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How to make Silica from Potassium Silicate? Need help.

NeWcS
Well-Known Member

So, I have access to Potassium Silicate and am wanting to make a bottled concentrate just like the store bought. I use ‘mad farmer’ Silica, and once empty, I wanna just fill it up with a gallon of distilled water and X gram’s of Potassium Silicate.
I want the dosage to match (5mL/gallon) of the label on the Mad Farmer(Or any brand of retail Si. most look to be 5mL) https://www.madfarmerproducts.com/product-labels/silica-label.jpg

The Potassium Silicate I have says 32% K2O 52.8% SiO2. Sadly I am not educated to the degree I should be to figure this out. Anyone know how to match the retail brands formulas of silica? And what EC/ppm is it they are obtaining at 5mL a g.

NeWcS
Well-Known Member

Can someone a bit more knowledgeable verify my findings? Please.
From this site: https://customhydronutrients.com/potassium-silicate-one-pound-32-k2o-528-sio2-p-68.html?cPath=1_60_68
It looks like if you add 560 grams of ‘Potassium Silicate(32% K2O 52.8% SiO2) to a gallon of 0 ppm water it’ll give you a 7.8% concentration. Just like the Mad Farmer brand says “8% Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) from Potassium Silicate” .

5mL per gallon of the new concentrate will give 100ppm.”Concentrated stock solutions & dilution rates for 100 ppm SiO2 ( 46.75ppm Si) in final nutrient solution” So I assume the other 53 ppms is K? Is that too much K to be adding?

NeWcS
Well-Known Member
Dr. Who
Well-Known Member

In soil. The plant takes all the Si it can use, from the soil.
Increasing availability is not exactly cost effective, at all.

It will increase cell wall structure. Hmm, more cellulose = More ash.
I have never found the use of extra Si to increase stem or branch support strength! You have to remember that your increasing the cellular structure in the whole plant. So, you get more weight for that branch to support also.

It is a pretty good idea for hydro but not “required”.

NeWcS
Well-Known Member
churchhaze
Well-Known Member
NeWcS
Well-Known Member
CanadianDank
Well-Known Member

In soil. The plant takes all the Si it can use, from the soil.
Increasing availability is not exactly cost effective, at all.

It will increase cell wall structure. Hmm, more cellulose = More ash.
I have never found the use of extra Si to increase stem or branch support strength! You have to remember that your increasing the cellular structure in the whole plant. So, you get more weight for that branch to support also.

It is a pretty good idea for hydro but not “required”.

Did he say he was in soil?

I must have missed that part.

Even then, if he was using a bagged mix containing peat, perlite, loam etc. There would be next to no silica in it, if any.
Silica has many benefits, including increased vigor and resistance to environmental stressors.

Dr. Who
Well-Known Member

Did he say he was in soil?

I must have missed that part.

Even then, if he was using a bagged mix containing peat, perlite, loam etc. There would be next to no silica in it, if any.
Silica has many benefits, including increased vigor and resistance to environmental stressors.

loam
/lōm/
noun

  1. a fertile soil of clay and sand containing humus.
    • GEOLOGY
      a soil with roughly equal proportions of sand, silt, and clay.
    • a paste of clay and water with sand, chopped straw, etc., used in making bricks and plastering walls.

PLENTY of Si here. PLENTY!

The benefits of adding extra Si are debatable. The plant takes all it can from real soils.

If your using an inert media, such as Coco, Peat or even mix’s like Sunshine and ProMix.
You still don’t “need” it to grow the plant but, you “can” experience the benefits you listed (increased vigor, and resistance to environmental stress).
You see, the deal is that these websites listing all these wonderful things SI does. Is that they are simply referring to media’s that do not contain an Si source!

Those who make, market and sell Si supplements. Don’t tell you these facts. They want your money..

The simple fact of the cannabis nutrient market is; Make claims of More, Bigger, Stronger, or Higher concentrations. You get the uneducated, beginner and close minded. to buy your over rated crap.

Another point on ProMix and similar bagged media mix’s.
When you grow in these mix’s. They should be thought of as a form of Hydroponics, nutrient wise. You need to be using a nutrient line that contains micro’s. The media sure has little to none!
That includes Si..

Still, Si is not required to actually grow in any hydro. Total breakdowns of hydro designed nutrient lines. Have some Si in the micro mix. If a line has you use a stand alone bottle of Si. They are simply doing the cash grab from you. They break the line down into many bottles at higher cost then simple, complete 3 way lines.

Bottom line. I have never seen a plant with an Si issue in soil. For that matter, even in hydro.

