More concentrated silicate solution than brightwell?

Miami Reef

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
2,541
Reaction score
1,812
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Miami
I purchased this bottle to increase my silicates (for dinos competition, sponge growth, and tank diversity).

12 drops increase my SIO2 by 0.01ppm (250 gallon tank).

I didn’t measure silicates at all, and I started with 12 drops. Lately I’m just using the glass pipette and dosing that 6-10 times PER DAY.


Dino’s are still strong, and I microscoped it with very little diatom growth.

I turned to the bottle now and I did the math (thanks general chem!) Anyway, I need…1200 drops per day to raise my silicates to 1ppm.


Ummmmm. No thank you. That’s gonna cost me more than an Achilles tang.

Does anyone have a reliable (and SAFE) source of soluble silicates? Amazon is preferable, but I can buy from internet sources too!

This brightwell aquatics is very watered down and I feel is more effective for smaller tanks.
image.jpg
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

Chrisv.

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 17, 2012
Messages
553
Reaction score
431
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
United States
I've been using sodium silicate for a long time, in higher concentrations than Randy recommends, the technical grade from the hardware store for 5€, bottle is still mostly full.
Do you use it for dino control? It's wild to me that we're adding silicates to aquariums. For so many years there was such vocal opposition to having any at all for fear of a diatom bloom.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
45,721
Reaction score
34,953
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Do you use it for dino control? It's wild to me that we're adding silicates to aquariums. For so many years there was such vocal opposition to having any at all for fear of a diatom bloom.

I did it for many years, trying to supply silicate for sponges, diatoms, etc.

I think it is a desirable thing for many reef tanks. :)


Silica Dosing Recommendations
Why would I recommend dosing silica? Largely because creatures in our tanks use it, the concentrations in our tanks (at least in mine) are below natural levels, and the sponges, mollusks, and diatoms may not be getting enough to thrive.

How much and what to dose?

I’d suggest dosing sodium silicate solution, as it is a readily soluble form of silica. It is very inexpensive. I initially used a high quality laboratory grade, but I’d expect the bulk grades sold to the world at large to be good enough (and I use it now). Remember, you aren’t dosing much, and the solutions available are very concentrated. You may find “water glass’ in certain stores because it is used by consumers for things like preserving eggs. Buying chemicals can be problematic for many people, however, and this hobby chemistry store 43 sells to individuals. Ten dollars (+ shipping) gets you enough to last 150 years of dosing with a 100-gallon tank, so cost is not an issue. I just ordered some from them myself and it came broken open, unfortunately. Some of you may have gotten Christmas presents that had ¾ of a gallon of sodium silicate solution coating them as they passed my package in the mail. Nevertheless, I
still have enough for several years!).
 

taricha

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
3,601
Reaction score
4,715
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Does anyone have a reliable (and SAFE) source of soluble silicates? Amazon is preferable, but I can buy from internet sources too!

This brightwell aquatics is very watered down and I feel is more effective for smaller tanks.

Right. I like brightwell as a first bottle to let you test and see how your system handles Si. Then a more concentrated next source is fine.

I got one from Florida aqua farms, Silica solution for diatom growth. It's super concentrated and I'll likely never use it up.
(I called and they didn't know the concentration - only that x amount of it makes the guillards F/2 variant with Si, so I had to dilute and measure to work it out.)
 
OP
Miami Reef

Miami Reef

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
2,541
Reaction score
1,812
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Miami
Right. I like brightwell as a first bottle to let you test and see how your system handles Si. Then a more concentrated next source is fine.

I got one from Florida aqua farms, Silica solution for diatom growth. It's super concentrated and I'll likely never use it up.
(I called and they didn't know the concentration - only that x amount of it makes the guillards F/2 variant with Si, so I had to dilute and measure to work it out.)
Thank you.

For me and my tank: an exact science is not needed. I don’t even have a test kit as I find they are too complicated. I feel like a visual aid of extreme diatom growth = too much and a lack of diatoms = too little is a perfect guide for me.

