What is in our DE

Not all diatomaceous earth silica products are the same, some are high quality, some are low quality and some can have a negative effect. In order to be beneficial the diatomaceous earth product must have:

  1. A high level of available silica
  2. Provide a high level of immediately soluble silica
  3. Contain beneficial trace elements
  4. Contain no toxic levels of any element, pollutants or heavy metals

Many silica products meet some of these requirements however very few meet them all. Some products have high levels of silica but are contaminated with heavy metals and other toxins.

Diatomaceous Earth Online is proud to offer a natural product of the highest quality. Our amorphous (freshwater) silica is chemical and additive-free, and contains no toxic levels of any element. It has a high level of immediately soluble silica, and is completely safe for use in accordance with the dosage rates suggested on this website.

CAUTION: Do not confuse natural silica or food-grade Diatomaceous Earth with crystalline silica which is commercially produced by exposing amorphous silica to extreme heat for use in swimming pool filtration systems. Crystalline silica is extremely dangerous and must not be consumed by humans or animals, or used on gardens or agricultural crops.

As DE is a natural product, mined directly from the ancient deposits within dried lake beds, the exact scientific analysis will vary slightly from batch to batch. Because it is a natural product, no DE will be “100% pure” but will contain varying levels of silica and other minerals.

The diatom structure is an important consideration in the effectiveness of the product. Diatoms come in many and varied shapes and sizes, some of the large round flat shapes are really no use for filtration as they only have a relatively low surface area, this inhibits their ability to absorb bind with heavy metals or act as a filtering medium, where as the open structure of the Aulacoseria type is more effective.

The following is a “typical analysis” calculated as an average of the product analysis provided by certified Australian laboratories. The product analysis is correct at the time of publication. Contact us for a rare earth analysis if required.


Mount Garnet Diatom structureElectron microscope image of diatom structure from Diatomaceous Earth Online




Silica (Si02)                                  > 70%

Calcium (Ca)                                 1.00%

Magnesium (Mg)                            0.60%

Manganese (Mn)                            0.50%

Phosphorus (P)                              0.01%

Potassium (K)                                 0.20%

Iron (Fe)                                         4.00%

Cobalt (Co)                                     5mg/kg

Molybdenum (Mo)                           5mg/kg

Sulphur (S)                                     42mg/kg

Zinc (Zn)                                         42mg/kg



Here are some useful links giving more information about diatomaceous earth

General fact sheet from Oregon state university

Diatom species identification