Years of growing and experimenting. Never found any benefit to adding any Si to soil grows. So much so, I won’t even use a pH “up” that contains it. To many possibilities for mixing problems.

Lest we forget this;

churchhaze
Well-Known Member

This is why I won’t recommend it for hydro either. I see it as steering noobs in the wrong direction by over-complicating something that’s already hard to grasp for noobs. Even for pH up, you should really be using potassium hydroxide in hydro.

If you haven’t even dialed in the perfect amount of N, you shouldn’t be thinking about Si. It gets way more attention than deserved.

Dr. Who
Well-Known Member

This is why I won’t recommend it for hydro either. I see it as steering noobs in the wrong direction by over-complicating something that’s already hard to grasp for noobs. Even for pH up, you should really be using potassium hydroxide in hydro.

If you haven’t even dialed in the perfect amount of N, you shouldn’t be thinking about Si. It gets way more attention than deserved.

CanadianDank
Well-Known Member

loam
/lōm/
noun

  1. a fertile soil of clay and sand containing humus.
    • GEOLOGY
      a soil with roughly equal proportions of sand, silt, and clay.
    • a paste of clay and water with sand, chopped straw, etc., used in making bricks and plastering walls.

PLENTY of Si here. PLENTY!

The benefits of adding extra Si are debatable. The plant takes all it can from real soils.

If your using an inert media, such as Coco, Peat or even mix’s like Sunshine and ProMix.
You still don’t “need” it to grow the plant but, you “can” experience the benefits you listed (increased vigor, and resistance to environmental stress).
You see, the deal is that these websites listing all these wonderful things SI does. Is that they are simply referring to media’s that do not contain an Si source!

Those who make, market and sell Si supplements. Don’t tell you these facts. They want your money..

The simple fact of the cannabis nutrient market is; Make claims of More, Bigger, Stronger, or Higher concentrations. You get the uneducated, beginner and close minded. to buy your over rated crap.

Another point on ProMix and similar bagged media mix’s.
When you grow in these mix’s. They should be thought of as a form of Hydroponics, nutrient wise. You need to be using a nutrient line that contains micro’s. The media sure has little to none!
That includes Si..

Still, Si is not required to actually grow in any hydro. Total breakdowns of hydro designed nutrient lines. Have some Si in the micro mix. If a line has you use a stand alone bottle of Si. They are simply doing the cash grab from you. They break the line down into many bottles at higher cost then simple, complete 3 way lines.

Bottom line. I have never seen a plant with an Si issue in soil. For that matter, even in hydro.

Years of growing and experimenting. Never found any benefit to adding any Si to soil grows. So much so, I won’t even use a pH “up” that contains it. To many possibilities for mixing problems.

Lest we forget this;

Thanks for the great response!

Although many bagged mixes growers are using consist of mostly of peat, you are right any loam should provide Si.

How much is optimal is debatable beyond my level of experience!

I’m assuming by your postings you have some prior knowledge of his grow and happen to know if he’s growing soilless or not. I however do not.

As for going completely without Si in a hydro set up, I cannot speak to, but I’d love to know more about how it doesn’t benefit the plant.
Just because it does not show a typical deficiency without it, does not mean it has no benefits and I can see you agree with me there.
Once we have that established, I think the only question is how much is optimal and is it already being provided in the medium.

NeWcS
Well-Known Member
Dr. Who
Well-Known Member

Depending on your nutrient line of choice. Some Si use isn’t a bad idea. If you know what your doing and use limited amounts.
Not needed. just not a bad idea either.

Si can limit P, Ca, and most micro uptake and be the root of other P issues..(This is not a textbook listed problem (the P thing), I have seen it happen in over use of Si = From mostly pH problems, rooted in Si use but, from simple over use too) ..You gotta be kinda extreme here but. Mixing mistakes will make this very possible. NEVER use a pH up with Si in hydro, or in supplementing Si. That P limiting thing comes into play here, easy like.
Si use must be done with care. You can all to easily mix poorly and block a bunch of things out.

Coco means your adding a Ca to your mix (or should be). So then, it’s best to add your Si FIRST and then the other parts of your feed mix, and mix well between them. THEN, add the Ca or Ca/Mg last, and again mix well.
It’s also smart to hold some (Basic amount to hold out and mix to- say 25%) water to add to the volume of the mix to total it out. Mix the Ca source to that held out water and add that, and stir your batch at the same time.

If doing a res. DO the mix as described with 3/4 of the total volume to be mix. Mix the Ca source into that last 1/4 of water left and add by pumping to the res. (in a big res. situation) or mix into the res by pouring while stirring. Like cooking- Stir it in the mix..

