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Are Water Storing Crystals Toxic ?

Discussion in 'Composting & Soil Building' started by Nyboy, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. Jun 12, 2017
    seedcorn

    seedcorn Garden Master

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    I told u I was a lousy with aquariums... sorry about the fish.
     
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  2. Jun 12, 2017
    dickiebird

    dickiebird Garden Addicted

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    Everything I've read about those crystals says they are NOT toxic, I sure hope that's correct as I have used gallons of those things, and still have a 5 gallon bucket foll of them.

    THANX RICH
     
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  3. Jun 12, 2017
    LocoYokel

    LocoYokel Deeply Rooted

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    I don't know if this helps any but I found it very informative when I was trying to decide on using the crystals in my patio containers...
    https://cals.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/hort/byg/archive/hydrogels.html

    This was the part that caught my attention in your case:
    "Aside from these variable results, some most gardeners are concerned with the safety of PAM hydrogels. As the name suggests, polyacrylamides consist of many linked acrylamide subunits. Acrylamide is a known neurotoxin in humans and is suspected to be carcinogenic as well. During the manufacture of PAM gels, residual acrylamide is present as a contaminant and strictly regulated in the United States to levels no more than 0.05% or 500 ppm for agricultural use. However, an international study recommended that polyacrylamide gels used in cosmetics contain a residual monomer level of only 0.1 to 0.5 ppm. Therefore, the PAM hydrogels manufactured for agricultural and garden use can contain much greater concentrations of (1,000 to 5,000 times) toxic acrylamide than that found in personal products causing concern among some users."

    To me that sounds very dangerous to add to an enclosed system such as a pond. You can be sure it is was not cosmetic grade and when completely submerged and fully expanded it released a large amount of toxins.
    The water having a brown tint could be an indicator but seems more like a 'Hey, new dirt!" thing. Next time you pot up a pond plant let it rest in a bucket/tub for a week or so. Change out the water every day... aka: soak, rinse, repeat, that drill! Use water from your pond to do this. Commercial dirt that is not specifically made for ponds/aquatics can contain a lot of things that may not show on home tests. You can also drop a 'feeder' goldfish into the temp tank (bucket) a day or so before you place your plant. If it lives in tight quarters for 24 hours your plant should be safe to add to your pond. PLUS... another fish!
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
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  4. Jun 12, 2017
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    @LocoYokel Thank you for that link was a eye opener. I do think the crystals have a place, only way i can keep my window boxes alive. I would not use them on food plants.
     
  5. Jun 12, 2017
    lcertuche

    lcertuche Deeply Rooted

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    That's scary. Is this the same thing they put in disposable diapers that babies wear?
     
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  6. Jun 12, 2017
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    I believe so, I remember someone saying to line hanging basket with diaper.
     
  7. Jun 12, 2017
    LocoYokel

    LocoYokel Deeply Rooted

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    I am pretty sure it is, at least that is where I get my crystals from. As long as you don't ingest them (the crystal) they should be safe for plants. My biggest worry was that they would absorb the plant food and not release it to the plant.
    I tried lining my baskets with a diaper last year, they did not want to release the water back into the soil. This year I tore the diaper liner out, soaked it up and then mixed it into my potting soil. I went with a 1:6 ratio for my pots.
     
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  8. Jun 12, 2017
    lcertuche

    lcertuche Deeply Rooted

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    I've been thinking about doing this too since I always have plenty of diapers around because of my grandson. Now I'm worried about him wearing diapers.
     
  9. Jun 12, 2017
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    I think it safe as long as he doesn't swallow any
     
  10. Jun 12, 2017
    lcertuche

    lcertuche Deeply Rooted

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    You never know about those mean (I mean sweet) little boys...:weee
     

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