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Andrew H

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  1. Wait did the YouTube link I added show up on your side? I found that out early on and have written about which clay minerals swell the most, i.e., Na-montmorillonite and decided not to recommend that particular mineral. The Na-montmorillonite can also be manipulated with potassium (Ilitization) fairly easily (K hydrated radius < Na strength & hydrated radius) (K adsorption strength > Na adsorption strength) and heated to secure the potassium interlayer slowing down swelling and reduce swelling potential. I am still trying to figure out what clays best fill different needs. I would like to find some good fine ground vermiculite that is not exfoliated. Another question I have is how clay gets from being in the ground to a product like a food grade Ca-montmorillonite. I also want to better understand the base saturation of clay products and if the exchange sites are full in commercial products. The swelling from what I have read is positively correlated to CEC in smectites. What do you think about asbestos in vermiculite and the potential hazard in a aquarium?
  2. That's weird I can see them now. When I first checked them it said they had been removed because the poster didn't have permission to link. I also found this 0:08 / 16:07 Week 8 - Potassium Sources (ENR 5270) that answers my K2O question and how to calculate the potassium content.
  3. Hey studiot thanks for the info. I thought from what I had read that greensand was just a generic name used with commercial glauconite products. The pdf. links were removed before I could access them and I could not find anything on the RSC or RHS sites searching for the term "ideal mineral mix". I would like to know what it was though. I'll give you an idea of what I am doing and why. Maybe you have some input that could guide me on my journey. I am writing about creating do-it-yourself aquatic substrates for plant and/or shrimp keeping aquarists and how they influence the chemistry, ecology, and biology of the aquarium. Building on the concepts that DIana Walstad established 21-years-ago in her book "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium" and are still popular today. This book gave rise to a style of aquarium keeping called "the Walstad Method". A method based on using an organic matter substrate (cheap low quality organic potting soil), relying on fish food to feed the plants using minimal equipment (filters. lighting, and pumps). However, I am focusing a lot more on soil science topics such as chemistry, mineralogy, and nutrient management (the creation process in this case) than she did. I want to guide people in locating and choosing quality composts, how to use minerals in addition to organic matter to better meet immediate plant nutritional needs (this can be vastly different if you use high light intensity and/or inject CO2) that will also last much longer. It may appeal to hobbyists who use high light and CO2 technologies as well as the low tech enthusiasts the Walstad Method usually attracts. Diana had some tribulations (root rot) with using minerals (laterite marketed as aquarium substrate) along with organic matter, assumed it was an iron toxicity issue and didn't pursue minerals any further. Today people still reference her experience when advising others who got the idea I had five years ago to use minerals with organic matter in their DIY substrate who don't understand what happened to her plants and generally say it doesn't work. Back then it wasn't easy to get many different minerals suitable for this application. However, today things are different and the average person can get on the internet and obtain small amounts of rock and primary minerals like apatite (rock phosphate) , glauconite (green sand), potassium feldspars, biotite, olivine, limestone, and basalts that serve both as nutrient sources directly to the plants and resupply ions to the cation exchange sites as the are removed by plants. In addition to primary minerals I want to encourage using secondary minerals like kaolin, illites, and smectites based on meeting different long-term needs and goals. There is no right way to do a DIY substrate but there are definitely wrong ways. There is a very long thread "suitable soils for the Walstad Method" among others, where people are asking many different questions I will address in my writing. Diana also frequents this thread and answers questions that she can. Some people have started to use clay products like kitty litter, Safe T Sorb, and pottery clay along with various low quality potting soils but they are missing big pieces to the puzzle of soil fertility and management. I also plan to incorporate methods for purifying (removing Al on clay exchange sites and possibly in the structure through isomorphic substitution) and modifying clays (purifying, reconstitution of Ca, Mg, and K, and heat treating) and building organo-mineral complexes. I want to help people rethink what is currently understood in this niche and introduce a whole new way of doing things. I am researching and studying how to take the process to a much higher level than it is currently at with applied sciences that I can distill into recipes for those that just want a quality substrate. I also want to teach people how to do the calculations related to these modification processes or help them understand how to use Coulomb's law and the mass action law to purify and manipulate clays. Like I said I am building on an established method allowing a wider range of applications. Through doing research for personal interests I realize if people had an entry-level understanding of soil science they would have a completely different view on designing a DIY substrate. It snowballed from there into needing to understand mineralogy, biology, ecology, and applied chemistry. I have been working on this project for months and had the idea for years. I have a lot to learn and the more I develop the more complex and interdependent all of these subjects become. I am trying to balance what I need to know to be helpful with what people want to learn and in what depth while making it interesting. I have divided my work into five main sections: 1. Introduction to soil science (what is soil, classification, and chemistry), 2. Mineralogy, chemistry, and application of primary and secondary minerals, (why we have some many silicate minerals, rocks and primary minerals of interest, agrogeology, rock and mineral formation, rock and mineral structure, deposits, mining, individual clays and clay products that are available to retail consumers, and aluminum toxicity), 3. Organic matter (decomposition, compost, potting soil, humic substances, organo-mineral complexes, and heavy metals), 4. Biology and ecology (terrestrial vs. aquatic microbes, trophic levels, consortia, succession, and invertebrates). 5. Applied chemistry (purifying/modifying clays and building stable organo-mineral complexes) I hope I didn't bore you to sleep. I have a lot to learn because I am not highly educated in any sciences and what I was taught I don't remember. The writing process has been eventful and intense. One day I'm inventing, researching, and learning another I'm writing, then back to planning, it's been a constant recursive cycle. In addition to the science I need to learn I have had to dive into understanding the writing process and composition. I will probably be on here asking questions for years to come. Hopefully I can find others who would be interested in the project and can help me with the science and guide me in structuring my efforts to learn.
