How to fix oil or protein film layer at aquarium water surface?

There are multiple reasons behind greasy oil or protein layers on the aquarium water surface. This thin oil film is very dangerous for the life of fish because overtime the layer on the surface becomes thicker & prevents fish from reaching the water surface for breathing fresh air. Also, the oil or protein layer leaches out dangerous chemicals that are toxic to the life of fish. It increases the nitrates levels in the aquarium which is very dangerous for the life of marine fish because they are very sensitive to nitrates. But don’t worry, it is very simple to fix oil film & prevent it from building up again on the water surface.

Fish food releases proteins & if you overfeed your aquarium inhabitants then it increases the chances of having a protein layer on the surface of aquarium water. 


How to get rid of oil film or protein layer from water surface?

There are 3 methods of getting rid of oil or protein film from the surface of water:


Method 1: Paper Towel can be used to fix oil film:

There are multiple ways of wiping out oil or protein film from the water surface such as you can use paper towels that have high absorbing potential & will clear up your water quickly. Avoid using paper towels that hold bleach or toxic chemicals because they are dangerous for the life of fish. Using paper towels, you can remove even a thick oil film from the water surface.


Method 2: Water Circulation can prevent oil film from building on water surface:

Second method for getting rid of oil film is by increasing the flow rate of water coming out from the filter. Water circulation will stop this protein film from building up on the water surface. They can prevent greasy oil from building up on the surface of water with full time operation.

Method 3: Surface Skimmers can absorb oil film, & prevent it from spreading again on the water surface:

Third method of fixing oil or protein film is using surface skimmers. Basically, a surface skimmer is a filter setup near the water surface & it sucks oil or protein film. Surface skimmer can remove the oil film within minutes & prevents it from building up again. Many aquarists operate surface skimmers full time to make sure that protein film does not develop again. Also surface skimmers are used as normal filters. It is very easy to clean or replace the sponge of surface skimmers.

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