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goldfishgirl82

Surface Skimmer - Need Help

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One of my tanks has a problem with some sort of white film floating around on the top. It started out as oily stuff and has become more of a white film. Nothing I do seems to get rid of it. Stirring up the water and siphoning it out doesn't either. So, I looked up this item called a surface skimmer and am hoping to try it. I bought a little cheapy one (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Clean-100-Surface-Skimmer-Aquarium-Filter-450-L-Pump-Plant-Freswater-Marine-Oil-/111556044280?hash=item19f94225f8:g:W~wAAOSwnDxUmHQB) that I can hook on the side of the tank with suction cups for now and am going to give that a go first. But, I suspect it may not do the trick and there is a better type that hooks on to one's filter. They say it can attach right to your canister intake, but I look at this and have no idea how to do it. Does anyone have any experience with this? Or, are you able to look at the photo and tell me how you would put this on an Aquatop/SunSun canister filter?  Below is a photo and a link to what it is:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aquarium-Surface-Film-Skimmer-Hang-on-Canister-Filter-Powerhead-Tom-11-/231839952874?hash=item35fabcefea:g:2ZkAAOSwDuJWuOE~

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

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I don't even know how it works, but do make sure it works in fresh water.  Some types of skimmers only work in marine tanks.

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I don't even know how it works, but do make sure it works in fresh water.  Some types of skimmers only work in marine tanks.

 

I think these are supposed to be different thank the protein skimmers in that they work just on the surface where the protein skimmers pull particles out of the water. One of the ones I saw on Amazon had a video that showed how it pulled oil off the surface. But nowhere can I find how you hook it up to the filter. :(  

 

On that note, if this doesn't work, do you have any suggestions on how to get what seems like an oily substance off the surface of the water? I have tried dabbing it with paper towels, tried sinking the material to get it out with water changes, and so far nothing is helping. I have no idea what it even is. It's like a white, spotty film. It started after feeding my fish cut up silversides. 

I will try to get a photo sometime tomorrow when the light is on also...

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I have one that was attached to my Sunsun in my smaller tank. It's just a filter outlet at the top of the tank so it. An syphoned off the surface, not a protein skimmer. It might work, might not, depending on the source of the oil. Have you tried just laying white tissue paper or paper towel along the surface and then tossing then? They absorb surface films extremely well :)

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The way my Sunsun one hooks up to the filter is that it just t's off the mail filter uptake pipe. I add an additional section to the filter inflow and suction it to the wall, adjusting the top stem piece so it floats along the surface. It's really that simple.

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I have one that was attached to my Sunsun in my smaller tank. It's just a filter outlet at the top of the tank so it. An syphoned off the surface, not a protein skimmer. It might work, might not, depending on the source of the oil. Have you tried just laying white tissue paper or paper towel along the surface and then tossing then? They absorb surface films extremely well :)

 

The paper towels seemed to just sink. But maybe if I got a better quality kind that was more absorbant...  :teehee

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The way my Sunsun one hooks up to the filter is that it just t's off the mail filter uptake pipe. I add an additional section to the filter inflow and suction it to the wall, adjusting the top stem piece so it floats along the surface. It's really that simple.

 

You wouldn't be able to take a picture would you? I think I'm understanding what you're saying, but not sure what it would actually look like. 

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You just connect you canister input to the J shape corrugated pipe.

It looks like more detailed instructions are on the product label/paper behind the actual skimmer?

I used the one that came with my sunsun too but my water level was too high and it kept floating off. They can also suck air if the water level is too low.

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If you don't object to DIY, I can tell you how to keep the top of the water perfectly clean.  Make one of

.  Then  siphon clean, conditioned water into the tank with 1/4 inch tubing fitted with a dripper.  (see the "redneck" dripper here)  As the new water raises the level of the tank water, the overflow device will skim water from the surface, taking away any film on the top.

 

I used this as a water change device for my 40B.  My fresh water container held 5 gallons and my used water sump held 6 gallons.  Daily water change consisted of emptying the used water and filling and conditioning the fresh water reservoir.  Weekly maintenance included vacuuming the bottom and emptying and rinsing the filter.  I had never thought the top of the water was dirty, but using this system, the water surface became invisible.

 

The only challenge in making this system comes in elevating the fresh water reservoir so you can siphon the clean water into the tank.  If you are just trying to skim the water surface, you can run this when the water surface needs cleaning and put it away after cleaning.

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Or, are you able to look at the photo and tell me how you would put this on an Aquatop/SunSun canister filter? 

 

 

Which Sunsun do you have? All of mine came with an inline skimmer attachment. they look like this:

 

sunsun001.jpg

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HomerJay's is essentially the same one I have, but Butterfly's description is what I'm seeing indicated in the picture for the product.

