Chemiclean Aquarium Treatment Red Slime Remover Review

Cyanobacteria or ‘red slime’ is one of those unwanted occurrences that will affect just about every saltwater tank at one stage or another. It can be extremely difficult to get rid of even after you have found the source. Elimination can be a laboriously long process, but we do have access to products like Chemiclean Red Slime Remover to make our lives a little easier.

get rid of red slime in a saltwater aquarium
Cyano in the current - Photo by Joni Read

What Is Cyanobacteria?

Cyanobacteria as the name suggests, is a type of bacteria found in saltwater systems. It uses light energy to convert inorganic substances into a food source. This simply means that it requires light to live.

Visually cyano resembles red velvet, however it is slimy to the touch, which is where the name ‘red slime’ emerges.

Once cyano blooms in your tank it very quickly assimilates to its environment and starts to utilise all available food sources your system has to offer. If your system is conducive to cyanobacterial growth, it can spread very rapidly.

To read my article on Cyanobacteria red slime, click here.

Chemi-Clean - 2 g
  • cleans many types of stains from cyanobacteria
  • works in fresh and salt water
  • safe for all fish, corals, invertebrates, nitrifying bacteria and macro algae's.

How Did I Get Cyanobacteria In My Saltwater Tank?

When asking this question in forums you will be told that your tank is unbalanced.

A system is unbalanced when nutrients (phosphate and nitrate) are out of kilter with each other. In the ocean phosphate and nitrate are kept constantly balanced. This balance is called the
Redfield Ratio.

here to learn more about the Redfield Ratio.

If one or both of your nutrients hit zero when testing them, or phosphate is significantly higher than it should be, this creates an environment for cyanobacteria to emerge.

Before Using Red Slime Stain Remover...

If like me, you would prefer not to add unnecessary chemicals to your tank, there are a few things to try before going down this route:

  • Cyanobacteria is known to proliferate in low flow areas. It may be a case of increasing your flow, or changing your flow pattern to discourage further growth.

  • As cyanobacteria is photosynthetic and relies on light to survive, you may be able to knock it back by carrying out a blackout.

  • Manual removal is always a good option. This would require syphoning the red slime directly from the rock work or sand.

  • Encourage growth away from the main display by running a refugium with more hours of lighting than that of the display.

Very often, these methods may work to solve your red slime problem. Unfortunately, just as often nothing helps which is why UltraLife Red Slime Stain Remover has become one of the go to products for elimination.

Does Chemiclean Red Slime Remover Work?

This is a contentious issue for the following reasons:

Have you found the source of the cyanobacteria bloom?

If your system remains unbalanced while you are treating your tank, the cyano will quickly return. Prior to treating you need to address your nutrient control.
If your phosphate is too high, look at a method of export.
If your method of export is too efficient, remove or get it under control.

Do you know your true water volume?

Chemiclean instructs the user to dose one level spoon for every 15 gallons of tank water. It has been known that some reefers take a guess at their true water volume accounting for water displacement by rocks, sand and coral growth. Consequently there is a potential to underestimate the true volume to ensure they do not overdose.
The result is they do not use enough to treat the problem correctly.

I have found it to be very effective on the few occasions I have used it, and have never had to carry out a second dose.

How Does Chemiclean Red Slime Remover Work?

Chemiclean are closed-mouth regarding the secret ingredients within the product.
They do state that the product contains no algaecides, and does not contain Erythromethcin Succinate.

Erythromethcin Succinate is an antibiotic, but UltraLife have not discluded the use of other antibiotics associated with aquaculture such as Tetracycline and Terramycin.

Chemiclean do tell us that this product is an oxidiser. 
An oxidizer is a type of chemical that has the ability to oxidize other substances. Simply put, it breaks down Cyanobacteria in your tank rapidly by increasing biological activity.


During this process the utilisation of oxygen will increase substantially too which means you may experience a drop in PH and oxygen levels. To counteract this effect, and to ensure you safeguard your inhabitants it is recommended to add air stones prior to and during the entire treatment.

Your skimmer will go wild, but it too should be left to run to keep oxygen levels up.


Would I recommend Chemiclean Red Slime Remover?

As long as you keep in mind that this treatment does not solve the cause of cyanobacteria. It is an aid in ridding your system of red slime once you have balanced your nutrients only.

It will upset you skimmer for a bit, but I have never seen it negatively impact my fish, invertebrates or coral.

I would definitely use it again if I needed to.should the need arise.

Chemiclean Red Slime Remover Review
Now offering 1 to 1 sessions for help & advice
This is default text for notification bar