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Rock Wool Questions

Greetings APDers,

I'm thinking about propagating some aquatic plants in an emersed state. I'm
planning to grow them potted in rock wool. As a dyed in the wool DIY'er,
I've decided to make my own rock wool. Since making this decision, I've come
up with a number of questions about rock wool. Perhaps some of the sages on
this list would be kind enough to point me in the right direction.

1. How do you shear the rocks?
Can I use commonly available single stage shears or should I spend the money
to get high quality dual stage shears designed specifically for the type of
rocks I'll be shearing? I've heard rumors that low quality single stage
shears might cut all the wool at once as I approach the end of the rock. Is
this true? Is there any way to prevent it?

2. What are the best kind of rocks?
The rocks in my area don't seem to have very much wool on them. Are they
just out of season? Should I use weathered iron rich tropical rocks instead?
Does anyone know where I can get those high-tech German rocks? I heard the
North American distributor stopped importing them. Maybe I should just use
kitty litter.

3. What is the best way to ship the rocks?
If I mail order my rocks I want them to arrive in good condition. Can I have
them shipped wrapped in wet newspapers? Should I have them individually
wrapped and sent in padded envelopes? Would it be worthwhile to insure the

4. If I use locally collected rocks, is it OK to call them "Colorado Rocks"
or should I stick with the more widely known name "American Rocks"?

5. What is the best way to euthanize the rocks after I shear them?
My landlord told me not to try the garbage disposal method again. He said it
was very painful. He wasn't too keen on the idea of flushing them either. I
tried putting them in the freezer but they seem to be impervious to the
cold. Drugs and Alka-Seltzer didn't work. In frustration, I tried beating
them against the wall but the neighbors complained. I don't want to simply
throw them out in the garden because I'm concerned about the enviromental
damage associated with introducing non-native rock species to the local
ecosystem. Any suggestions?

6. Finally, in order to insure that my rock wool is of the highest purity,
does anyone know what is the color of rock wool in a white bucket?

Thanks for your indulgence,
Mark Stahlke
Colorado's Premier Grower of Fine Algaes (and dry humor)