Edited by Arctic Mama

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Or, are you able to look at the photo and tell me how you would put this on an Aquatop/SunSun canister filter? 

 

 

Which Sunsun do you have? All of mine came with an inline skimmer attachment. they look like this:

 

sunsun001.jpg

 

 

 

Mine is actually the AquaTop version of the product, so it's not exactly the same, but it's just like the Sun Sun. It didn't come with that piece though. It has a spot where that can attach, but didn't come with it... Mine is the one in the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/Aquatop-CF300-3-Stage-Canister-Filter/dp/B004GJ244G

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you got it :) just diff :)

 

post-1-0-54923300-1457621347_thumb.png

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I think it attaches to that stem off the intake... I'm just so non-mechanically minded I can't figure it out. Maybe if I have it in hand it'll stop feeling like:  :crazy:

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I think it attaches to that stem off the intake... I'm just so non-mechanically minded I can't figure it out. Maybe if I have it in hand it'll stop feeling like:  :crazy:

 

No, it should replace your intake (unless your canister filter has two intake lines like some of the Eheim Pro series). Remove your intake pipe from the canister tubing and attach the tubing to the j-bend on the skimmer (the sticky out bit on the right). The filter will then pull water from the skimmer, as well as the inlet at the bottom.  :)

 

Another option is to increase your surface agitation. A lot of high tech planted tanks get them because most people are afraid of surface agitation for some reason.

Edited by dan in aus

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I think it attaches to that stem off the intake... I'm just so non-mechanically minded I can't figure it out. Maybe if I have it in hand it'll stop feeling like:  :crazy:

 

No, it should replace your intake (unless your canister filter has two intake lines like some of the Eheim Pro series). Remove your intake pipe from the canister tubing and attach the tubing to the j-bend on the skimmer (the sticky out bit on the right). The filter will then pull water from the skimmer, as well as the inlet at the bottom.  :)

 

Another option is to increase your surface agitation. A lot of high tech planted tanks get them because most people are afraid of surface agitation for some reason.

 

 

Thanks, I think I understand now. :)

I do have lots of surface agitation on the tank. I have what comes from the filter and then a power-head that moves water across the top. I'm not sure how the water got so gross in this tank. :(

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So last night I did a 50% water change on this tank to try once again to get some of the problem substance out of the tank. I did manage to get it down considerably. I also tried using paper towels. That part didn't help much, but the siphon did get some out when I put it near the surface. I still can't figure out what this is though. My boyfriend thinks it may be a mold of some kind. It's little white dots, but when I pulled some with the paper towel they appear brownish. I think he may be right, but it could also be from a rock that is really old and possibly deteriorating which I took out. The pics I took aren't great, but you can kind of see them near the back of the tank in this one. Anyone have any idea what they might be? There was an oily film on the water as well which was there before these developed, probably because for a while I didn't have enough surface agitation (which I fixed by adding a power head) and possibly from feeding cut up silver sides to the fish in the tank. I also cleaned the canister last night and found a stinky, slimy substance in there around the seal. The tank looks better now, but there are still some of these whiteish things floating around. I hope the skimmer will help get the rest out. 

 

20160310_214955_zpsgqjf6r1p.jpg

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I've never seen a surface build up like that. Definitely doesn't look like what I was referring to.

Is this an open tank? Is it possible its plasterboard or paint from a ceiling or wall?

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I've never seen a surface build up like that. Definitely doesn't look like what I was referring to.

Is this an open tank? Is it possible its plasterboard or paint from a ceiling or wall?

 

No, it's got glass tops covering it. There is a one inch hole in the back that was cut out for cords that is still open, but I haven't seen anything in the ceiling or wall that could be falling in. It just started one day, then within a week it exploded out of control. Since I cleaned it yesterday it's down to a small amount, but I'm worried it may come back if I don't know what it is or what caused it. My fish doesn't seem bothered by it, but he likes anything that blocks the light. I had some rock in the tank for a while (I think it was this type: http://www.amazon.com/North-American-Pet-Sculptured-Small/dp/B003NWNBTE/ref=pd_sim_sbs_199_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51qgdLa1soL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=17EK261F39M84A3DWCK4) that seemed like maybe it was chipping apart, but it seems odd that it would float like this. When I try to sink the little things they seem to pop back up. It's really weird. 

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:teehee This all sounds very complex .

I hope it all works out!

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You can use newspaper paper to remove oil/surface stuff too. Works really well.

 

MY wife has a protein skimmer that reminds me of the one you ordered. It works quite well, but can be a bit loud if not setup properly - being either too close or too far from the surface. It does require regular cleaning more than filter would, but then it will work much better :)

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