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High Silicates in Tap Water

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by Squidly, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. Squidly

    Squidly Lifetime Members
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    I've been fighting algae since the start just over a year ago. Tried everything and spent a a fortune in the process and enlisted all kinds of help. As nothing I did made much difference, the only thing left was to test the silicates. Although the water company stated in their quarterly report that the water contains near 0 amounts, I found that there are 8-10 Mg/L in the tap water!

    Instead of performing weekly water changes, I stopped altogether over a month ago and it seems the algae have run out of food as a subsequent test last night showed the silicate level to be near 0 Mg/L. Finally my plants are growing and things are looking right. Even with weekly top offs, the silicate levels are no longer an issue, unless of course I start doing WC's again.

    While I seemingly can perform tests to keep the nutrient levels in check and eventually dose near balanced amounts using a dosing machine, at some point I'll want/need to do water changes. I seems that RO/DI aside from being expensive aren't all that effective after some period in removing silicates. Not that I'd want to fill buckets instead of using my handy python either.

    Fortunately there are a lot of products such as PhosGuard, I think Fritz has the cheapest one of the bunch, that remove silicates - but they also remove Phosphates so they aren't very practical to run continually in a planted tank. I got to wondering if I hooked my python to a chemical reactor filled with one of these products, if running the return water through it (one pass) would be effective in reducing the silicates to a safe level? Anyone tried this?

    Although likely obvious to some, anyone starting a tank should first test for silicates or they may end up experiencing continual algae problems as I did. Don't know why it isn't mentioned more frequently in all the blogs.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I do not think anyone has ever established any link between Si and algae in a FW planted tank.
    I've had higher Si in many places I've lived over the years.

    Nothing caused algae from the tap. Some plants did not like the high KH, but no other tap related issues occurred.
    I've found no evidence that tap causes algae in planted tanks.

    Folks get algae for many reasons, but others do not and live in the same area etc.
    So is it you or the tap?
    Probably you, hehe.

    I know that's not what you want to hear, but it's much much much more probable.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Squidly

    Squidly Lifetime Members
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    Well I'm sure I've done something wrong but I know I didn't eat the silicates - so who did?
     

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