- Solutions: Practice good aquarium maintenance care routines! This includes keeping the substrate clean, cutting back on feedings, regularly rinsing, rejuvenating or changing any type of prefiltering or absorbing materials (such as filter flosses, cartridges, bio wheels, sponges and carbon), performing regular partial water changes , and for DOCs in particular, adding a protein skimmer protein skimmer (read reviews & compare prices). For those with systems that have been running for some time and use wet/dry trickle type filters, the bio media in them, especially bio balls, are real nitrate factories, and therefore should carefully be rinsed and cleaned periodically.
- Even though hermit crab and snails won't eat this type of algae, to help keep the aquarium bottom clean and tidy add some tank friendly algae/detritus eating hermit crabs, one or two true crabs, shrimps, or other good substrate sifting tank janitors, or a fish. Scott Michael recommends the Orange-Spotted Sleeper Goby (Valenciennia puellaris) as being the best.
- When adding live rock, take the time to cure it properly.
- Important Note: If your tank is still cycling, DO NOT add any new animals, do ANY water changes, or perform ANY MAJOR substrate or filter cleaning tasks, other than to change dirty prefiltering materials and/or to QUICK siphon stuff off the bottom, until the tank has COMPLETELY FINISHED cycling. Because this type of algae does not attach well, it can easily be peeled off and removed by light siphoning, with larger floating pieces being removed with a net, or turkey baster.
- Carbon Dioxide (CO 2 ): Low water flow or movement throughout the aquarium produces carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), which algae consume.
By putting into action any of these solutions, as the growth sources are being eliminated you should see a "gradual" decrease in the growth of the slime algae. In the meantime, while you determine and correct the actual cause underlying the problem, the unsightly algae can manually be removed as mentioned above.
One final interesting note is that because slime algae "consume" nitrates, often when aquarists perform nitrate tests, the readings come up as normal. Don't be deceived. If you were to remove the algae temporarily before putting into action any of the above solutions, in all likelihood you will see a rise in the nitrate levels in the aquarium. It's like a catch 22. The nitrates have actually been there all along, but unreadable as the algae is feeding on it, therefore the nitrates "appear" to be in check. This applies to many other forms of algae as well!
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