420 Magazine Background

Making your own Silica supplement aka Faux-Tekt

farside05

Plant of the Month: Dec 2018, June 2019
Here is another round of the Do-It-Yourself Faux Series. How to make your own Silica supplement similar to Dyna Gro Pro-Tek, Botanicare Silica Blast, General Hydroponics Armor SI, Grotek Pro-Silicate, Advanced Nutrients Rhino Skin, etc., we'll call it Faux-Tekt®.

First you need to acquire a bag of Potassium Silicate. I found mine on BuildASoil for $20 for a 1lb bag, including shipping. One pound will make about 3.5 quarts. Compare that to $18 for a single quart of Pro-Tekt and you can see the savings.


Next you need to measure out 32oz (1 quart) of RO or distilled water into a pot.


I just replaced the filters in my RO system, and I'm still working on flushing the tank, so my RO was at 50ppm. It will get lower over the next couple weeks as the system is purged.


My RO was 7.6 pH to start. That may get lower too over the next couple weeks. All that really maters is that you're using a good quality water to start with. My ppm and pH numbers are fairly inconsequential. I was just curious of the inputs.


Now that we have our 32oz of water, and our bag of Potassium Silicate. It's time to measure out how much powder we need. To make a quart of 7.8% solution (same as Pro-Tekt), we need 140g of Potassium Silicate. First we tare our scale with the container on it.


Next we measure out our powder.


Add our powder to the pot containing our water.


Turn the burner on medium heat and stir til dissolved. I heated mine until it was starting to put off a bit of steam but not to the point of boiling.


When you think its well dissolved, it will go from very cloudy white to slightly white but not perfectly clear, pour your concoction into a storage container. It filled my quart jar right to the rim.


That's it. You have just made your own Silica supplement at less than 1/3 the cost. Why pay for water? Buy the powder yourself and add your own water and save/spend your cash for something else.
 
Last edited:

farside05

Plant of the Month: Dec 2018, June 2019
The quality control tests... To see how close my product is compared to Pro-tekt. I gathered a few numbers.

I poured a sample of Pro-Tekt into a cup and measured the starting pH, since Silica supplements are known to be alkaline in nature. It measured 11.5


I checked that result against my Faux-Tekt®. Same number, so we are good there.


Next I added 5ml of Pro-Tekt to a gallon of water to see the resulting ppm. I got 241.


I did the same with 5ml of Faux-Tekt® and came out with 254. Pretty close. The difference is most likely that I eyeballed the gallon rather that precisely measured it. My guess is the Pro-Tekt gallon had a tad bit more water in it. Either way, 13 points over 5ml, that's only a difference of 2.6ppm per ml.


Next I tested the Pro-Tekt gallon's pH. 8.5


Then the Faux-Tekt® gallon. Also 8.5


I added all the other components of my nute regiment. The Pro-Tekt gallon came out to 6.5, which is what I am shooting for. No other pH adjustments necessary.


The Faux-Tekt® gallon. Spot on also at 6.5.


Every one of my test showed the product to be equivalent. It looks like a winner.
 

farside05

Plant of the Month: Dec 2018, June 2019
Why the need to make the powder into a liquid?
Good question. Ease of dosing. Consider there are 946ml in a quart, and that quart contains 140g of powder. When I start my plants off as an infant, I use 1ml per gallon and work my way up to 5ml per gallon as an adult. I'd be trying to weigh fractions of a gram when they are young, and still slightly less than a gram as an adult. Not to mention some people use it a foliar spary. Can't do that with a powder.
 

bobrown14

Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2017
Why the need to make the powder into a liquid?
A little goes a long way. Go easy with it. I foliar on the the Pro-tekt. A quart bottle lasted me like 3 or 4 years at 1 tsp per gal foliar. I foliar weekly.

Pro-tekt is - Potassium Silicate

When you look for a product like this - google the "product name MSDS"

So google "pro-tekt msds" you will see in the MSDS (material safety data sheet PDF) what's exactly in the product you want to purchase.
 

Nunyabiz

Well-Known Member
A little goes a long way. Go easy with it. I foliar on the the Pro-tekt. A quart bottle lasted me like 3 or 4 years at 1 tsp per gal foliar. I foliar weekly.

Pro-tekt is - Potassium Silicate

When you look for a product like this - google the "product name MSDS"

So google "pro-tekt msds" you will see in the MSDS (material safety data sheet PDF) what's exactly in the product you want to purchase.
I am assuming this wasn't actually meant for me.

