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Re: Surface scum
>One other thing, there are little (< 1mm) "fleas" that I can see
>jumping on the scum patches. Could these little cretins be
These insects are called springtails, of the order Collembola. There
are several families. They live on the water's surface, and probably
feed on the surface scum, along with plant debris. A good general
reference on this topic is "Fresh-water Invertebrates of the United
States" by Robert W. Pennak.
Surface scum is primarily composed of water-insoluble organic
compounds (proteins, fats, aromatics, etc) from fish food, and/or from
the decay of plant and animal matter in your aquarium. As the scum is
both water-insoluble and lighter than water, it floats. Secondarily,
other things can colonize the scum (presumably while feeding on it),
such as bacteria, fungi, and, of course, springtails.