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Thread: Slime confusion

  1. #1

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    Pardon my ignorance, but a recent post got me thinking...

    How do you know the difference between slime mold, slime fungus and slime bacteria? Or are they all the same thing?

    I had a paludarium going pretty well until algae and slime took over. I've cleaned the entire tank but still have traces of slime in the pots (actually on the LFS Moss) of a couple of sundews. They don't seem to be harming the seedlings as they're still growing well. Anyways, back to the question... does anybody have experience in the three? Would you treat outbreaks of the three in the same manner or differently?
    DOH!

  2. #2
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    cchang,
    Slime mold and slime fungus are the same thing. I've only seen slime bacteria under a microscope so I am going to make the assumption that you are not likely to see it in normal circumstances without a microscope. So what you see in your pots is probably slime mold.

    The only way I can think of to get rid of slime mold is with a fungicide. I would also increase the air circulation around the plants as molds grow best in humid stagnant air.
    If it's a stuborn infestation then a complete change of soil and dipping/spraying the plants with fungicide and cleaning contaminated pots and/or terrarium with a strong Clorox solution would be my next step.
    ---Steve Allinger---

    How come chicken fingers are bigger than buffalo wings?

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    I'm pretty sure that the slime that forms on the surface of the soil is a true algae, or maybe a blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). One of these days I will get my act together and check. All you'd need is a microscope and a few minutes.

    If it is algae, then the odds seem good that whatever will kill it will also damage your plants.

  4. #4
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    Arrow

    dodecatheon,
    I had to see if you were right about slime molds being a form of algae so I did a Google search. According to the following link we're both wrong [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] .

    Slime Molds.

    It says that Slime Molds "are basically enormous single cells with thousands of nuclei".

    The world is full of strange and wonderous things! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    ---Steve Allinger---

    How come chicken fingers are bigger than buffalo wings?

    My Grow List

  5. #5

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    I suspected Cyanobacteria for the longest time but just had to get a second opinion since a recent post...

    A single celled, multi nucleus mold? Hmmmm, very interesting.
    DOH!

  6. #6
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    Well, slime mold tastes like pond scum. Slime fungus tastes a little more bitter, but makes the hair on your neck stand up for a couple minutes. Slime bacteria tastes great, but can put you in the hospital. So avoid it at all costs. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    SERIOUSLY, I have no idea, and DO NOT taste any of this stuff!

    I thought you all might want to hear of an amusing incident. While in high school, a friend and I used to grow CP in a bog we built in his back yard. His biology teacher was interested in taking a look at our bog, so we had him over one day. I will never forget this guy tasting just about everything he could. Pitcher plant juice, sundew mucilege, etc. And I always thought someone with a knowledge of biology would know better than to go around tasting stuff like that. I wonder if he saw the drowned fly floating in the pitcher plant juice while it was taking its next to last meal in a pile of dog crap. Mmmmmmmm Mmmmmmm Mmmmmmmmmm!!!!

    SundewMatt

  7. #7
    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    Slime molds are a very strange lifeform, most of their life they exist as fully independent ameboid organisms then they will come together to form a communal growth that forms a sporulating body which will produce the next generation of ameboids. Most people are only familiar with the communal form which is best described as a creeping fungus. These communals are usually bright colours like yellow and red and orange. I have never heard of a green form and like Dodec I believe that the green goo growing in most of your pots is a form of algae. I an inclined to write off cyanobacteria because I believe they as halophilic and are restricted to tidal areas, however I may be wrong.

    Slime bacteria is a jargon term for a biofilm which is a community of bacteria growing on a surface. These are not necessaraly homogenious and can be composed of hundreds of species. The plaque on your teeth is a biofilm. While it is possible for a biofilm to be growing in your pots one that is thick enough to see is a health hazard as the only blue/green pigment producing bacteria I can think of at the moment is Pseudomonas aeruginosa which is a nasy human pathogen



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  8. #8

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    I don't think that i said that slime mold was an algae. I was trying to make the point that it was probably an algae and NOT a slime mold.

    As for them being halophiles, aren't cyanobacteria like Nostoc and Oscillatoria fairly common freshwater organisms? Not to mention those like Anabaena that can live symbiotically within other organisms.

    Anyway, I vow to sometime this weekend take a sample of the stuff and go check it out under a microscope. Then we can stop speculating.

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