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[APD] Basalt Gravel/Sand

I have a friend that works in a Trap Rock (Basalt) quarry in Haledon, NJ. He gave me some screenings obtained from their crusher. I sieved them through window screen to remove the dust prior to washing. The dust and fines made up almost 50 % of the volume of the screenings. The retained crushed basalt has a flat form rather than a cubic form. I am considering using this as a cover for Red Flourite. The basalt has a black color.

My question is: Does the shape of the particle matter for the substrate in a planted tank? I am concerned the flat shape will affect the plant growth by sealing off the substrate from the water.

I called our state Geological Survey office and spoke to a Geochemist there. He sent me an analysis of the Preakness Basalt found in the Haledon quarry. I just realized I left it at work so I can't post the analysis but I remember it is about 50 % SiO2 with almost 9 % FeO. The analysis covers almost 60 elements.

My second question is: Would the plants be able to extract the trace elements contained in the basalt? Could there be a toxicity issue here as well.?

Jerry Smith Bloomingdale, NJ USA

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