These are RULES of Si use.

Si can be used as a foliar too. Never did like that much either. Less effective then drench (watering it in). Damn good way to Si seedlings though.

Dr. Who
Well-Known Member

Thanks for the great response!

Although many bagged mixes growers are using consist of mostly of peat, you are right any loam should provide Si.

How much is optimal is debatable beyond my level of experience!

I’m assuming by your postings you have some prior knowledge of his grow and happen to know if he’s growing soilless or not. I however do not.

As for going completely without Si in a hydro set up, I cannot speak to, but I’d love to know more about how it doesn’t benefit the plant.
Just because it does not show a typical deficiency without it, does not mean it has no benefits and I can see you agree with me there.
Once we have that established, I think the only question is how much is optimal and is it already being provided in the medium.

No, not really. I just chimed in on the use of Si.

Here comes the usable knowledge I have. Shortened and said in easy to understand terms

Factors and things to consider on Si and it’s use in Cannabis growing.
Si plays a major role in Monocot plant developement (grass’s and grain’s).
Monocots are also “accumulators” of Si.

There are 3 levels plant designations, as to Si levels in the plant.
Accumulators
Intermediate
Non – Accumulator

Cannabis is a Dicot or broad leaf plant. It falls into the low end of Intermediate or high end of non accumulator. Depends on your view and how you classify the Si in the plant (Growing, or dry % by volume)

For the sake of this post. We will use the dry concentrations as baseline.

So a Rice plant dry will have around 10 – 11 % Si by volume. While Cannabis is more around 2.5 to 3% and that’s a variable by strain thing.

Getting enough Si is rather easy. The water you use, if not RO, will have an Si amount in it. Even dust has an Si value
The higher quality Hydro lines will have amounts in it. Off the top of my head. Hesi, Cyco, The now defunct Flora Nova line. Have some in their mix.

Getting too much can be easy too. Not exactly sure of amounts but, I know from school that supplementing it more then 1 time a week at over 200 ppm in media’s with limited availability is a no-no.
In hydro applications you should have no more then around 35-45 ppm of Si value in the res. for plants (veggies) of the same Si % value in the plant. Over this will cause Si related tox problems pretty fast.

So what did we learn here?

#1: Supplementing Si in limited availability media’s. Should be done once (1) a week and to do that for cannabis at about 75 – 100 ppm value per supplement.
#2: In hydro supplementing of Si. Ebb systems, DWC or constant contact (with the roots) systems, should have a res value of (to be safe but deliver good value) 40 ppm.
A: This should be halved in any RDWC system to start. Adjust as you feel safe but do not jump right in at 40%.

The actual benefit’s of Si use in cannabis. Relate directly to the actual benefits of Si to the plants.
These include..

Limiting P in P over use. Not much but, it does have this effect.
Limiting the possibility of metal tox situations by limiting or some say the “balancing” of Micro uptake.
Strengthening of cellular walls. The real benefit of this is somewhat dubious. While it does help with the plant resisting invasions from insects and Molds. The effect is recorded in experiments to last out over low Si content plants.. An increase in time before the plant is infected.
This increase in time to infection is about 5 – 18 days in “like” Si concentration plants.

So, you still GET that infestation or infection. It just takes longer to happen!

As far as any added benefit from thicker stems and such. Not really! You must remember that the whole plant is getting that same increase.
This increases ash when smoked by increased cellulose amounts. Not a win.

A few extra points to ponder..

Si accumulates as the plant grows in new growth zones only! It will not translocate!
Si use in small amounts. Can be best done early in a seedlings/clones life. This is the best time for any Si use, if you “need” it.

If you water it in (drench) and don’t do any leeching in a soil-less media grow. The use of Si should be done on a reducing, sliding scale. “It will build up.” If you water to runoff. Weekly should be your amount of supplementation.

These are the things remembered from several class’s in college and put in a non-technical explanation.

Welcome to Silica use 101 here.

Note: Online postings of the wonders of Si use are slanted to NON cannabis plants. Many cannabis related answers on differing sites are, well, formulated by guessing the answers from the needs of other plants. Speculation at work..
Yet, speculation by needs of other broad leaf plants, with the same basic Si content as cannabis. Is the starting point for my answers on how much to use and how often..

Always remember what I said above (post above this) about how to mix! Very important!

So, I have access to Potassium Silicate and am wanting to make a bottled concentrate just like the store bought. I use 'mad farmer' Silica, and once empty…