Frequently Asked Questions
What is Diatomix?
Diatomix is very concentrated liquid that contains nano sized flocs of silica. These flocs are very, very small, only 100 to 900 nm in size. Inside these silica flocs there are all the micro-nutrients that diatom algae need to grow well. Because the diatoms get a micro-nutrient boost they can out-compete other types of algae for the main nutrients (Nitrogen and Phosphorus) in your dam, lake or pond. Diatomix is supplied in 1, 5 and 20 litre bottles. Diatomix is usually dosed at 1 Litre per 10,000,000 (ten million) Litres, but this does depend on the concentration of nutrients in your water.
What does it contain?
Nano silica and 10 micro-nutrients – Iron, Manganese, Cobalt, Molybdenum, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Boron, Potassium and Copper.
Where is it used?
Any natural or artificial water body, for example aquaculture ponds, farm lakes, rivers and estuaries, as well as in sewage wastewater treatment plants.
What does it do?
Diatomix creates the opportunity for the diatoms present in the water to grow rapidly and out-compete other algae, for example, blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria) for nutrients. The end result is that blue-green algae do not bloom, and the numbers of these other algae greatly reduce.
How does it work?
Generally, waterbodies contain more of the nutrients Nitrogen and Phosphorus (N and P), and do not contain so many micro-nutrients, as these get quickly taken up by the algae. By providing the missing micro-nutrients (particularly iron), diatom growth is enhanced. Diatoms are the only algae that require silica, so by packaging all the micronutrients inside the silica flocs, other algae just ignore the silica and don’t get the benefit of the micronutrients. This way the good algae are naturally targeted to grow more than the ones you don’t want.
Why grow diatom algae?
Diatoms are the first step in a very long food chain and are a favourite food of zooplankton. These zooplankton, tiny animals, some of which are too small to see with the naked eye, are the favourite food of small fish or insect larvae. So the nutrients (N and P) that the diatoms absorbed move up the food chain.
In comparison, blue-green algae are not a good food source for zooplankton and fish, so when the blue-green algae bloom nothing eats them, and the population keeps growing until there are so many of them that they run out of nutrients and then most of them die at once. When the blue-green algae die they all rot at once, making the water toxic and fish can die in large numbers, and it can be toxic to drink as well.
Because diatoms are constantly being grazed by the zooplankton, the algae bloom is growing and being reduced at the same time. Algae produce oxygen during the day, but at night algae respire and use up available oxygen. Because the total mass of diatoms is less than would be found with blue-green algae, the total oxygen consumption is also reduced; this means that there is less chance of anoxic conditions (no oxygen dissolved in the water) which is often the cause of fish mortality.
Furthermore, because the zooplankton are grazing the diatoms, smaller quantities of diatoms will die and decompose in the water compared to blue-green algae. Decomposition results in release of CO2 by bacteria. Another benefit of diatoms versus blue-green algae is that when the cells die, diatoms sink, and blue-green algae floats to the surface. The floating dead blue-green algae can result in a mat of algae that prevents oxygen in the air moving into the water. This will stop the oxygen reaching the fish, even near the water surface. The floating dead mat of algae will also cut off light, reduce photosynthesis and therefore the addition of more oxygen into the water.
How many diatoms grow?
1 litre of Diatomix causes the growth of 200 to 1000 kg of diatoms.
How much oxygen is produced?
1 litre of Diatomix results in the release of at least 200 to 1,000 kg of oxygen.
How much Carbon dioxide is consumed?
1 litre of Diatomix results in the consumption of 275 to 1,375 kg of carbon dioxide.
How much nitrogen is consumed?
1 litre of Diatomix results in the consumption of 16 to 80 kg of nitrogen.
How much phosphate is consumed?
1 litre of Diatomix results in the consumption of 2 to 10 kg of phosphate.
What is the impact of Diatomix on hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions?
Hydrogen sulfide is emitted by anaerobic bacteria in sewage treatment plants, septic tanks, polluted lakes, etc. Diatomix and diatoms create aerobic conditions and this stops the emission of hydrogen sulfide.
What is the impact of Diatomix on methane (CH4) emissions?
Methane is emitted by methanogenic microorganisms in Sewage Treatment Plants (STP), septic tanks, polluted lakes, flooded paddy fields, etc. Diatoms increase the dissolved oxygen concentration of water and thereby reduce anaerobic conditions and promote aerobic conditions. This will reduce methane emissions.
How does Diatomix impact fish?
In nature diatoms and zooplankton provide 50 to 75% of the food for finfish and crustaceans in aquaculture ponds, lakes, rivers and oceans.
What problems does Diatomix solve?
- Sewage Treatment – removes nutrients, N and P, and provides oxygen.
- Lake, river, estuary and coastal water remediation – removes nutrients – N and P, increases dissolved oxygen level, reduces harmful bacteria, reduces harmful algal blooms, red tides, mass fish kills and dead zones in coastal waters.
- Increases fish catch in lakes
- Helps keep aquaculture ponds clean and well oxygenated, prevents harmful algal blooms, reduces ammonia accumulation and provides natural live feed to fish.
How economical is Diatomix?
1 litre of Diatomix is to be used in about two million litres of raw sewage and in one to ten hectares of lakes, once a week.
The Diatomix equation:
Sunlight + CO2 + Water + Nitrogen + Phosphorus + Diatomix = Diatom Algae + Oxygen = Zooplankton + reduced BOD + Clean Water.
Is Diatomix toxic?
Diatomix is made with nano Silica; this is amorphous silica gel of 10-20 nanometer particles. Crystalline silica of 1 micron (1,000 nanometers) or more may be carcinogenic but amorphous silica gel is safe. This technology has been used in fish ponds since 2005 with happy customers and no complaints of any kind.