Re: Soil Nodules

David Webb wrote: 
>in Aquatic Plants Digest      Thursday, 28 March 1996      Volume 01 : Number 

>From: "David W. Webb" <dwebb at ti_com>
>Date: Thu, 28 Mar 1996 11:08:02 -0800
>Subject: Soil nodules
>I've been bouncing the Dupla K concept around in my head for a while, trying 
>figure out how to come up with a way of inserting soil, laterite, etc. into a
>pre-established tank without making a big mess.
>I think I may have a good idea.
>Wet and ball the soil into 1/2" sized balls, apply any liquid fertilizer that
>you want to the ball, and then "bread" them with agar or some other gelatin
>mixture.  It would even be possible to use the gelatin to actually wet the
>ball.  Allow the gelatin to congeal, and shove the ball under the gravel.
>I've read about sprinkling gelatin over ponds to reduce suspended green algae,
>so I'm making an inference that gelatin won't cause a problem in the tank.
>Anyone want to comment?
Oh boy, do I!

As an old film maker, I can assure you that there are few things in this world 
so capable of becoming a putrid mess, under bacterial attack, as gelatin. I 
used to make my own photographic film, and had to carefully refrigerate 
anything not completely dried to avoid this problem.

I have played with the synthetic gels used to retain moisture in potted plants, 
but they don't cooperate, lacking gelatin's nice dissolving properties.

I eventually turned my (art clay) laterite into what potters call "greenware" 
by baking at about 400F. This works great to dramatically slow the dissolution 
into cloudy mud. I rolled long strips and cut them into 1/4" long "Tootsie 
Roll" pieces. Just bake in the oven, on a cookie sheet.

Too easy? Worked for me.



Wright Huntley (408) 248-5905 Santa Clara, CA USA huntley at ix_netcom.com