View Full Version : Chemi-clean for transparent slime

03-03-2017, 04:10 AM
I have transparent slime over most of the glass, rocks and sand in my display tank. According to some research done on RC, it could be caused by a bacterial 'infection' which in turn, is caused by low oxygen content (which I had and may still be a bit low) and too high nitrates.

Question: could Chemi-clean clear this up just like a Cyano bacteria outbreak?

I would of course have to be very careful of my oxygen levels.


03-03-2017, 03:27 PM
Are you carbon dosing?

03-03-2017, 03:48 PM
When you say "slime" are you talking like a clear fuzz on the LR. I'm curious as to what this would be if it's not a simple bacteria.

03-03-2017, 05:31 PM
Are you carbon dosing?

I second this question, if you are carbon dosing you can get a build up of clear snot like material from bacteria going crazy.

03-03-2017, 06:17 PM
Here is a pic of my skimmer when I bumped up my vinegar dose a little too much. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170303/8a3c32770d582e36f11ec78972a6c4f0.jpg

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

03-03-2017, 06:22 PM

03-03-2017, 07:07 PM
Ha ha... you weren't kidding by describing it as "snot".

03-03-2017, 07:20 PM
Thanks for the replies but it doesn't look too much like the snot in your picture Davej. Its very clear and collects fine debris which is the only way it shows up other than it feeling very slippery/slimy to the touch. However, that may be due to it growing on a different surface. So, I am not ruling it out.

If it is thick enough it gets a bit fuzzy and that's when it collects the fine debris in the water.

It seems to do better in darker spots as it doesn't collect as well on the front glass.

Oh yes, I don't carbon dose.


03-03-2017, 11:52 PM
My suspicion would be a bacterial overgrowth. Which would in turn cause low oxygen levels.

Most bacteria are fed by carbon sources such as sugars, acetic acid and alcohol.
Do you use any acetic acid(vinegar) or alcohol near the tank or in the house?
Do you use any additives to help coral growth etc as they can sometimes have sugars in them.

What are your tank parameters for calcium and alk?

Is there a lot of detritus in the tank?


03-04-2017, 04:21 AM
I use Calcium Gluconate, Kent TechM, BRS alk., Red Sea Coral Colors.

Mg is today at 1500 - I was trying to raise Mg to counteract an out break of Bryopsis when I discovered this 'slime' while cleaning the glass and trying to toothbrush off the Bryopsis (which also white). I stopped the mg dosing on Wed evening when my Frogspawn and anenomes started moving underneath their rocks. Now I am beginning to wonder if I also really do have Bryopsis as it is not responding and has always been white instead of green even though it looks exactly the same.

kH is approx 12! Last week it was 8.
Ca is 360 (recommended level by manufacturer is 380).

I have had problems with low O2 because my hubby wanted to seal the whole system to eliminate moisture. Some time agoI opened up the sump in the 42in clearance crawlspace (I am a small person) and put in a fan. Last night I opened up half of the refugium (75 gal) and removed another glass panel on the display tank so now it is half covered.

No vinegar or alcohol.

Thanks for all the information. I think it will help a lot.

I think I might try the Chemiclean after a few days in order to let the Mg settle down a bit more. Then, of course, a 30% water change.


03-04-2017, 01:27 PM
I use Calcium Gluconate...

There's your excess bacteria food source.


03-04-2017, 11:40 PM
I was wondering about that. I haven't increased the dosage even though my Ca level is at 360. I think I will stop dosing this calcium. Later on, I will buy a different brand of Calcium.


03-05-2017, 01:44 PM
Yeah, use a calcium supplement that is Calcium chloride! I would suggest you start raising calcium right away and get it up around 440 ppm in the next week to balance with the 11 dKH. I imagine your critters are mad about the very large alkalinity swing.

03-05-2017, 11:27 PM
My alk had risen to almost 16 by Friday! I think this is because of low oxygen levels so I added an air stone. I tested again Saturday and alk had dropped to 15. I just put in 3 more air stones today. I try to be very consistent with my testing so I think it probably did drop.

Yes, I have a few mad corals. I want to do a 30% water change but I would like to use Chemiclean first. Hence the 4 airstones.

I will try a wait another day or two to see if my alk drops. If not, I will have to do a water change anyway. I will have to do another one anyway in a week or so as well as it takes a few water changes to get the protein skimmer working again after a Chemiclean treatment. This is why I would like to start with a Chemiclean treatment first if possible.

I have some Turbo calcium. Should I start dosing with it right away? I stopped the Calcium Gluconate dosing completely. I was thinking the corals are probably too unhappy to continue their regular metabolism.


03-06-2017, 12:18 AM
I do not recommend adding ChemiClean.
Yes start adding the Turbo Calcium. You can use the BRS calculator to calculate how much to add.http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/reef-calculator?gclid=CjwKEAiAi-_FBRCZyPm_14CjoyASJAClUigOFcpgM_-43XuCx8ic607MX990SfhEOMpd9lBhDs97MBoC9mzw_wcB Check off the calcium chloride option.

