Product: JBL Silicate Test SiO2
The JBL Silicate Test Set SiO2 is designed for measuring and routinely controlling the silicate content in saltwater and freshwater within the range of 0.2 - >6 mg/l (ppm). The compensation method developed specially by JBL allows precise and reliable results to be obtained even in moderately discoloured aquarium water e.g. caused by peat filters and disease treatment. Any possible interference due to the presence of phosphates in the water sample are eliminated by the delayed addition of reagent 2.
Silicon is one of the most common elements in the world. As a result of the weathering of silicate rocks, silicon is washed into surface and ground water in the form of silicate. Depending on the composition of the rocks in a particular area, the mains water will contain varying amounts of dissolved silicate. Mains water can contain up to 40 mg/l and, on rare occasions, even more. Silicate is non-toxic and there is no threshold set in the regulations governing the quality of drinking water
The significance of silicon for aquariums is as a nutrient for algae (diatoms), some aquatic plants (e.g. hornwort) as well as sponges (e.g. Tetraxonida) and many other invertebrates. When a new aquarium is set up, the first sign of settlement is a brown coating of algae (diatoms). This coating disappears when the aquarium is run in and sufficient competition from other algae and micro organisms has established itself.
This also significantly reduces the amount of silicate in the water. However, such coatings of algae can often reappear, particularly in saltwater, after the water has been changed, adding new silicate. For this reason, osmosis water should preferably be used when changing the water or filling a marine aquarium.
We recommend the following values: Freshwater: approx. 1 mg/l to 2 mg/l can be tolerated.
Saltwater: max. 1 mg/l
Remedies for problems caused by increased silicate levels:
- Check the silicate content of the water used.
- Use water with low silicate content for partial changes of water (reverse osmosis, e. g. JBL Osmose 120).
- Filter through a silicate absorber.
- Repeatedly rinse both test jars with the water to be tested.
- Use the enclosed syringe to fill each of the test containers with 10 ml of sample water.
- Add the reagent to one of the two test containers as follows:
a) 10 drops of reagent 1, shake, leave to stand for 3 minutes
b) 10 drops of reagent 2, shake, leave to stand for 3 minutes
c) A small measuring spoon of reagent 3 (narrow end of enclosed double spoon), close lid and shake until dissolved, leave to stand for 3 minutes
- Place both test containers in the comparator block: the container with the added reagent at the smooth end of the comparator block, the container with untreated sample water (blank sample) at the notched end of the comparator block
- Move the comparator block with the two test containers backwards and forwards on the colour chart with the notch pointing to the values, until colour of the sample treated with reagent matches the colour under the blank sample as closely as possible.
- Read the silicate content in the notch of the comparator block. The additional graduation of colours from green to red on the colour chart allows the measurement to be read quickly.
In the event that the colour of your test sample is darker than the colours of the chart, dilute the sample with distilled or silicate-free water and measure again.
Depending on the dilution, the actual silicate level can be calculated by multiplying the result as follows:
5 ml sample + 5ml dist. water: result x 2
2 ml sample + 8 ml dist. water: result x 5
1 ml sample + 9 ml dist. water: result x 10
The instructions are repeated in a series of simple diagrams on the reverse of the colour chart.
Warning and safety note concerning Reagent 1:
- Contains sulphuric acid <10%
- Irritates eyes and skin.
- Store in a locked place out of reach of children.
- In the event of contact with the eyes, wash off immediately using plenty of water and consult a doctor.
- When working with this substance suitable protective gloves and goggles/face protection must be worm.
- Consult a doctor immediately in the case of an accident or nausea (if possible show this instruction).
Our tip for environmentally conscious aquarium keepers:
All reagents for JBL Test Set are available from your retailer as economically-priced refill packs.