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Re: Cheap & easy solution to the "surface scum" problem
> I think I may have stumbled on the solution. We know surface agetation rids
> tanks of this material; along with our beloved CO2. Also, the mess tends to
> return in under 24 hrs. Could we not set an air stone to an automatic
> timer to switch on for one hour just before our lights activate in the
> morning? Since plants MOSTLY use O2 at night, the loss of dissolved CO2
> and the concomitant increase in O2 may even be beneficial. At least we stop
> the scum from blocking light during the light cycle without losing CO2 when
> the plants need it. I invite comment from the "list-lords" on or off list,
> to flush out any flaws in my reasoning.
My experience tells that surface scum returns in *much* less than 24 hours.
Your proposed solution may work in some tanks, but not in others such as
mine. I have been experimenting with DIY surface skimmers for a while, and
I have running for about 2 months a DIY surface skimmer that I build using
an old gravel vac, a strainer and a few small pumbling parts. It did cost nill
since I had the parts sitting around, but even if you buy them it would
cost less that a timer plus air pump. If I turn the device off for a couple
of hours the surface is rapidly taken by the scum. I guess fish load plays
a major part in the surface scum buildup. Mine is kinda heavy.