By adding calcium, that will help bring down your alk.

By adding the calcium gluconate, you were effectively carbon dosing your tank with sugar. Once that food supply goes away, the excess bacteria will die back to normal levels so make sure your skimmer and filtration is working properly.
How much of a change this is going to be for your corals depends on how much calcium gluconate you were dosing and for how long.

After you add the turbo calcium, check the calcium and alk levels again in 24 hours.

You could do a water change, but that would be introducing even more chemistry changes which could irritate your corals further.
Stopping the calcium gluconate and adding the calcium chloride are the 2 most important things to do right now. Don't raise the calcium more than 50 ppm per day.

You can read up here for more about calcium and alkalinity: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/11/chemistry

Good luck!

03-06-2017, 04:06 AM
Thanks for the advice everybody,

MitchM, I was hoping the Chemiclean would eradicate all this bacterial slime within a few days. I could wait a while after my Ca levels rise, but don't you think Chemiclean would work at all?

BRS calculator is great; I bookmarked it.


03-06-2017, 08:32 AM
It's not known if the erythromycin cetyl sulphate that's in Chemiclean will or won't work with the bacteria you have, so I wouldn't advise it.

03-06-2017, 02:39 PM
I wouldn't use ChemiClean either.

When nitrification takes place (ammonia to nitrate), alkalinity is bound up. When denitrification takes place (bacteria eating a carbon source and reducing nitrate and phosphate) they release that alkalinity that was bound up. A sudden drop in nutrients from the bacteria bloom could be the reason why you're seeing this increase in alkalinity. As the alkalinity increases you're going to get calcium precipitation which will lower the calcium even more, and cause the alkalinity to go up further. I would suggest a waterchange with a lower alkalinity salt mix such as Aquaforest. I would add extra calcium to the saltwater while doing the waterchange. IME, calcium can increase by about 50 ppm per day without irritating anything. Alkalinity swings are a real problem though. In your case, the damage has probably already been done. Instant Ocean or Reef Crystals isn't going to help you out much here.

tang daddy
03-06-2017, 04:37 PM
Cause and effect, I have never heard of anyone using calcium glucomate as a calcium dosing source.

Definately stop dosing the alk and perform a couple larger waterchanges to bring the alk down to 9, and in future use calcium chloride for dosing calcium. If you want to dose a bacteria source use vinegar in really small amounts but generally I've tried to stay away from carbon dosing because it brings some weird strains of bacteria out.

03-06-2017, 05:32 PM
Aquavitro Calcification is calcium gluconate


03-07-2017, 03:24 AM
Kent uses Calcium gluconate too IIRC.

03-07-2017, 04:05 AM
IIRC? - which means?

I use Kent salt mix which has a kH of 7. I can't remember the rest when I added the first 220 gallons of water to the system.

I think Ca and Mg were natural seawater parameters.

I am going to wait until Ca rises with use of Turbo Calcium as Myka suggested - let things settle down a bit before I do a water change. I guess I will have to be very, very patient to wait for the slime to disappear over several spaced out water changes.


03-10-2017, 05:24 AM
Just wanted thank everybody for going to the trouble to give me some great advice.

My ca level is up to 440 now and alk is down to 11.5. There is still a lot of fuzzy slime but I am slowly tooth brushing and netting a little at a time mostly to save my back.

Strangely enough the corals most affected are the Euphylia, followed by the Calaustria, and then the Duncan coral. My lavender poccis and purple poccis don't seem to care but the green pocci's have browned out. The zoas are fine as well.


03-10-2017, 01:01 PM
Well that sounds good. You're on the right track. The slime should go away on it's own, but yeah it may take a few weeks. If would be great if you could post a photo though. Sometimes things aren't as they seem.

IIRC? - which means?

If I Recall Correctly

03-10-2017, 11:02 PM
I would love to post pictures but Photobucket won't download. I can upload pictures to PhotoBucket but I can't get them out again.

You mean Kent puts Calcium Gluconate in their salt mix? Aaargh!, I just bought 2 buckets! No big water changes now I guess. Kent's declared salt parameters are higher that what they turned out to be for my first fill up.


03-17-2017, 04:09 AM
I emailed the Kent guys and they say they don't put calcium gluconate in their salt mix.


03-29-2017, 03:31 AM
Hi Everybody,

I followed Myka's advice (thankyou, thankyou, thankyou). The slime is gone. Ca is 440 (was 460), Mg - 1470, kH - 7.7.

Corals have mostly recovered but I lost 3 flasher wrasses, 2 anthias. The loss may be due the bacteria or stress from me doing so much manual removal of the slime. However, I feel fortunate that Myka's advice worked so quickly. Things could have been so much worse.


tang daddy
03-29-2017, 05:36 PM
Sorry to hear about your fish losses, good to know your tank is back on track.