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RE: [APD] Greensand causes plants to die?

Hi Mark,

Yes I suspect greensand could and would kill aquatic plants in my opinion.

I use "Texas Greensand" in my Phoenix AZ garden and not my aquarium.  My bag
of greensand says:  "Texas Greensand is ideal for fertilizing
iron-deficient, high-alkaline soils.  Further the bag says:  Greensand is a
naturally occurring mineral called glauconite (hydrated silicon of iron and

That said, I have lately killed terrestrial bedding plants by planting too
soon after mixing greensand into the soil.  Before the experts jump my case
... I invested 5 plus years in organic gardening of a large plot of pure
Arizona desert soil.  The fruits of that toil included artichokes,
cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, red potatoes, asparagus, peanuts, pole beans
etc.  All made possible by chickens scratching and pooping in 12" of alfalfa
hay, rabbit poop, and a permit to rake garbage bag after garbage bag of pine
forest debris.  Yup there was always extra's for sharing, pickling and

Without getting into the nutrient binding qualities of Arizona's
high-alkaline iron rich caliche soil in my estimation "greensand" in
quantity is far to caustic / rich for aquarium use.  As Tom Barr oft reminds
most aquatic plants are just weeds nurtured into great beauty.  Herbs were
the only plants planted directly into AZ desert soil in my garden.  Herbs
are weeds too.  They always flourished.  When nothing else was growing there
was always a bouquet of herbs.

Mark, there are far better than me to get into the down and dirty of
greensand.  I said what I said hoping all readers would have an extra
opinion before embarking upon a greensand quest.  IMHO greensand is like a
rock that looks like it might be OK and then
dissolves and leaches and makes good people question this incredible
avocation and there aquatic quest.


Sharon Frey

To: Aquatic-Plants (E-mail)
Subject: [APD] Greensand causes plants to die?

Almost every plant I put in one of my tanks dies.  I did not use anything to
clean it, the fish are fine, the java fern is fine.

The differences in the 2 tanks are this one has 4, 65watt compact flouro on
it that are about a year old and need replacing (brown algae is coming from
that I would guess) and CO2, though I cannot stand the aqua medic reactor,
will have a new one soon.   Both tanks are 75 gallon, both setup with tap
water and both used gravel from the original tank (bought a used 75 and used
it to help move the fish).  The lights and CO2 were on this tank before the

The biggest difference is the green sand I used under the gravel.  I wanted
something to release a lot of trace over time, since I am very bad about
dosing sometimes, and have not managed to make my own mixes...the trace
especially you will go broke using seachem trace.

Anyways heres the greensand and what its made of.  Theres very little info
on it in the archives that I can find, just people saying they didn't know
what it was.

Greensand is an iron potassium silicate containing 7% potassium (K20), 20%
iron oxide (Fe02), and as many as thirty (30) other elements. Greensand
loosens hard soils, binds sandy soils, regulates moisture, and assists in
the release of other nutrients. This ancient sea shore deposit is valued as
a slow release source of potash and other essential minerals. Greensand can
be mixed with Gaia Green Glacial Rock Dust to produce a broader range of

Good source of potash and trace minerals. Excellent for loosening clay

Elemental Analysis
 <<...OLE_Obj...>> 	 <<...OLE_Obj...>> 	 <<...OLE_Obj...>>
Total Nitrogen As N	00.03%	Antimony as Sb	114ppm
Avail Phos as P205	00.45% 	Total Phos as P20	00.55%
Total Sulfur as S	00.31%	Soluble K20	00.04%
Zinc as Zn	150ppm	Soluble S04S	00.21%
Manganese as Mn	86ppm	Boron as B	21.0ppm
Iron as Fe	11.74%	Copper as Cu	21.0ppm
Magnesium as Mg	1.40%	Calcium as Ca	00.55%
PH 1:10 wate	04.10% 	Total Potassium K20	06.06%
Cadmium as Cz	13ppm 	Organic Matter	07.00%
Water Soluble N	00.02%	Sodium as Na	00.01%
Molybdendum as Mo	21ppm	Aluminum as Al	02.80%
Vanadium as V	123ppm	Nickel as Ni	42.0ppm
Chromium as Cr	381ppm	Lead as Pb	148.0ppm
Strontium as S	21ppm\	Cobalt as Co	21.0ppm
Selenium as Se	218ppm

That table looks awful...goto
I thought it was water hardness killing my plants, but my test kit will not
go as high as my tap water, so I cannot tell. After reading Toms thread from
2001:) about hardness not mattering I am thinking that is less likley.
Any ideas as to why my plants die?  and or any feedback about the greensand.
I used very little of it, mixed with a pile of sand/soil I had sitting in
water for about a year.

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