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Finally as per Silicates, do NOT confuse these with silicon/silica, as the later is inert while Silicates are not!Silicate is made up of silicon, oxygen, and metals such as aluminium.What is also noteworthy is there is evidence of some diatom "algae" as a green colored slime like algae instead of the much more common brown diatom algae that is a common problem with new aquariums.This has been called "Green Snot Algae" (scientific name Didymosphenia geminata) and is becoming more common in streams just under the surface and/or covering rocks (pictured to the right).As well, my methods may not work as well for some as all it often takes is new/different variable for an algae control method to be less effective.It is is also noteworthy that one should start with a healthy bio filter; meaning an aquarium that is not battling high ammonia & nitrites.FORWARD: This Aquarium Answers article (post) is not intended as a complete algae control article, but is intended to address the types of algae that I receive the most questions about which are Brown Diatom Algae, Freshwater Thread/Hair Algae, Black Beard Brush Algae (BBA), and Marine Hair Algae aka Filamentous marine algae (I address other algae as well in this article).I will add to and update this article as well over time.
Brown diatom algae also out compete more desirable green algae in these conditions when light is poor for healthy photosynthesis due to lack adequate amounts of light in the proper PAR.
The yellowish-brown chloroplasts within Brown Diatom algae are what give this “algae” its typical appearance.
Brown Diatoms are found in fresh and saltwater as well as soil.
This is a common algae in new aquariums (including marine tanks), especially aquariums that have not fully cycled as this leaves many available nutrients for these diatoms.
If an established aquarium struggles with these diatoms, this is often an indicator of excessive silica, poor mineral/electrolyte balance, an unstable biological aquarium environment, which in turn is often caused by poor filtration, poor cleaning procedures, Redox balance, inadequate aquarium lighting or over medication.