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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.