabilities in the flow will cause either: (i) the water 
level in the tank is a bit high, so the surface film recovers itself and all
the water input will be from below the surface, or (ii) the water level in 
the tank is a bit low, and the filter will suck the pipe empty, the syphon 
will break and the filter will run dry.

- Ivo Busko
  Baltimore, MD