[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Newspaper and anaerobic

>From: khoogc at singnet_com.sg (KHOO Guan Chen)
>Subject: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #610
>Karen Randall Wrote
>>I have found that shipping _is_ a problem.  They don't tolerate the wet
>>newspaper treatment well at all.  They are just too fragile.
>Is there something in modern day newspapers eg. ink, solvents and goodness
>knows what else, that is harmful to plants and fishes.
>Richard KHOO Guan Chen

To the best of my knowledge, no.  In times past, there were some toxic
substances in newspapers, especially in color print.  But government regs
made them clean it up -- little kids would chew on the funny pages and get
sick.  Today, all newspaper inks are supposed to be non-toxic, at least to
people.  Many, in fact, are soy-based.  And they don't harm my outdoor
plants any (a layer of newsprint under your mulch really keeps the weeds down.)

Newspapers make excellent mulch in terrestrial gardens, and, for most
people, are the growth medium of choice for vermicomposting.  That is, we
use wet, shredded newsprint as bedding material for earthworms, who eat the
stuff (mixed with vegetative kitchen scraps) and breed like mad. . . .
which leads me to believe that the newsprint is pretty much chemically harmless.


>From: James Garriss <jpg at langley_mitre.org>
>Subject: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #611
>>Tim Mullins <tmullins at telerama_lm.com> from Pittsburgh wrote:
>>pots (rubber maid tray types). I found
>>I had H2S production and anarobic
>>activity in the Initial Sticks pots. 
>Well, I consider myself to be reasonably well-educated, but "anarobic" had
>me lost.  Hey, my dictionary doesn't even have this word.  Tim, would you
>explain H2S production and anarobic activity, please?  TIA,

You should look for anaerobic.  If that's not in your dictionary, try
aerobic; anaerobic is the opposite.  If that's not in there, toss the
dictionary and buy a better one.  8)

Anaerobic means without oxygen; aerobic means with oxygen.  In this case, it
refers to the two general types of bacterial decomposition.  In the presence
of and adequate supply of oxygen, aerobic bacteria heavily outcompete
anaerobic bacteria, and the major by-product of the decomposition of
material is CO2.  Aerobic decompisition doesn't smell bad.  In the absense
of adequate oxygen, such as in a wet, soggy, compost pile that hasn't been
turned, or the bottom of a dense substrate layer in an aquarium, the aerobic
bacteria can't survive, and the anaerobic bacteria take over.  They can live
without oxygen by getting energy from different chemical bonds.  One of
their by-products is H2S, which is very stinky and foul-smelling.

Sometimes, if you have a very rich source of material for decomposition,
you'll get both type of bacteria working together.  The aerobic ones are
using up all the oxygen, but they don't get enough oxygen to decompose
everything because there's so much food, and the anaerobic bacteria go at
it, too.  This happens when, say, you leave a dead fish on your countertop.

                        Edziu (not Tim)