Originally Posted by Solcielo lawrencia
The quote from Barr is taken completely out of context and doesn't address diatoms. Further, diatoms do not survive off of, nor grow, with silica alone. Nothing grows with just one available nutrient. Thus, high silicates do not explain diatom growth. You also still haven't provided any evidence that excess silicates cause diatom blooms. So-and-so said is not evidence.
Further evidence that silicates alone do not cause diatom growth:
I once had a tank with a large fancy goldfish. Diatoms were extremely thick, so thick that you couldn't see through it. This persisted for months. The next morning after I removed the goldfish, nearly all of the diatoms shed off the walls. In less than two days, all of the diatoms had shed off. How can this be explained? The only thing that changed was the removal of the goldfish.
The point was your go to on this subject is phosphates. To which at the end of all this I will conciede something to your point of view.
Silicates have nothing to do with it??? What is the cellular structure of diatoms? That's right silicates.
In the open ocean, the condition that typically causes diatom (spring) blooms to end is a lack of silicon. Unlike other nutrients, this is a major requirement solely of diatoms
, so it is not regenerated in the plankton ecosystem as efficiently as, for instance, nitrogen
nutrients. This can be seen in maps of surface nutrient concentrations – as nutrients decline along gradients, silicon is usually the first to be exhausted
(followed normally by nitrogen then phosphorus).
Because of this bloom-and-bust cycle, diatoms are believed to play a disproportionately important role in the export of carbon from oceanic surface waters
(see also the biological pump
). Significantly, they also play a key role in the regulation of the biogeochemical cycle of silicon
in the modern ocean.
Egge & Aksnes (1992)
The use of silicon by diatoms is believed by many researchers to be the key to their ecological success. In a now classic study, Egge and Aksnes (1992) found that diatom dominance of mesocosm communities was directly related to the availability of silicic acid
— when concentrations were greater than 2 mmol
m−3, they found that diatoms typically represented more than 70% of the phytoplankton community. Raven (1983)
noted that, relative to organic cell walls, silica frustules require less energy to synthesize (approximately 8% of a comparable organic wall), potentially a significant saving on the overall cell energy budget. Other researchers
have suggested that the biogenic silica in diatom cell walls acts as an effective pH buffering agent
, facilitating the conversion of bicarbonate
to dissolved CO2 (which is more readily assimilated). Notwithstanding the possible advantages conferred by silicon, diatoms typically have higher growth rates than other algae of a corresponding size.
Diatoms occur in virtually every environment that contains water
. This includes not only oceans, seas, lakes and streams, but also soil.
Lots of research that have addressed diatoms, be they in the ocean or our tanks diatoms are dependant on silicates. A quick Google search will confirm my posistion.
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Independant web site and according to them excess phosphates can contribute to diatom growth... Huh
Brown Diatoms usually appear when an newly setup aquarium has finished the nitrogen cycle process, low amounts of light, excess silica/silicates from tap water sources, excess nitrates, and/or poor aquarium maintenance. Diatoms appear especially when there are excess silicates and excess phosphates in the aquarium, which favors diatoms over other types of “lower” alga such as blue-green/slime algae or cyanobacteria. If conditions are left unresolved, other types of algae may begin to develop.
Your gold fish... Stay with me here I'll put it all together at the end I promise.
Now I'm speculating here, but given what has been published, by scientist mind you, according to them diatom blooms happen a couple of times a year when the ocean floor is basically stirred up and the silicates are reintroduced into the water colum. We don't get rid of silicates they just settle into the substrate as in the ocean.
Gold fish are one of the dirtiest fish we keep in our tanks, they like to root around in the substrate, which stirs up silicates, not leting them remain setteled in the lower substrate layers. Add to this stirring a feeding regimiate that includes foods high in phosphates, also add to this the bio-secreations from the fish that amonia/ammomium, nitrates/nitrites come from and it's no wonder a goldfish tank has a constant diatom event.
Now your OPINION
on phosphate increase creating conditions that help eliminate diatoms isn't compleatly wrong, but not for the reasons you've stated, that the diatoms are there as the result of phosphate definceny, the scientific proof weighs against that arguement.
The introduction of excess phosphates, coupled with high consontrations of silicates and nitrates resulting from the end of the nitrogen cycle being established, excelerates the growth of diatoms. Note I said excelerates their growth, as diatoms grow (reproduce cellular structures) each subsequently reproduced cell structure is smaller, the next after that even smaller so on and so forth. This process exausts the available supply of silicates needed for reproduction until availability of said silicates is non existant, unable to continue to reproduce the diatom dies, the cell structure bursts and the now dead diatom clusters fall to the substrate, decompose, and as with food and fish waste this decomposion becomes part of the mulm we suck out at water change.
At decomposision the silicates no longer free floating in the water coloum stay in the substrate. As it is with a planted tank most of us don't disturb the substrate to much at waterchanges not wanting to disturb root structures and such, but when one roots around in the substrate (such as I've been doing) planting, replanting, up-rooting what have you, and a subsequent diatom bloom is experanced it is the result of stirring up the substrate and reintroducing the silicates that were released when the original diatom bloom decomposed back into the water coloum.
But you introduce silicates when you do water changes one may argue...
Certinaly, HOWEVER, does the reintroduction of silicates into the water colum meet the one requirement needed for diatom growth? That requirement being an EXCESS of silicates free floating in the water colum? Granted the level of over all silicates in the enclosed ecosystem of our tanks should maintain at a given ppm level provided the source water doesn't change, and it does. But AFTER the initial diatom bloom the biggest majority of the available silicates in an aquarium is in the substrate not free floating, just as in the ocean, they fall to the ocean floor until a yearly or bi-yearly stiring takes place. Where as in our tanks they stay there until we stir the substrate. Which is why you'll hear of people with established tanks having subsequent diatom events.
A little research and reading on this subject will reveal a plethora of scientificaly backed information on this subject that does indeed substantiate the claim that diatoms result from excessive silicates in the water colum, among other things
Now if one doses only phosphates and nothing else there are still going to be deficiencies that will promote other types of algae to developement. So suggesting an increase in phosphates alone is misleading, as it is not a lack of phosphates that cause a diatom bloom, but excess phosphates will speed up the blooms life cycle leading to the false conclusion that the introduction of phosphates cures diatom blooms in the aquarium when it doesn't, it only leads to an imbalance of nutriants available for the plants, add to this phosphate introduction from fish food and you end up with even more phosphates in the water colum. From what I've been reading phosphate reduction is one of the most common nutriants being adjusted down in the EI dosing regime. Why is that?
So Solcielo lawrencia
where does that leave us and this little debate. You want to take a crack at refuting substantiated scientific claims with the presentation of researchable source material, or should I just take your word for it
As to the OP, yes increasing phosphates can help, BUT only because it will speed up the life cycle of a diatom bloom, but be mindful that unless your also dosing other ferts this can in turn lead to out breaks of other types of algae in the future from the deficiencies of other nutriants plants need. The biggest thing is time, replacing your substrate is your causing factor, in time the diatoms will abate, weather on their own or with accelerated help from increases of phosphate bringing it to the end of it's life cycle.