Question Silica and Algae

yukoandk

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Hello!

So, I tested my water for silica for the first time and found out my tap water has high level (2.0 & above, ppm, the last color on the chart by Red Sea.) I read that brown algae or diatoms need silica to grow, so by reducing this level would help reducing diatoms. I also read another option would be to use plants that would out-compete for available nutrients, and since silica would eventually be used up, diatoms would die off.

I've always had diatoms in my tank. I've heard they go away in a time after a tank establishes itself, but mine are not going away. Could this be because I'm adding silica with each water change? I'm thinking about using something like PhosGuard to filter out silica, although my phosphate level turned out to be 0. Or is it still possible to use the plants-to-out-compete method even with high level of silica in my water supply? I feel a little weary of having to use PhosGuard indefinitely.

Also, does silica affect other types of algae such as BBA? I've been growing a good amount of this stuff as well in my original tank (almost a year old) even though I try to scrub them away as much as I can. It's not that I mind the misc. algae so much, but I do want my plants to win the battle (as someone else put it in another thread) and flourish.

What do you think about this silica level of mine? And no, I'm not using CO2. I was adding Excel for a few days after adding new plants for my project, "planted goldfish tank," but stopped because the tank came down with an ich infestation. I need to deal with ich first before I can take care of my plants to resume my project. Sigh.
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

I have moved your thread to the Aquarium Water/Algae section of the forum.
Thanks!
Ken
 

Nate McFin

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I have read that excess silicates in water will keep diatoms alive and well. They may not disappear. Here is an interesting link discussing diatoms. RO/DI seems to be the best method of controlling silicates in the water but can be a time consuming process. (Adding minerals back to the water etc) Depending on the amount of diatoms you are seeing a cleanup crew of Otos, snails, etc. would help remove them. You might also try increasing water flow through those areas of the tank as Diatoms dont like high flow areas. (Mine would say different, LOL) Phosguard is supposed to remove silicates as well like you mentioned. If the tank is less than a year old they may as Carol said go away on their own, but Silicates in the water may mean a different ending to the story.
 
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yukoandk

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Good morning!

Thank you Ken for putting me in the right direction. I didn't know there was an algae page.

Carol, I didn't even think to look since it was the only silica test kit available at bigals.com, but the box does say "Marine Aquariums Test Lab." Dung it, so I may not have high levels of silica after all--I guess that's a good news. Oh, but wait, in the instruction it says "Accurate measurement of dissolved silica (sio3 2-) for marine aquariums & tap water." Dung it again, so I may have high levels of silica.

Hello Nate! Thank you for the link. My plants get covered with diatoms quickly, pretty much anywhere and everywhere in the tank. I am planning on adding a few nitrite snails, and I'm also starting to think otos are kinda cute looking. I've noticed you're from Oregon--do you think we may have similar water in the Pacific North West?

Well, I'm all for being patient and working on letting my tank establish and stabilize. Occasionally I tend to obsess when I'm under stress, such as this week dealing with ich and crossing my fingers at least some of my plants survive. Oh, silica...

It's going to be a nice day here in Seattle. Thank you guys for your inputs!
 

Butterfly

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Oh well it was just a thought
The only hold up I see to otos is that it is a goldfish tank and goldfish like cooler water. Otos are tropical and like their water a little warmer.
Good Luck!
carol
 

Nate McFin

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I am from southern Oregon but we do have very similar tap water to Portland. You can call your local water company and ask them about the silica in the tap water...or a complete report.
 
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