diatoms and silica

Discussion in 'Algae' started by mikeb, Aug 16, 2004.

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  1. mikeb

    mikeb Flamingo Tongue

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    In reading a post in the chemistry forum I came across an article on silica dosing and diatoms. Can anyone tell me what a diatom is and how do I know if there in my tank?
     
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  3. reefman_MC

    reefman_MC Aiptasia Anemone

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    It looks like brown dust. If you stir it, it will go everywhere like powder.
     
  4. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

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    heres some pics of diatom alge
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Diatoms are silicate based unicellular algae. They are usually one of the first types of algae to show up on a new/cycling tank and it resembles brown dust. What you're seeing when you see this brown dust are the algaes skeletons linked together.
     
  6. mikeb

    mikeb Flamingo Tongue

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    What about the dosing of silica. Why would someone need to do that?
     
  7. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have no idea. Where did you hear about that practice? :)
     
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  9. JohnO

    JohnO Moderator

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    A snip from this page may have the answers you seek :)

    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/jan2003/feature.htm

    From these experiments, I conclude that:

    1. Silica can be a limiting factor for diatom growth in some reef tanks

    2. Adding soluble silica can increase diatom growth

    3. The increased diatom growth was not apparently in addition to, but in place of, green algae growth

    4. Added soluble silica is rapidly depleted from some reef tanks

    5. Taken together, these facts suggest that silica supplementation may be desirable
     
  10. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    "may be desirable"

    Change that to "will be desirable" and I just might try it :) Very interesting to know though. I'll have to read the entire article tomorrow. Thanks dear.
     
  11. JohnO

    JohnO Moderator

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    My pleasure dear,

    I read it once before so it was easy to find. It is interesting but it's more of an observational piece than anything. If you start reading in the morning, at least it will take you through to lunch :)

    John