  4. Attached MSDS Descriptions of this product are different from retailer to retailer leading me to believe that individual retailers are creating their own product description rather that using a standard product description from the manufacture. Based on misinformation about solubility of potassium I don't think whoever wrote this is giving a well informed description. For this mineral to contain even 0.5% soluble potassium would be a big stretch and would not be a virtue in my opinion. Here is the description which says it contains 10% potassium: "Our newest greensand. Contains potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, totaling 68 minerals and trace elements, improves chemical, physical and biological conditions of the soil as well as the moisture and nutrient retention capacity of the soil. Greensand also helps to loosen compacted clay soils. This 570 million year old mineral is 100% natural organic Glauconite that comes from Brazil. It is 10% total potassium content that is soluble. Boosts plant nourishment, remineralizes the soil and increases the soil’s capacity to retain water and nutrients. Contains silicon an essential element for plant cells. Granular is SGN 141 - 400. The Verde Agritech company has a unique carbon offset program for this product. Cannabis Growing: 7 reasons you should feed Super Greensand® to your weed: Provides slow-release potassium and 68 different trace minerals to your plants. It also improves drainage and moisture retention of the soil which helps to Provide nutrition for plants and the microbial life in the soil. This product has no salt nor chlorine in it and it is rich in silicon, which improves the natural resistance of plants against pests and diseases." Was I at least in the ball park with my setup to find the K content in KsO assuming i was actually calculating something that existed? Additionally, how close is my attempt at calculating the mass of KCl necessary to get the equivalent number of atoms of K in one pound of K2 O? I am hopeful but not that confident if you know what I mean. If there were online resources I could reference I would use them but I haven't found anything that I can apply to these calculations. It's possible I don't know what to look for as well. Thank you for sticking this out with me. SuperGreensand_MSDS.pdf StringJunky I'm an aquarium guy and I have been under the impression alkalinity is the capacity of water to resist pH change and is not directly coupled with pH. Although, changing the alkalinity is usually accompanied by a slight change in pH depending on what you are using to adjust alkalinity. In addition wouldn't CaCO3 be responsible for raising pH for the most part. In soil science we talk about acidic an basic cations not that they are acids or bases but basic cations neutralize H+ protons thorough ion exchange reactions. In that particular product there are two carbonate compounds both containing basic cations. I believe that these compounds would be responsible for any alkalinity activity. I will look into it more. Thank your for your interest in helping me out. I need all the assistance I can get.
