Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Horticultural Pumice or Lava Rock as bottom layer...

  1. #1
    ECAS member

    sunsanvil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Fredericton, NB
    Posts
    79

    Horticultural Pumice or Lava Rock as bottom layer...

    Last year I was reading up on the classic ADA setup and became curious about "Power Sand" (which is pea sized and thus definitely not sand..but anyway). There are tones of debates about the benefits of the product in terms of nutrients, but what peaked my interest, and does seem quite sound, is the notion that by having a bottom layer made up of a larger, porous material we ensure adequate air pockets for the good bacteria etc to live and help avoid the whole anaerobic thang.

    So that got me wondering about possible substitutes. Horticultural Pumice has been mentioned, though its somewhat "soft" and may crush over time. Another is Lava Rock (suitably fracture to size). Haven t been able to find anything local though. The people at Scott's Nursery kind of looked at me sideways when I inquired about it last fall. :)

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator

    DevonC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Moncton
    Posts
    3,687
    I've used crushed up lava stone as bio media in sumps in the past , works very well but is mush more difficult to clean hen the alternatives because it's rough texture .What your describing sounds like a merger of 2 separate ideas that don't work together the way it's described .

    These porous materials used alone as the substrate would eliminate any risk anaerobic pockets because they would not compact and allow plenty of oxygen into the substrate. However used as a bottom layer & capped with finer substrate you'll get the opposite effect as these pockets will quickly turn anaerobic.

    If your going to use it alone to avoid anerobic pockets I would not recommend lava stone because it's too sharp . The expanded clay pellets used in hydroponics or calcined clay material like "turface" would be better options.

    Used as the bottom layer in a Deep sand bed type you would create a more complete biological cycle which in turn can benefit plant growth, but there are much better ways of doing this if that is the end goal. I'd also recommending some research into DSB's in fresh water setups before venturing down this path because to get the benefits from it you really have to set it up properly and it does create a large anerobic layer so done incorrectly it's probably going to do more harm then good.

    As for places of purchase I got my lava rock at Kent , I got a bag of turface (might have been a different brand I can't remember now) at Kent as well . hydroponics shops will have the expanded clay pellets and possibly some other options like the Horticultural Pumice as well..
    Hope that helps!
    My Aquariums *Updated Feb. 2016
    180g- Scleropages aureus
    100g- 4x Channa Pleurophthalma , 1x Erpetoichthys Calabaricus, 2x Synodontis Eupterus, Polypterus ssp.'s Lapradei, Delhezi,Ornatipinnis ,Endlicheri & Angsorii x2
    160g- Carettochelys Insculpta
    100g- Pair Channa Aurantimaculata,
    80g 1x Channa Aurantimaculata (for sale...inquire)
    70g- Solo Channa Asiatica,
    30g- 1x Channa Gachua (for sale ... Inquire)
    35g- 3x Channa Gachua,
    35g- Pair of Channa Bleheri
    25g- 3x Channa Bleheri

  3. #3
    ECAS member

    sunsanvil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Fredericton, NB
    Posts
    79
    Thanks for the great information.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DevonC Click here to enlarge
    However used as a bottom layer & capped with finer substrate you'll get the opposite effect as these pockets will quickly turn anaerobic.
    Humm...yet that is pretty much exactly the practice which ADA espouses, and I believe a lot of fans are doing. Are they all anaerobic ticking time bombs or is there something I'm missing here?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator

    DevonC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Moncton
    Posts
    3,687
    If done correctly the anerobic layer is bennificial .
    My Aquariums *Updated Feb. 2016
    180g- Scleropages aureus
    100g- 4x Channa Pleurophthalma , 1x Erpetoichthys Calabaricus, 2x Synodontis Eupterus, Polypterus ssp.'s Lapradei, Delhezi,Ornatipinnis ,Endlicheri & Angsorii x2
    160g- Carettochelys Insculpta
    100g- Pair Channa Aurantimaculata,
    80g 1x Channa Aurantimaculata (for sale...inquire)
    70g- Solo Channa Asiatica,
    30g- 1x Channa Gachua (for sale ... Inquire)
    35g- 3x Channa Gachua,
    35g- Pair of Channa Bleheri
    25g- 3x Channa Bleheri

  5. #5
    Super Moderator

    DevonC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Moncton
    Posts
    3,687
    Anything clay based also will have the added benifit of absorbing and holding nutrients for plants to use ,it's quite common to see people recommending a thin clay base in a dirt substrate or walstad type setup. I'm sure a clay layer below a sand or other planted tank substrate would act similarly and would hold nutrients for plants to use.

