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RE: QYNGA: Surface scum

> From: mark.fisher at tpwd_state.tx.us
>      >One other thing, there are little (< 1mm) "fleas" that I can see
>      >jumping on the scum patches. Could these little cretins be
>      >responsible?
>      These insects are called springtails, of the order Collembola. 
>      are several families.  They live on the water's surface, and 
>      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.

Are they harmful to the plants they are sitting on?

> It's easy to tell when the skimmer is blocked, cause the scum gets
> pretty thick and traps the O2 bubbles coming off the plants. The water
> surface begins to look like a bubble nest builder went postal.

Yup, that's what I've got. :)

> In a related incident, we had a 29 gallon tank sitting next to our
> 120g tank to raise some rainbow fry.  The 29 was linked to the 120
> with a siphon tube (coming from the 120 to the 29) and an Eheim 2213
> (pumping water from the 29 to the 120).  This allowed the 29 to share
> the good filtration and water quality with the 120 and kept the fry
> from becoming a between meal snack.
> Even though the 120 was scum free with a trickle filter skimmer, a film
> quickly built up on the 29, requiring an extractor.  I not sure what
> this proves other than "it's in the water".

And also that it is not just at the surface of the water, if the intake of 
the siphon was down a little ways.

> From: Stephen Pushak <teban at powersonic_bc.ca>
> Subject: re: white surface scum, what is it
> I've seen scum on the surface of a tank with only plants and no proteins
> from food of any kind. Iron eating bacteria is a possibility but the
> iron levels must be very low since I can't measure any in the water and
> I had not added any to that tank. I do have a soil + peat substrate in
> that tank and quite low lighting levels so iron from the substrate in
> low concentrations is a possibility.
> A couple of weeks ago I added some killie fish (Cynolebias nigripinnis
> maschwitz) to that tank and boosted the lighting a little. There is no
> filtration or water movement in this tank; that's why it seems to get a
> heavy scum layer on the surface.
> I'm fairly sure the scum I have (white, no oily rainbow-like color
> pattern) is bacterial in origin.

This is different than mine then - I have a bit of that rainbow effect.

Thank you to everyone who has jumped into this thread.

The very act of seeking sets something in motion to meet us;
something in the universe, or in the unconscious responds as if
to an invitation.  - Jean Shinoda Bolen