It’s not like diatoms are bad. They increase oxygen and biodiversity. Very little ill effects of “overdosing”.

I did my research and read Randy’s article many times. Very well written!

I
 
OP
Miami Reef

Miami Reef

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
2,541
Reaction score
1,812
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Miami
@Randy Holmes-Farley I just purchased the same silicates you mentioned in your article (hope it doesn’t spill on someone’s package).
Here’s how to determine dosing amounts. I’ll assume that you want 17 mM (1 ppm SiO2) dosing, and you can scale from there. If the concentration of the supplement is 29% silica by weight (41° Baume), then it is 290,000 ppm silica. To get to 1 ppm silica, you then need to dilute by 290,000 fold. If you add 1.3 grams of this supplement (0.96 mL) to a tank with 100 gallons (378,500 mL), then the final concentration will be about 17 mM (1 ppm SiO2). I’d disperse the concentrated silicate solution into some fresh water before adding it to the tank, and then add it to a high flow area. Because the pH is high, you likely will see some cloudiness that is mostly magnesium hydroxide. The magnesium hydroxide will dissolve without a problem, but to be safe, add the supplement in a high flow area.
^from your article.

My tank is 250 gallons. That means I need 2.4ml of this to get 1ppm.

Is this per day or per week?
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
45,721
Reaction score
34,953
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Thank you.

Question: was your sand always brown during silicate dosing?

No.

As I show in the article, the sheen on the inside glass changed from green to brown, and was less noticeable when brown than when green.
 
OP
Miami Reef

Miami Reef

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
2,541
Reaction score
1,812
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Miami
Been dosing DIY silica for 3 months so far, not noticed anything good or bad, but it’s so cheap, something must be using it.
Curious, why wouldn’t you raise the dose slightly? Maybe you’ll start seeing some sponges and slight diatoms which will increase copepods and biodiversity?

Just curious!
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

elysics

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
963
Reaction score
852
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Do you use it for dino control? It's wild to me that we're adding silicates to aquariums. For so many years there was such vocal opposition to having any at all for fear of a diatom bloom.
Nah i dose it for sponges, never had dinos. I mix it in in my alkalinity dosing reservoir. I think it turns out to be a bit more than 1ppm per day. And i never measure, never had a diatom problem except tiny spots in the rockwork on rare occasions that would vanish and not come back if i squirt water at them. But i am not advocating dosing that much, better stay with Randys recommendation.

And i can corroborate Randys experience with the glass, between this, carbon dosing, and an army of columbella snails, i never get green glass, just a grey/brown haze with snail paths in it

I actively want diatoms, that's what a bunch of stuff in the tank feeds on
 

Chrisv.

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 17, 2012
Messages
553
Reaction score
431
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
United States
Nah i dose it for sponges, never had dinos. I mix it in in my alkalinity dosing reservoir. I think it turns out to be a bit more than 1ppm per day. And i never measure, never had a diatom problem except tiny spots in the rockwork on rare occasions that would vanish and not come back if i squirt water at them. But i am not advocating dosing that much, better stay with Randys recommendation.

And i can corroborate Randys experience with the glass, between this, carbon dosing, and an army of columbella snails, i never get green glass, just a grey/brown haze with snail paths in it

I actively want diatoms, that's what a bunch of stuff in the tank feeds on
cool! I had never thought of diatoms as a routine food source.
 

elysics

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
963
Reaction score
852
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
What are some organisms that consume diatoms as a food source?
I know about sponges and tunicates. Copepods, too, but iirc, at least some species of diatom are not good for their fertility, but i breed massive amounts of pods in a separate container fed by phytoplankton, so that's a non issue to me.
 

Garf

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
1,509
Reaction score
1,809
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
BEEFINGHAM
Curious, why wouldn’t you raise the dose slightly? Maybe you’ll start seeing some sponges and slight diatoms which will increase copepods and biodiversity?

Just curious!
I may do eventually. I’m also adding small doses of diy iron with f2 fertilizer. Slowly slowly
 
PremiumAquatics.com
Top