How to Control Red Slime Algae

Written by andrew napoli
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How to Control Red Slime Algae
You can keep your aquarium free of red slime algae. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Cyanobacteria is commonly known as red slime bacteria or blue-green algae, although as a plant and bacteria hybrid it is not truly an algae. It appears in both salt water and freshwater aquariums. Although Cyanobacteria is unsightly, it is generally not harmful to the aquarium itself, but if left untreated it can cover the whole tank. Overfeeding and having too many fish in the tank can drive up the phosphates and nitrates causing red slime bacteria. Two common products for ridding your tank of red slime algae are Ultralife's Reef Products Red Slime Remover and Chemiclean's Red Slime Algae Remover for Fish Tanks.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Chemiclean's Red Slime Algae Remover

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  1. 1

    Open the Red Slime Algae Remover packaging and remove the scoop.

  2. 2

    Remove or turn off your skimmer. Add one level scoop for every ten gallons of water in your aquarium.

  3. 3

    Replace 20 per cent of the aquarium's water immediately after each treatment to make sure that you do not harm any fish or plant life. Turn skimmer on again.

  4. 4

    Repeat process in 48 hours if you see no difference in the tank. When the remover is working properly, after 48 hours the red slime bacteria will lose its hold on sand and rocks and begin to break up.

Tips and warnings

  • Aquatics Unlimited recommends changing one-third of the tank's water every two weeks. Red Slime Algae Remover can be used once a month when changing the water in your tank; however maintaining proper nitrate and phosphate levels can help prevent the occurrence of red slime algae.
  • You can harm your aquarium if you fail to replace 20 per cent of the water after using the Red Slime Algae Remover.

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