7 Ways to Get Rid of The Clear Jelly-Like Substance in Your Fish Tank

7 Ways to Get Rid of The Clear Jelly-Like Substance in Your Fish Tank

Aquarium with clear jelly-like substance in it

The appearance of a clear jelly-like substance in your fish tank can ruin its aesthetics.

So, what is this substance in your fish tank?

What Is the Clear Jelly-Like Substance in Your Fish Tank?

A clear jelly-like substance in your aquarium indicates protein and organic waste buildup. The main reasons for it are overfeeding, overcrowding, poor water circulation, and excess lighting. Regular tank maintenance, adequate lighting, and water conditions helps to get rid of it.

Reasons for The Buildup of The Clear Jelly-Like Substance in An Aquarium

The buildup of a clear jelly-like substance in an aquarium is completely natural.

However, in some cases, it results from the common mistakes made by aquarists that can be easily avoided.

Given below are the reasons for the buildup of a clear jelly-like substance in a fish tank.

Excessive Feeding

Overfeeding is one of the main reasons why aquariums get white slime because excess food fuel algal growth.

New and inexperienced fishkeepers usually overfeed their fish as they attribute more food to better growth.

Fish can’t eat more than what they need to survive.

So the leftover food stays in the water, creating an ideal environment for white algae to grow.


If you fill your aquarium with too many fish or decorations, the filter won’t be able to clean the aquarium effectively.

As a result, it will cause the buildup of white slime in the aquarium.

Small tanks are more prone to this problem than large tanks.

Poor Water Circulation

It’s important to choose the right filter while setting up a new aquarium so that there is proper water circulation.

Else, white algae accumulate.

Another reason for poor water circulation is the malfunctioning of the filter.

Both these reasons prevent the filter from cleaning the water.

This results in the development of white slime in the aquarium.

Excessive Lighting

Algae grow best with plenty of light.

If you keep the lights on all day long or leave them on longer than necessary, algae will start growing.

Sometimes, the timing may not be an issue, but the aquarium lighting can be too intense.

Another reason for algal growth is that your fish tank is kept in a place that receives direct sunlight.

The more your tank is exposed to direct sunlight, the more algae will grow.

Wrong Aquarium Plants

A likely source for the jelly-like substance is the plants inside the aquarium, especially driftwood from pines or other trees that contain large amounts of sap.

In addition, decorations that aren’t meant for an aquarium or any leftover fish medications floating in the tank also contribute to the formation of white slime.

How to Get Rid of The Clear Jelly-Like Substance from Your Fish Tank?

To remove the white slime or algae from your fish tank, you will need to put in some time and effort every day or once in a couple of days.

Given below are a few ways to get rid of the clear jelly-like substances from your fish tank.

Clean the Fish Tank Thoroughly

To eliminate white slime or algae, you must clean the fish tank properly.

Before cleaning the aquarium, remove everything from it, including decorations, stones, and any objects that obstruct its cleaning.

Clean the inside of the tank using an aquarium brush.

You shouldn’t put chemical cleaners into the water because they harm the fish.

Perform Regular Maintenance

You can eliminate the accumulation of the clear jelly-like substance by regularly checking your tank and removing any buildup.

Regular cleaning and water change will prevent the accumulation of white slime or algae.

Changing water once a week also helps.

However, in case of faster buildup, change the water daily or once in two days until the problem is resolved.

Provide Adequate Lightning

Well-lit aquarium

Lighting is one of the main reasons for the growth of white slime.

You can avoid this by turning off the lights when not required.

Most aquariums need about nine hours of lighting per day.

However, depending on the fish species, you can adjust the timing.

Also, avoid placing your aquarium next to windows. Direct sunlight accelerates algal growth.

Place your aquarium in an area without direct sunlight to avoid this problem.

You can also consider installing a curtain to block out unwanted sunlight.

Avoid Overcrowding

Too many fish or decorations must be avoided to minimize white slime or algae buildup.

Overcrowding results in the release of too much waste, preventing the filter from operating optimally.

This accelerates the accumulation of white slime or algae inside the tank.

Avoid Overfeeding

Feeding more than required creates extra waste. This waste will accumulate in your aquarium and result in algal growth.

Since the appetite of every fish species is different, feed only what the fish can consume in a couple of minutes.

Both excess and underfeeding are harmful.

So it’s essential to research every fish species inside your tank to ensure a perfect balance.

Introduce Algae Eaters

The most natural way to keep algal growth under control is to keep algae eaters inside the fish tank.

They won’t help to eliminate the existing algae problem.

However, you can prevent future algae buildup by adding algae eaters like barbs, mollies, siamese algae eaters, danios, sun snails, and nerite snails.

Check Filter & Heater Regularly

One of the reasons why it’s difficult to prevent the formation of white algae is that your aquarium filters have worn out.

It can also be the case that the heating element is damaged.

This could make the water temperature warmer than usual, thus encouraging algal blooms.

So a regular filter and temperature check ensures that the water conditions are well maintained inside the tank.

How Much Time Does It Take to Get Rid of The Clear Jelly-Like Substance from An Aquarium?

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get rid of the white algae immediately.

Since they’re hard to manage, you’ll need to work regularly to eliminate and prevent future buildup.

You must also start removing the clear jelly-like substance or white slime from your fish tank as soon as possible.

It takes longer if the entire tank is already overwhelmed.

Sometimes you can get rid of the white algae in a few weeks, but in some cases, it can take months.

So it’s recommended that you avoid the white slime or algae by trying to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

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