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Re: Silicates

> Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 12:42:40 EDT
> From: zachary.villers at twcolumbus_com
> Subject: Silicates
> In conversing with a friend about aquariums, I was told that silicates have
> something to do with algae growth. (specifically BBA) I dont know if Silicon
> is a micro or not, but if it is, I dont think it can be that important. Could
> an excess of silicates have anything to do with algae? Or is this another LFS
> myth?

Si can and will help brown film algae, diatoms, common in the first few
weeks of aquarium set ups and in lower light areas. Otto cats get rid of it
It's pretty difficult to remove Si to make it limiting from most tap waters
but it's never proven to be an issue for planted tanks. Diatoms are simply
not problematic for plant tanks.
Horsetails(and few Rushes), stinging nettle and few other plants need Si as
a nutrient, diatoms make their test from Si.

It certainly has extremely low bearing on anything to do with BBA. Most taps
have a fair amount of Si.
For BBA: try CO2 20-30ppm, a few SAE's and some pruning and manual removal.
Keep up on the plant nutrients. Si has been accused of fostering Marine
algae blooms etc but that's baloney. Another way to sell RO units to Reef
keepers. It can be done but there are better ways, like low
NO3/herbivores(there are an enormous no# of marine herbivores) etc to limit
diatom etc.
Tom Barr