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Re: QYNGA: Surface scum

    What it is is protien and fatty acids that have come from your food, fish
metabolic processes, and other such stuff.  I don't know as it tells you a
lot about your tank, but it usually implies that you don't have a lot of
surface movement.  To break it up and get it back into the water, add an
airstone.  The skimmers on your proposed trickle filters should also
eliminate it.  It is removed when you do your partial water changes.
    Salt water people use foam fractionation (protein skimmers) to extract
it, which I understand will also work in fresh water provided you find one at
least six feet high.  That's pretty tall, and I have never tried it, but I
have seen foam buildup in some freshwater streams.  It is the same foam that
you can easily find along ocean beaches.
    That's all the answer I can offer at this time.  Hope it is useful to get
you on the track to a happy solution.

Bob Dixon