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[APD] Re: what's so bad about surface scum?

I think gas exchange is probably the biggest setback, unless you use a PH
controller your CO2 is probably regulated to maintain a certain
concentration of CO2 in the water. Gas exchange plays a great part in CO2
levels and is probably responsible for the majority of CO2 that the tank
consumes/looses as a whole. So if your gas exchange goes from high at the
start of the week after a water change, to low once surface scum has
accumulated, there's likely also going to be a change in CO2 levels in your
tank. From what I've heard the surface extractor is a little tricky and at
times noisy, personally I'd adjust the filter output to create a little more
surface agitation, as long as the tank is not completely covered with
surface scum I wouldn't worryabout it. Mine gets surface scum on 1/4 of the
surface where water flow is at it's minimum towards the end of the week
prior to a water change. Flake food is probably the leading cause, when I
don't use flake I don't get surface scum. Black mollies also do a great job
at eating the surface scum, that would be my next suggestion. But again,
unless the entire surface is being covered, you probably have little to
worry about other than any estetic issues. It can also collect small debris
such as broken leaves and fish food, eventually it does get ugly if left for
too long.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio

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  b.. Subject: [APD] what's so bad about surface scum?
  c.. From: "Byron J. Yu" <sixty9 at gmail_com>
  d.. Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 13:10:28 -0400
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I have an open tank and it gets a moderate amount of surface scum,
which goes away after every water change (2x a week).I was just
wondering if there's anything really bad about having it? Besides

i've read that it stops gas exchange but i'm wondering if that's so
bad. My plants are bubbling with oxygen all day so i don't have to
worry about the tank getting enough oxygen, and i would think
retaining the co2 in the tank is a good thing.

One bad thing i thought of is that it would block out some of the
light. That could be bad if reflects too much light away from the
aquarium.. but don't know how much it actually affects it.

Just wondering if i really need to buy the eheim surface skimmer...
thanks for ur help.


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