View Full Version : Growing Crystals

28-12-2004, 14:06

I would advice it to anyone who either has alot of spare time (that would be me) Or has a great fasination with crystals

28-12-2004, 14:07
Grow Alum Crystals

You will need:
One ounce of alum (you can buy alum in the grocery store in the spice section. It is used for making pickles crispy. An ounce is about 2 1/2 tablespoons, but you won't need all of it, just what will dissolve in the solution)
1/2 cup hot water from the faucet, not boiling water
sewing thread or nylon thread (cotton is easier to tie, but will grow crystals along its length, nylon won't)
2 clean jars or cups
a spoon for stirring
a popcicle stick, flat plastic knife, or pencil to suspend your crystal
coffee filter to act as a dust cover

Step 1.
Add the alum slowly to the cup of hot water. Stir in all the alum that the water will dissolve, not the whole ounce. Cover loosely with the coffee filter to keep out dust. Let the cup sit overnight.

Step 2.
On the next day, pour the alum water into the other empty cup. A few chunks or crystals of solid alum will have formed in the bottom of the jar. These pieces will be your "seeds" to start the new crystal. Tie a piece of thread around the largest, best formed crystal, and then tie the other end of the thread to the middle of the stick. A slip knot works well, and tying the knot on the crystal is the hardest part of this whole procedure. Suspend the seed in the alum water, with the stick resting across the jar of solution. The seed should dangle in the alum water. Cover loosely with the coffee filter.

Step 3.
Look at your experiment a couple of times a day. What is happening? If crystals start forming in the bottom of your jar of solution, remove your stick and carefully pour or spoon the alum water into another clean jar, being very careful not to let the crystals on the bottom get into your other jar. They will also act as seeds, and will keep your big crystal from growing.

01-01-2005, 00:07
This thread prompted me to do a google on Crytal Growing... wonder why I never did that before... a little bit of nostalgia for me in this case.

Spirit thank you for those instructions I never knew that was how it really was done.

When I was a kid I used to send for those Magic Rocks, crystal growing kits from comic book adds..anyone remember those? That and SeaMonkeys, drove my mother crazy with them. My kids too ( I drove them crazy with them...lol)
I haven't thought of those in years.

01-01-2005, 04:28
Hi Spirit and Majecot,

I remember growing crystals at school - if I can remember that far back they were blue and suspended by a thread too. There was a number of us growing them in the biology lab and we used to check them after school before going home.

Well one night I checked mine and forgot to put it back in the cupboard, later that night at home I remembered it. Next morning I found my pride and joy had been thrown out with the trash by a cleaner. The end of my crystal growing lol.

Also SeaMonkeys - big disappointment when I found out they were more like the waterfleas I fed my goldfish but stained pink by the food. lol

01-01-2005, 04:58
Also SeaMonkeys - big disappointment when I found out they were more like the waterfleas I fed my goldfish but stained pink by the food. lol

Hahaha... Yes they must be cultivated with a great deal of imagination ;)

02-01-2005, 08:34
I got my kids sea monkeys for christmas one year and they managed to live a few weeks.But thanks for the memory.Happy new year!!!!

02-01-2005, 10:37
My mom once grew what she called a "magic garden" on a plate. It was fascinating, though it must have reeked a bit of ammonia (I don't actually remember), and should be attempted with caution around children too small to understand they shouldn't touch the toxic ingredients. I just found a recipe online:


It's quite beautiful once the crystals begin to form. I seem to recall it changed a lot from day to day, but I was only six or seven, so I don't remember it all that well.