Sodium Silicate - Algae control?

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by stevengrant, 11 Nov 2014.

  1. stevengrant

    stevengrant

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    Anybody use sodium silicate for algae control? It promotes diatom growth. It is also used by sponges, snails etc. Corals and zooplankton are meant to benifit and skimmers remove the excess. I am going to buy some to try out.

    Nualgi is basically the same thing though 100 times the price?

    Hot Tips: Algae Control Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog
     
    Last edited: 11 Nov 2014
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  3. stevengrant

    stevengrant Thread Starter

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  4. stevengrant

    stevengrant Thread Starter

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    Some people have less algae in their tanks using rainwater instead of RO water. The slight bit of silica in rainwater plus the silica in the dust collected with the rain water could be the difference.

    I have also heard of some people adding a bit of tap water with their RO water though this could be a bit more dangerous.
     
  5. Francois

    Francois

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    Thanx nice read though, Just my 2c, I wouldn't dose sodium silicates to control algae in my tank, as there are so much easier ways to control algae in our tanks.

    I'm using Bio-cubes and have great success. I see it as too of a greater Risk to dose silicates in ones tank. I want silicates out of my tank.
     
  6. Francois

    Francois

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    That's also taking a risk here, rather only go for RO with a aim for 0 TDS water and you know what you are putting in your tank.
     
  7. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt

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    Its the new method overseas of algae control...Just starting to come out over here in SA.

    Nualgi Aquarium - A Clean Tank is a Beautiful Tank

    I'm not saying I agree with the method, or say that it works...but it is another option out there in the lower nutrient battle. :)
     
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  8. stevengrant

    stevengrant Thread Starter

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    Not that new, started more than ten years ago not just for the algae but to help recreate the natural food cycle of a natural reef. An added advantage is that the diatoms (natural plankton) outcompete nuisence algae for nutrients.
     
  9. stevengrant

    stevengrant Thread Starter

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    I mixed a working solution for less than R5-00 and have started dosing my aquarium. Water has become super clean (turned down my led lights max) and everything else seems happy. No new algae on the glass and only a small amount of diatoms that clean off very easily. Have to see if my sponges start growing faster than they did.
     
    Last edited: 18 Nov 2014
  10. stevengrant

    stevengrant Thread Starter

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    Sorry spelt nuisance wrong! Super typo!
     
  11. Reaper

    Reaper

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    Hey @stevengrant - where do you buy the silicate? Do you have a pic of the product, as well as how did you "mix a working solution"?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  12. flappy

    flappy

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    tagging on this. Please let us know what you used in your mixture
     
  13. stevengrant

    stevengrant Thread Starter

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    I got a 25kg bag of Sodium Metasilicate Pentahydrate from Chrest Chemicals which is enough to supply the Eastern cape for life. This works out at about 29% silicate by weight the same as below. It worked out cheaper than buying a small amount from out of town with the price of transport.



    Dosing Silicate to a Marine tank from the link below:

    The stuff I bought was 41 baume, which is 29% silica by weight. I dilute this stuff into a quart (0.95lt) of working solution so that each teaspoon (4.9ml) of working solution will dose 10 gallons (37.89lt) to a level of 1ppm. It takes 3 3/4 teaspoons (18.48ml) of 41 baume solution to make a quart of working solution, which will treat almost 2000 gallons to 1ppm. (If you've got a tank under 55gal (321.76lt), this is probably too concentrated to be convenient, so you should probably add 1 1/4 tsp (6.16ml) to make a 3x dilute solution and use three times as much when dosing). This stuff is very alkaline (even more so than sodium hydroxide -- kalkwasser), so use gloves and clean up well.

    Once you have your dosing solution mixed up, estimate your total water volume, which is probably somewhere between 66-80% of the tank's total volume, depending on the density of your rockwork and the depth of your sand. Perhaps a first dose to 0.25ppm, so if your first silica test shows undetectable silica, divide your volume of water by 40 (151.56) to determine the number of teaspoons to add (divide by 13.333 (50.52) if you made the "small tank" solution). Always dose into a high-flow area (remember the alkalinity). I suspect that anything up to 1ppm will be fully consumed within a week and you'll probably be at the detection limit of the hatch kit (0.05ppm) within five days. I started out testing every other day and found that I have to dose about 0.33ppm soluble silica each day to maintain a tested level of 1ppm. Now I only test for silica every month or so along with my other water quality tests.

    The Important Part:
    1. 20ml Sodium Metasilicate powder to 1lt to make working solution.
    2. 5ml of this solution treats 40lt (4-7 days) OR 1.25ml per day per 40lt.


    Based on: Feature Article: Silica In Reef Aquariums Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog
     
    Last edited: 19 Nov 2014
  14. stevengrant

    stevengrant Thread Starter

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    The "meta" is about structure and is not important and the "penta Hydrate" is 5 parts water so the it sounds more impressive than it is. The amount of silicate is what is important and that is about 29% in weight.

    There is a branch of Chrest Chemicals in Capetown. (Crest Chemicals (PTY) LTD)
     
  15. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Let us know your results.
     
  16. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    interesting, very keen to see results, i would think it would be like using SpongExcell from Brightwell or SpongePower from Zeovit
     
  17. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Last edited: 20 Nov 2014
  18. stevengrant

    stevengrant Thread Starter

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    Maybe:

    Diatoms need, among other nutrients, silicic acid to create biogenic silica for their frustules. As a result of this the Redfield Brzezinski nutrient ratio was proposed for diatoms and stated to be C : Si : N : P = 106 : 15 : 16 : 1 (Brzezinski,1985).

    Using a little Silicate helps the diatoms survive in a limited number which help feed the zooplankton which feed the fish and the corals. The Nitrate and Phosphate export is an added advantage. Feeding sponges etc is also great.

    All theory, but seems to be working well.
     
    Last edited: 20 Nov 2014
  19. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Just a thought...
    The label on my phosphate remover says it binds both phosphates and silicates. How would would adding silicates affect the removal of phosphates?
     
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  20. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt

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    From how I understAnd it...the silicates promote diatom growth...which uses up your phosphates as a food source faster than algae for growth...the theory then is that zooplankton will feed on the diatoms and in turn feed your corals and fish.

    In theory it makes sense, but there seem too many variables that can go wrong with this method to me...interested to see how it goes though Steve. I know Kobus uses nualgae and swears by it...so you never know.
     
  21. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    so i have been reading up on this... i am keen to setup a test tank in dec and see
     
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