Diatom algae are known to play an important role as primary producers in many diverse ecosystems, including artificial aquaculture ponds where they also aid in maintaining water quality by consuming excess nutrients. But factors influencing their growth are still poorly understood. In the present study the effect of micronutrients, N:P ratio and silica concentration on benthic diatom Synedra sp. grown in fish pond waste water was studied along with nutrient removal efficiency. We have studied nine different treatments, of which addition of micronutrient mixture Nualgi along with adjusted N:P to 6:1 resulted in highest cell density, followed by silicate enrichment, whereas only N:P adjustment and Nualgi addition had no significant effect on diatom growth. At the end of the growth experiment, the N removal efficiencies of treatment groups (50.23%–65.44%) were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that of the control group (43.56%), whereas phosphate removal efficiency was significantly higher (P < 0.05) with Nualgi and N:P adjustment (53.37%–68.98%). The silicate consumption was significantly higher in the control group, at 63.87%, than in other experimental groups. These results will give us a new insight into important factors influencing beneficial algae growth and simultaneous nutrient removal from aquaculture waste water.

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