water surface problem


i have a problem:
the surfce water in my tank has become very bad,. it traps the air buble and is now looking like a swamp. the surface movement has always been alright, but now there isnt any, my corals are not as open as they usually are, and the water level rises and falls [once it rose to the brim >>> looked like about to overflow!!!]
i only use ro/di water, no extra additions except DT's. used to add liquid Ca, but have now ordered a Ca reactor ad will have in 2 weeks.
no idea what it might be???
p.s. i havent changed anytihng in the tank either, i.e. all the powerheads are exactly as they used to be, and the flow hasnt changed either.
i will try to post a pic later of the surface.


Active Member
Check your phosphates. Do you have sponges on your powerheads? If so, when was the last time you cleaned them? Dirty sponges reduce your waterflow by a LOT!


Active Member
Best to have a surface skimming overflow box to a sump but if you just have HOT stuff then place a Powerhead or two aimed at the surface to make strong ripples and brake that crap up.


i have a drilled tank and the water goes directly into the sump. no sponges oin the PHs but i have an ASM skimmer and it came with a sponge over the return pipe.
i clean it every 2 months
i dont have a test kit for phosphates, but i only use ro/di water and i have a 28g fuge with caulerpa and chaeto. i thought that would take care of the phosphates.
ill get a test kit and check my phospates asap


you should clean the filter on the skimmer more often. i always did mine every few months but now i try to do it at least once a week. have you ever replaced it. i always just cleaned mine but i replaced it with a new one and wow what a difference. also when was the last time you cleaned the powerheads. they get dirty pretty fast and will reduce water flow. good luck


its really not the water flow thats causing the problem. the surface of the water in the tank [and now fuge also] is covered in bubbles [not tiny anymore], and is not letting as much light through cuz i can see a drastic in my SPS polyp extension!
i'm quiet worried about that, since i mostly have SPS.


do what was mentioned before. aim a powerhead strait up. huge ripples. will mix all the crap in the water and your skimmer will take care of the rest. good luck


ok... i placed a PH facing almost upward and it has been on the whole day.
the water, where the power head hits the surface, is clean and moving. but water around it and in the rest of the tank is stable, without any movement and horribly looking like slime!!!
PH only helps a bit and i cant have 6 PH facing on;y up for surface.
how come no one else ever had this problem before?


Surface water acts like a thin piece of plastic...it will hold dust and debris at the surface...it is called surface tension. Aiming a powerhead up usually breaks this up.
What I do, is occassionally, I will use a 1 gallon milk jug and "skim" the surface a bit.
But what works best for me, is I have a wet-dry unit that is HOB. This works wonders! They are cheap (mine is a millenium 2000) and really breaks up the surface, because water flow is coming from above the surface of the water, and it carries down the stuff with it.
It also gives me a convenient place to drop in a media filter or carbon occasionally when I need to clear up the water after doing rock work, or the fish stir up the bottom etc...