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I’m struggling with what I believe are diatoms. It’s been a few months and my tank isn’t growing too well. With my water changes, I use tap water. What levels of silica in the water could affect this? I think mine is around 5 micrograms per liter.
 

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Your best defense against diatoms and other algal outbreaks is good plant growth. Can you tell us more about your setup?

You’ll never have silica-free aquarium water, especially if you use sand and have a glass tank. Both are made of SiO2.
 

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I don't believe silica disolves out of glass but the sand will definitely add to it. In any case, keep cleaning up the diatoms till your tank matures, this can last for months. In the mean time try to keep your light intensity lower.
 

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Silica can be in the tap water too, this is why reef peoples add DI deionization cartridge to their RO-DI system
 
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