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RE: Composition of Green Light Stump Remover

> Date: Thu, 07 Nov 2002 19:03:18 -0500
> From: Chuck Huffine
> Last week, I sent an email to Green Light asking
> about the composition of their stump remover...
> I received a reply from them today and thought
> I'd pass it along:
> "Our product does not contain sodium hydroxide.
> Our product contains blood meal and humic acid..."
> I found it interesting that this particular stump
> remover is derived from organic compounds.  FWIW.

>> Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2002 23:16:17 -0500
>> From: James Purchase
>> Blood meal???? Humic acid????
>> Curious - are these there as additives or as
>> the primary ingredients?

>> > Date: Sat, 09 Nov 2002 05:29:44 -0500
>> > From: Chuck Huffine
>> >
>> > ...I expect they're the primary ingredients, but I'm
>> > not sure...I wouldn't mind learning how blood meal +
>> > humic acid = mostly KNO3.

>*> Date: Sat, 9 Nov 2002 06:49:46 -0500
>*> From: James Purchase
>*> It would be nice to know the % of "blood meal" in the
>*> product. That's an organic fertilizer...
>*> Aren't "fertilizers" regulated in the U.S.?...

All of this conjecture seems to hinge on the rather weak assumption that the
stump remover is *mostly* comprised of the two "off-beat" chemicals. I'd say
that's just a little hasty, though.

When wood decomposes, the breakdown of the cellulose requires a great deal
of nitrogen. It's the biggest reason most people don't recommend adding wood
chips and sawdust to your compost heaps - it would draw out and sequester
the nitrogen throughout the decomposition.

Using straight nitrates to soak the stump provides a simple and
"inexhaustible" supply of nitrogen for the breakdown, and such a
concentration would have the benefit of accelerating the process. Adding a
little organic matter and an organic acid merely ensures a quick start to
*some* kind of decomposition to kick start the process - almost like seeding
your tank for the cycling process.

I can't quantify the amount of organics actually present in the mix, but I
can attest to the fact that determining concentrations of nitrogen by only
using KNO3 as the source gives actual solution concentrations that are close
enough to the theoretical that our hobby test kits can't highlight any

I think that Greenlight is pulling a "CYA" maneuver to cover the little bit
of "impurities" present. But I can say that Greenlight Stump Remover has
never bothered any of my fish - even Apistos with fry - nor does it cloud
the water with a bacterial haze.

I've been using it for almost two years with absolutely no evidence of
adverse effects.

Oh - and since it's a "stump remover" and not a "fertilizer" it doesn't
warrant the attention to detail that fertilizers do...

>*> While on the subject of off beat fertilizers, does
>*> anyone know the general difference in purity levels
>*> between "farm grade", "field grade" and most
>*> importantly "greenhouse grade" chemicals?...

Field Grade means there are additives or impurities that are non-potable.
Don't use it on something you or your fish will eat/drink.

Farm Grade means anything listed *is* potable or reduces to something
potable. But that's for _human_ consumption, and sometimes requires
biological activity from the soil or absorbing plant to break down to what's
"edible". So I wouldn't automatically assume it's safe for fish.

And since Greenhousers like to determine *precise* chemical compositions,
ratios and balances, Greenhouse Grade is about as close to
reagent/pharmaceutical grade as you can get without calling it that...


David A. Youngker
nestor10 at mindspring_com