    Any links to the references your talking about?? Now I'm curious lol
    My Aquariums *Updated Feb. 2016
    180g- Scleropages aureus
    100g- 4x Channa Pleurophthalma , 1x Erpetoichthys Calabaricus, 2x Synodontis Eupterus, Polypterus ssp.'s Lapradei, Delhezi,Ornatipinnis ,Endlicheri & Angsorii x2
    160g- Carettochelys Insculpta
    100g- Pair Channa Aurantimaculata,
    80g 1x Channa Aurantimaculata (for sale...inquire)
    70g- Solo Channa Asiatica,
    30g- 1x Channa Gachua (for sale ... Inquire)
    35g- 3x Channa Gachua,
    35g- Pair of Channa Bleheri
    25g- 3x Channa Bleheri

  6. #6
    ECAS member

    sunsanvil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Fredericton, NB
    Posts
    79
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DevonC Click here to enlarge
    If done correctly the anerobic layer is bennificial .
    I'm thoroughly confused. Anaerobic is.....bad....isn't it? :)

    Any links to the references your talking about?? Now I'm curious lol
    Any of ADA's literature really, and a host of forum topics (give me a sec I'll find some choice ones). Once you get beyond the hype about the inclusion of beneficial bacteria etc, it comes down to the porous volcanic rock (as they call it) ensuring "adequate flow" of water (and by proxy oxygen) due to the larger size of the product (compared to their aqua-soil or most other typical substrates).

  7. #7
    Super Moderator

    DevonC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Moncton
    Posts
    3,687
    No anerobic is not necessarily bad, It can be used as a beneficial part of a biological cycle if the tanks set up the right way .

    Here is a decent link on using a DSB and how anaerobic layers can be beneficial. Just found it with a quick google search and gave it a quick skim read , but it seems to cover the basics and has a nice diagram which always helps lol. I'm not sure if this is the process that they are referencing in the ADA material your taking about but it is an interesting topic !

    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume...e_7_1/dsb.html
    My Aquariums *Updated Feb. 2016
    180g- Scleropages aureus
    100g- 4x Channa Pleurophthalma , 1x Erpetoichthys Calabaricus, 2x Synodontis Eupterus, Polypterus ssp.'s Lapradei, Delhezi,Ornatipinnis ,Endlicheri & Angsorii x2
    160g- Carettochelys Insculpta
    100g- Pair Channa Aurantimaculata,
    80g 1x Channa Aurantimaculata (for sale...inquire)
    70g- Solo Channa Asiatica,
    30g- 1x Channa Gachua (for sale ... Inquire)
    35g- 3x Channa Gachua,
    35g- Pair of Channa Bleheri
    25g- 3x Channa Bleheri

  8. #8
    ECAS member

    JustMeMikey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Shubenacadie
    Posts
    56
    I have been doing dirt tanks since the early 1990's and I always add a layer of lava rocks down first, the lava rocks you buy for a BBQ. I smash them up with a sledge hammer to marble size pieces and spread them in the tank and then I add organic soil! I use to just use soil I dug in my yard and then after soaking it I would spread the soil on a tarp and let sun dry for a week to mineralized it! I would then take a fine strainer to remove any organic material! Now I just buy the soil and since I always do the dry start for 4 weeks prior to filling tank it naturally mineralized on it own!

    So I layer it like this first lava rocks then soil then paper towel and then quik cement sand that is rinsed and then my substrate, use to be just gravel now I do a mixture of gravel and aqua soil in the planted sections and either white or natural sand in the open areas! Pool filter sand is the best!

  9. #9
    ECAS member

    sunsanvil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Fredericton, NB
    Posts
    79
    Killer article! Thank you for that find. It intelligently counters a lot of conventional wisdom about using sand.

    I wonder if the worm component is absolutely essential though as I have no idea where on earth, let alone in the maritime, I could find a purveyor of live ones who I'd trust. :)

  10. #10
    Super Moderator

    DevonC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Moncton
    Posts
    3,687
    I don't think worms are essential but certainly an added benifit,

    As for Black worms, I know I've seen threads on this site where a few people have ordered them in the past . I Can't remember details on it though, maybe someone will chime in or perhaps a search of the forum might help narrow it down lol. If you find a good source please share is gladly introduce then to my tanks as well!

    Trumpet snails are another excelent substrate turner .
    My Aquariums *Updated Feb. 2016
    180g- Scleropages aureus
    100g- 4x Channa Pleurophthalma , 1x Erpetoichthys Calabaricus, 2x Synodontis Eupterus, Polypterus ssp.'s Lapradei, Delhezi,Ornatipinnis ,Endlicheri & Angsorii x2
    160g- Carettochelys Insculpta
    100g- Pair Channa Aurantimaculata,
    80g 1x Channa Aurantimaculata (for sale...inquire)
    70g- Solo Channa Asiatica,
    30g- 1x Channa Gachua (for sale ... Inquire)
    35g- 3x Channa Gachua,
    35g- Pair of Channa Bleheri
    25g- 3x Channa Bleheri

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •