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     * From: jacques gerber <s21340952 at tuks_co.za>
>Hello All:
>I set up a soil based plant tank three weeks ago. It has developed a
>strange translucent off-white slime - its not algae whatever it is.
>Covers the rocks, glass and plants - not the substrate, except where
>scraped off bits have landed. The water here tends to foam a little,
>suggesting to me at least that the phosphate load may be high. I don't
>have the facilities to test the water at this time. Tank gets direct
>sunlight for 4 hours and indirect + ambient fluorescent for another
>four. I'm injecting CO2 using the yeast bottle method. 
>Any ideas? It looks like it may be either bacterial - perhaps protein -
>or fungal.

It probably is bacterial.  If soil is dried, there is often a lot of 
bacterial growth when it is placed in water.  This never happens when 
soil has been kept moist.  It is good to keep moist soil in a loosely 
covered container  for a week or two before use, especially if you 
have added peat or manure.

Another possible reason for the slime would be alcohols, sugars, etc. 
somehow getting in the tank from the yeast bottle.

Pond snails love bacterial films and should multiply and clean up the 
slime in short order.

As long as the water is decently oxygenated, the fish should be ok, 
and the bacteria will eventually finish consuming the organics they 
are using for food, and the slime should go away in time.  Some 
people have reported persistent slime growing on driftwood.
Paul Krombholz in well-watered central Mississippi, where a cool 
front came through yesterday with drier air.