Recipe for water crystals

pinkfoot

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.

Anyone have a great - cheap - recipe for making water crystals? Far too expensive to import them into South Africa...:rolleyes:
 

pinkfoot

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Thanks, guys - I'll check out the plant stores for the crystals and use these to make the gel. I guess the gel is all non toxic, and fine for insects and spids?

Cheers! :clap:
 

Drachenjager

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Thanks, guys - I'll check out the plant stores for the crystals and use these to make the gel. I guess the gel is all non toxic, and fine for insects and spids?

Cheers! :clap:
its good for watering the roaches and crickets but not for spiders
 

pinkfoot

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Yeah, you're right of course - wrote that post whilst serving a customer in my store! {D

Strangely, the plant store in my shopping centre has never heard of the polymer...welcome to Africa, I guess!! {D

I'll keep trying...
 

Mr. Mordax

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I'm a bioengineering student in a chemical engineering department . . . :8o

Polymers are kinda my "thing."
 

Nikos

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try agar-agar
you can also use fruit juice or whatever to add flavor and nutrition to it too ;)
 

Mr. Mordax

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Agar? I never thought of that. I figured it was too "solid" once set to work very well.

Then again, the only agar I used was for culturing Escherichia coli. :D

This, and the unflavored gelatin should work, but I doubt you can reuse them the way you can reuse the super-absorbent polymers.
 

Nikos

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indeed it gets solid but its easier to works with this way.
I keep it in the fridge and use small portions to feed the roaches and milipedes
 

pinkfoot

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Well, I found a Sodiumpolyacrylamide powder at our largest plant chain, and it certainly is superabsorbent! Two teaspoons created 1kg of gel!

The clusters of gel are much smaller than the gel we can find locally, that is imported from Germany. Any importance, you think?

There is also a local gel available, and I have taken a sample of all three types which I will observe for the next month, seeing which breaks down first, and how long it takes. They're in average conditions, no direct sunlight, and will not be moved. Might be interesting...

What IS interesting is the fact that my U$ 7.50 tub will make at least 20kg at present concentration, compared to U$187.00 from the local supplier of gel and U$ 267.00 for the imported product - for the same quantity... ! :eek:

Even if I double the concentration, I still save 90% for the local product and 96% on the imported line.

This is too cool - must be a catch! We'll know after a month or so when the experiment ends! {D

I'm also trying to find Agar locally - not an easy task. If neither system works, I'll try gelatin, but I know this breaks down more quickly, and I think you can't 'reload' it like you can the Polyacrylamide, or am I mistaken?

BTW - Any reason I can't add fruit juice to the polymer? Would I add it to the water, or replace the water with it?


Thanks for your help, guys! :clap:
 
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simon780

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I have tried making gel water using gellatin, I'd say it works, but it rots very very quickly, and it stinks, it get stuck to the containers, very hard to remove completely when it melts.

I now only do some misting every other day, it works the best with me.
 

Mr. Mordax

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Those polymers are fun, aren't they? :D If you want to add some fruitjuice to the water, that should work, but any electrolytes (such as salt) will reduce the absorbency of the polymer.

*resists giving boring chemical explanation of why* :)
 

Cheshire

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The bug lab at ISU uses a wick system to give their roaches water. They claim they've been doing it for years and their roach colonies are booming.
 

Thoth

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In my old lab, a wick system is what we used to water the blowfly colonies. Basically you get a bottle/jar with a narrow opening, roll a paper towel into a wick thick enough to fit tightly in the opening and long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle and stick out about 0.5 to 1 inch out of the bottle. We usually wrapped a bit of aluminum foil arouond the top of the bottle to secure the the wick.

You could always use the absorbant layer of a disposable baby diaper. It is nothing more that cellulose fiber and polyacrylate polymer. Just add water to saturate and you could just spoon out servings to your bugs.

If try to make your own crystals avoid gelatin, stick with agar agar. Geltain will melt at temperatures lower than agar. And being protein (collagen), it is very sticky and provides excellent substrate for bacteria and fungal growth.
 

Mr. Mordax

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The wick suggestion is actually a good one; I'm surprised I didn't think of it, considering the local bugzoo uses it to keep their hissers hydrated.

But polymers are fun. :)
 

pinkfoot

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In my old lab, a wick system is what we used to water the blowfly colonies. Basically you get a bottle/jar with a narrow opening, roll a paper towel into a wick thick enough to fit tightly in the opening and long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle and stick out about 0.5 to 1 inch out of the bottle. We usually wrapped a bit of aluminum foil arouond the top of the bottle to secure the the wick.
At the risk of people realising how thick I am - All I can see here is a Molotov Cocktail..! :eek: Do you fill the bottle with water and then place the bottle in with the colony? If so, won't many of the roach species be unable to climb to the wet wick?

You could always use the absorbant layer of a disposable baby diaper. It is nothing more that cellulose fiber and polyacrylate polymer. Just add water to saturate and you could just spoon out servings to your bugs.

If try to make your own crystals avoid gelatin, stick with agar agar. Geltain will melt at temperatures lower than agar. And being protein (collagen), it is very sticky and provides excellent substrate for bacteria and fungal growth.
OK Gelatin's off the list. Thanks for the confirmation - I'd read a few posts that suggested whilst gelatin would work, it might be more trouble than worth...No idea what agar agar is, though I'll find out...

It's two days into my experiment, now, and the three jars are still holding their shape well, though the local one and the one I made up are becoming looser, whilst the imported one is still binding well. :)
 
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