Salt and Film


New member
My 55g has been running for almost 2 months now and I have trouble with surface film. I am running a coralife 125 super skimmer and 2 Seio 620s and a aquaclear 50 power head there is good flow and surface aggitation but it is still there . I have done several water changes and its still there. I use a 16 gallon rubbermaid container for water changes. I fill it with ro/di water add salt and let it run 2 days with a power head and heater and make sure it is the same as tank water.I have noticed that when I take the cover off the container for the water change there is a brown film on the bottom of the cover from the air bubbles popping in said container. I asume that there is some thing in the salt mix that could be causing the film, could this be my problem?I am using IO Reef Crystals but I am thinking about changing to something else for salt can I do this?

Thanks Bob
The film is probably organic fluids, etc. I use a preskimmer to reduce the film in my tanks. Some paper towels can also be used to remove it. I don't know of any other ideas to deal with the issue, but a light film is probably not an issue.
I agree with Jonathan. If you are using frozen food and just drop it in that adds lots of organics to the tank. If your skimmer is not working up to par that can contribute also.

The papertowel thing works good I have tried it. I use Instant Ocean salt mix and I get the same scum on the water when I first mix it up. I use a cup and just skim the stuff off the top before I use it.


one way to remove the surface film is to gently press a bowl down into the water and allow the lip of the bowl to drop just slightly below the surface and as water flows in it will pull the film with it.
I also support that your surface skimmer is not doing it's work (Do you have one or just a drain pipe?)
The film as mentioned before are proteinaceous matter and organics that ususally the surface skimmer take away into the sump and skimmer to be rmoved. Look at the way you are skimming the surface.
BTW moast salts have some dirt dust on them so the bubbling skims it out just insure it does not grow as I have seen some other salts generate brawn algae but the difference is that the algae does not get skimmed by the mixing bubbles.
I have no fish in the tank yet. The only thing in the tank is live rock and sand.My protein skimmer seems to be pulling out alot of gunk. The water is very clear except for the surface film.I do not have a surface skimmer wish I did but I have no room for a sump.I tried the paper towel thing but it didnt help much. So its probably not my salt? I was thinking on getting a canister with a skimmer attachment would this work?

Thanks Bob
Here is a pic of my tank.
No it is not your salt and yes, a canister or a skimmer box around the skimmer pump will do.
I have a preskimmer box, and it doesnt help much. Ive used the papertowel trick and its works nice. I also use IO salt, but I just got some IO reef crystals to try out.