Yeah, I bought a pound of the pure 99% silica and that looks like it may last the rest of my life.
 

bobrown14

Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2017
Not meant for you @Nunyabiz - just general info for folks that want to purchase bottled stuff. You'd be surprised at whats not on the label. Yeah the powdered silica more for farmers and big fields or orchards.

I like to foliar it on weekly - you can do the same in the outside garden as well. It will go faster than you think.

Silica is one of the most abundant minerals in the world likely the universe. The crust of the earth is made of it. So stands to reason plants use it and we need it in our food as do most living things.
 

Maritimer

Well-Known Member
Here is another round of the Do-It-Yourself Faux Series. How to make your own Silica supplement similar to Dyna Gro Pro-Tek, Botanicare Silica Blast, General Hydroponics Armor SI, Grotek Pro-Silicate, Advanced Nutrients Rhino Skin, etc., we'll call it Faux-Tekt®.

First you need to acquire a bag of Potassium Silicate. I found mine on BuildASoil for $20 for a 1lb bag, including shipping. One pound will make about 3.5 quarts. Compare that to $18 for a single quart of Pro-Tekt and you can see the savings.


Next you need to measure out 32oz (1 quart) of RO or distilled water into a pot.


I just replaced the filters in my RO system, and I'm still working on flushing the tank, so my RO was at 50ppm. It will get lower over the next couple weeks as the system is purged.


My RO was 7.6 pH to start. That may get lower too over the next couple weeks. All that really maters is that you're using a good quality water to start with. My ppm and pH numbers are fairly inconsequential. I was just curious of the inputs.


Now that we have our 32oz of water, and our bag of Potassium Silicate. It's time to measure out how much powder we need. To make a quart of 7.8% solution (same as Pro-Tekt), we need 140g of Potassium Silicate. First we tare our scale with the container on it.


Next we measure out our powder.


Add our powder to the pot containing our water.


Turn the burner on medium heat and stir til dissolved. I heated mine until it was starting to put off a bit of steam but not to the point of boiling.


When you think its well dissolved, it will go from very cloudy white to slightly white but not perfectly clear, pour your concoction into a storage container. It filled my quart jar right to the rim.


That's it. You have just made your own Silica supplement at less than 1/3 the cost. Why pay for water? Buy the powder yourself and add your own water and save/spend your cash for something else.
Can't thank you enough for this. $$$ huge savings for gardeners using Pro-Tekc, especially the small size I was using. p.s. the new garden is enjoying the Faux-Mix BX version you did for me.
 

farside05

Plant of the Month: Dec 2018, June 2019
Can't thank you enough for this. $$$ huge savings for gardeners using Pro-Tekc, especially the small size I was using. p.s. the new garden is enjoying the Faux-Mix BX version you did for me.
Glad the Faux-Mix® is working well. I made the switch from Pro-Tekt to Faux-Tekt® and the plants haven't noticed the difference.
 

Bob Loblaw

New Member
A couple of months ago I watched a video on horsetail (the plant). There's a lot of videos on it, apparently it is a great source for silica. This got me to wondering if I could make my own silica for free.

Has anyone any info on how to make such a thing? I was thinking about picking some washing it and simmering it... I'll have to wait another 5 months to try this though.

I'm not sure where I could find Potassium Silicate around here (nowhereville), my next trip to a hydro shop (300 k) will not be for a few months. Do most hydro shops carry the powdered variety? Would a farm center carry such a product? A drug store?
 

farside05

Plant of the Month: Dec 2018, June 2019
A couple of months ago I watched a video on horsetail (the plant). There's a lot of videos on it, apparently it is a great source for silica. This got me to wondering if I could make my own silica for free.

Has anyone any info on how to make such a thing? I was thinking about picking some washing it and simmering it... I'll have to wait another 5 months to try this though.

I'm not sure where I could find Potassium Silicate around here (nowhereville), my next trip to a hydro shop (300 k) will not be for a few months. Do most hydro shops carry the powdered variety? Would a farm center carry such a product? A drug store?
I have no idea on the horsetail thing.

Your hydro store may or may not carry Potassium Silicate. I got mine by mail from BuildASoil. Took a couple days. $20 USD with shipping included.
 

Bode

Well-Known Member
Highya Farside,

This is a message particularly for Bob Loblaw. I use horsetail in a concoction with fresh seaweed, nettles, dandylions, and whatever else I come across. Concoction - take all material, put in food processor. Then mix an equal amount (by weight) of brown sugar (sugar extracts the liquid in plants, also feeds microbes). The liquid is applied to the plants when watering. I don't remember the dilution rate. You can find this method in a search for Korean Natural Farming. Takes a little studying to understand the whole process. Cheers
 
Top Bottom