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Silica was Re:Sand in substrate

"One thing about sand I am curious about, sand that is mostly silica, would
that have any affect on diatomes? "

    I would say no, since Silica that we see in fish tanks is silicon dioxide 
(SiO2) I believe, this form is highly insoluble in regular water. I think 
though, that if you want to worry about more soluble forms of Silicon in an 
aquarium, you should look at your precious laterite, yes, all clays are made 
up of a large percentage of silicon Dioxide. Those of you familiar with clays 
(my father is a potter) will know that Kaolin is nearly pure Silicon Dioxide, 
and that the percentage drops as you come closer to laterites. Though even 
laterites contain a large percentage of Silicon. Though silicon is highly 
insoluble, even in that small a size, the energy taken to break those bonds 
or Oxygen and Silicon is very high, it takes a very hot fire to make the 
silicon bond with anything (i.e. porcelain).

    On another note, I've discovered that when we're talking about the 
different types of clay, Red clays have iron, yes, but they also have lots of 
organics involved, which raises their CEC content. I am starting to get the 
idea, that Laterites could be easily reproduced simply by adding organics and 
some cheap chelated iron supplements to them. Those of you who dislike 
commercial intrusion into our hobby, I think we should re-examine the idea of 
"magic clay" Comments welcome, thanks, Bill