Akadama - A cheap substrate

Ejack

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Thanks for this great post James,

I'm just abut to rescapre my whole tank and I'm going with Akadama, along with the Miracle Gro Osmocoat you have recommended and Sphagnum peat moss.

I have one question that I was wondering if someone could help out with, It is worth sprinkling some of my old substrate on top of the sphagnum peat moss before adding the Akadam? Am I right to pressume that the old substrate will have good bacteria in it which can help kick start the bacteria process?
 

a1Matt

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FishBeast said:
A few years ago I stumbled upon a substance in a spray bottle which is used in hot climates by spraying onto the leaves of garden plants in order to reduce transpiration in order to make the plant use less water. The idea being so that you can go on holidays and not have to worry about your plants dying. It says that it coats the leaves in silicon and that it will last up to 6 months.

So I am wondering what you guys would think about spraying this onto osmocote in order to slow the release process down for longer than say 6 months?

The best equivilent I found would be this:
http://www.yates.com.au/products/saving ... dy-to-use/

I have no idea if that is a good thing to do or not, but I see where you are coming from.
Another alternative is to add more osmocoat every few months.
You can make ice cubes with osmocoat in them, then bury them in the substrate and let them defrost there.
 

Garuf

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Does anyone know if Hortag has been used? It's sold as a substrate for orchids by the litre, claims to be made in almost the same way as aquasoil etc ei, baked clay and organics. It seems very cheap too, has anyone experience?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Garuf it will probably be OK, try contacting "Lytag", they make it <http://www.lytag.net/applications/greenroofs.aspx>. "Lytag" is calcined pulverised fly ash, but Hortag looks more like a calcined clay. You can use any calcined clay, its CEC will depend on the original clay used, and the temperature it was calcined at. As a general rule the higher the temperature the more physically stable it is, but as it becomes more stable it loses its CEC.

From what I remember I think that the smaller grade Hortag will sink immediately, but the larger grade may float.

I've not used Hortag, but I've used Hydroleca as a biological media for trickle filters, and it is really excellent for this. However you can't use Hydroleca as a substrate, because it floats. European aquarists use Hydroleca/Hydroton/Hortag in filters, and Vivarium keepers use it a lot as a media for frogs etc. I think Hortag is calcined at a lower temperature than Hydroleca so it should all eventually sink and will have a higher CEC. Hortag is a UK trade name.

cheers Darrel
 

Westyggx

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Hi All,

If anyone from Manchester is looking for some of this i found a person selling it in Bolton for £11 a bag (14ltr) send me a pm if you want his number.

Cheers
 

silverteen

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i was hoping someone could recommend a compost or peat i could use that is aquarium safe that i want to use as a path throuhg a forest in an aquascape, so i brown colour desired?
 

madlan

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Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Hi all,

I'm thinking of using Akadama on my new setup - a Fluval Profile 1200 (323 litres)

Width of tank (cm) x length of tank (cm) x thickness of substrate required (cm) / 1000 ( 120W x 47D x 65H)
The above gives me 56.4 Litres for 10cm thick substrate, the tank is deep so this should scale ok visually)

Has anyone found a local supplier of Akadama in Hertfordshire? (I’m going to need 4 bags so postage could be a problem)
How much Sphagnum moss peat will I need? Is 900g enough?
Also, how much Osmocote do I use?

Thanks
Alan
 

madlan

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I just picked up some Akadama from Little Woods Bonsai in Enfield, he said the same - company has gone under and production has stopped so I think it's true.
 

jamie_99

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Just got some akadama from ebay. Christ, is this stuff dirty? Washed it out atleast 5 or 6 times, and it's still a bit cloudy. Doesn't seem to be very hard, which is a bit worrying, can squash it between your fingers. Will see how it goes..
 

ceg4048

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Umm...I think it's important for people to realize that Akadama is dirty because it is dirt. It is not "produced" at all but is simply dug out of the ground in someone's backyard in Japan. The word akadama is Japanese for "red ball soil", so it's just dug up and sifted to get various size balls. It's actually a type of pumice formed by volcanic activity. It's probably not a good idea to wash this very much.

it's entirely possible that it's the company that has the contract to import the sediment that went out of business, perhaps a dispute with the suppliers in Japan over pricing. It might also be possible that the Japanese decide that the natural resource is running out and that they should stop or slow the mining of it, kind of like the situation with peat bogs.

If your bonsai shop has none left then any calcined clay or pumice product will work just as well as Akadama. The point JamesC was making in his post is that any simple, unassuming clay or pumice product, fortified with readily available fertilizer can do just as good a job of growing plants as the more elaborate and hideously expensive commercial products.

Cheers,
 

flygja

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If you have the English version of Amano's latest photobook, Glass no Naka no Daishizen, Amano himself has used Akadama in the past before creating his own range of Aquasoils :thumbup:
 

ceg4048

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Yep, this is just a calcined clay. It's just as good - as long as it doesn't float.

Cheers,
 

greenjar

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SuperColey1 said:
Is this stuff akadama or a suitable alternative?

http://www.3ch.co.uk/growing-media/othe ... d_368.html

AC

Are you planning on getting any of this? Looks rather interesting?

Perhaps someone has tried this already. If you do purchase some or anybody else has tried this please let us know how you get on. Does it float? could it be crushed down a little? just comments on general performance would be welcome :)
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
There are 2 grades of these sorts of calcined clay material. This one looks like "Hydroleca", which is great for "wet and dry" filters, but floats. You can get a slightly denser grade of "Hydroton" that definitely sinks, but I don't know of a source for it in the UK. Seramis <http://www.seramisuk.co.uk/products.html> is another possibility, it is calcined montmorillonite, and definitely sinks, it is very similar in colour to the Moler clay based cat litter media.

cheers Darrel
 

GreenNeedle

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Its just that there are no bonsai shops in Lincoln but there are 3 'hydroponics' shops.

I may buy a small amount to see what happens. Would be soaking for a month first anyway.

AC
 

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