  5. I also am trying to figure out how many pounds of KCl I could need to get 1.25767 x 1029 atoms of potassium. I have sat here for 30 minutes thinking and I'm not coming up with numbers that makes sense. I first tried to find the number of atoms in 1lb. of KCl: [(grams in one pound)/(molar mass of KCl)] (6.02214 x1023) (atomic mass of Cl/molar mass KCl) = 1.742443813x1024 atoms of K in 1lb. KCl. Then I set up an equation to find how many pounds of KCl I need to get 1.25767 x 1029 atoms of potassium: (atoms of K in 1lb. of KCl)(X lbs.) = (atoms of K 1lb. of K2O) (1.742443813x1024 )(X lbs.) = (1.25767 x 1029 ) X = 72178.64459 This can't be correct. Thank you
  6. I'm back with another question. I looked and the MSDS for the product I plan to use again and noticed that potassium is listed as K2O. When I first read it and saw that it contained 10% K2O I just thought potassium. I didn't take the formula into consideration. This would change the amount of potassium atoms in a pound of material calculated by studiot, correct? So I could [(molar mass of K)(2)/(atomic mass of Oxygen)] ( molar mass of K2O) (6.02214 x1023) (453.592 grams) = 1.25767 x 1029, atoms of K in 1lb. of K2O? Before I did the math I thought I would have less potassium but I actually should have more. Same mass of glauconite double the atoms of potassium makes sense to me. I hope my calculation is correct. However, I'm not sure they actually measured or tested for K2O because no other other elements on the chemical composition report are given as oxides and I know there are iron oxides present in this mineral. Although, iron is what the report shows. I'm have no logical explanation other than that. Maybe the answer is buried in the depths of chemistry I am still learning. I have seen this with several mineral and rock fertilizer chemical composition reports, like limestone and dolomite. For example one lists Ca 38.4%, Mg 1.3%, CaO 48.7%, MgO 4%, CaCO3 87% and MgCO3 8.5%. Which I still need to learn why these are given and do not total 100%. I also don't understand why they given Ca and CaO content. It's limestone made of CaCO3 almost completely. Ca doesn't exist in this mineral without being bonded to something. I appreciate any input. Thank you
  7. Dear Strange, I completely understand. I would much rather have someone teach me how to problem solve so I can figure things out on my own.I have problem of getting excited by the idea of some of the advanced concepts I have a hard time sitting though months of review step by step like I should or I would have remembered Avogadro's number. You really can't do much in chemistry if you don't have a firm grasp on the basics, the math isn't hard it's learning to think like a chemistry that's challenging. In closing, I really appreciate a place like this to come and ask for help, get help, and a little wisdom on the side. Thank you
  8. Yea not home work I am learning independently. That makes total sense. Thanks for working it out so I could see it. I need practice. Thank you again.
  9. Hello, thank you for your interest in helping. 1. How would I determine the quantity of KS04 to add to 5 pounds of clay with a CEC of 100 meq./100g in order to provided double the potassium ions in solution as there exchanges sites. I want to saturate a clay sample with potassium? Are there any tricks to getting ions moving other than adding more ions or creating movement in the water like using specific salts of potassium or maybe a third wheel ion like Na that would add to the pressure I am trying to push out the exchangeable aluminum from the clay before I use them in an aquarium soil where it could cause problems for a long time. 2. How do I use the ion exchange reaction models like the Beckett - Q/I Relationships to predict K, Ca, and Mg ions interactions in solution? I have some basic chemistry knowledge but skipping from what I am familiar with and remember from ten years ago to what some of those models are designed to do is a massive leap for me. I understand the concepts of thermodynamics and equilibrium but I am not up to speed with the nomenclature and I thought I would ask here to see if anyone can help me learn to use these ion exchange models by myself. I appreciate your time. Thank You
  10. I know this is simple but I would like to make sure I've used the right procedure to determine number of ions by knowing the total weight of mineral and % of an element of interest. I want to find number of atoms in one pound of pure potassium. So I took the molecular weight of potassium 38.963706 g/mol x 10+15 lb.-mol = 0 .003963706 kg/mol x 10+15 lb.-mol = 38,963,706,000,000 atoms in one pound of potassium. Thank you for your time!
  11. I have few more questions and one is about Dolomite. How does CaMg(CO3)2 disassociate and behave in slightly acidic water? I know from gardening that limestone powder raises pH faster that dolomite powder especially when watered into the acidic soil. Does means that Ca CO3 reacts faster with acids in solution than MgCO3? If reaction time with acids is significantly faster in CaCO3 this could be a useful tool to help maintain elevated CO2 levels. Because magnesium is bonded to the carbonate ion stronger than calcium is I think predicting how carbonate rocks with different Ca:Mg ratios will act over time can be done. Thank you for your time.
  12. I am trying to engineer an aquarium system that will maintain CO2 levels much higher than what is present if the atmosphere. I have many ideas to create these conditions. However, the avenue of producing CO2 through a chemical reaction is one that is giving me most trouble. I know how it works and understand the equations. Although I don't know how to quantify the CO2 release for this reaction do you quantify the about of CO2 being released in these two First of all I would like to learn reaction produced more CO2. I am asking this because I read some where that MgCO3 produced a lot more CO2 than CaCO3 does under the same conditions but it didn't explain why. I hadn't though about this much before but the amount CO2 produced by MgCO3 was so much greater it really had me wondering if it was true. If someone knows the answer and is willing to explain it to me I would appreciate it. CaCO3 + HCL > CaCl2 + CO2 + H20 or MgCO3 + HCL > MgCL2 + CO2 + H2O
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