Akadama - A cheap substrate

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
7,542
Location
Netherlands
double check it wasn't one of the 'mushy' varieties

Akadama is a natural product, surface mined. baged and shipped.. There are mainly 2 varieties, soft and hard, soft comes from top layer, hard from the deeper layers, the deeper they dig the harder it gets. Probalbly the batches rated super hard you now and then find in the trade. But still hardness is very relative and hard to say how hard hard realy is, obviously. But your best chances not getting a mushy variety you beter go for a hard version.. I've been using it for several years now, 2 tanks are over 2 years old and still i have little to complain about, sure it gets softer over time, i guess all clay finaly does if not baked into ceramics.. :) The more you poke around in it the mushier it will get.. My 50 cents, are you the constant rescaping type, not sure if Akadama is the best choice... For long term low tech setups it is ideal and very consistent soil.. :thumbup:
 

Stryda

New Member
Joined
25 Apr 2012
Messages
24
With this scape its hopefully going to be a setup and leave well alone, so should be fine for my use. Guess Ill take a stab at it and see what happens! Thanks
 

JMorgan

Member
Joined
18 Oct 2015
Messages
108
Location
North Yorks UK
Akadama is a natural product, surface mined. baged and shipped.. There are mainly 2 varieties, soft and hard, soft comes from top layer, hard from the deeper layers, the deeper they dig the harder it gets. Probalbly the batches rated super hard you now and then find in the trade. But still hardness is very relative and hard to say how hard hard realy is, obviously. But your best chances not getting a mushy variety you beter go for a hard version.. I've been using it for several years now, 2 tanks are over 2 years old and still i have little to complain about, sure it gets softer over time, i guess all clay finaly does if not baked into ceramics.. :) The more you poke around in it the mushier it will get.. My 50 cents, are you the constant rescaping type, not sure if Akadama is the best choice... For long term low tech setups it is ideal and very consistent soil.. :thumbup:

Hi Marcel - you seem to have a lot of experience using akadama in the same low tech set up I have now so I'm aiming this at you, (but of course I'd value input from anyone with direct experience) - have you any experience of using akadama with an under gravel filter?

I've had this 200L tank with akadama for over a year and I'm quite happy with it except I'm considering swapping the current Fluval 406 (which I need for a 330 L tank) for a UGF because I'm running a reasonably powerful air pump in my fish room already, so I might as well make use of it if possible.

I'm wondering though whether the fine particulates in Akadama would interfere with/ clog up a UGF pretty quickly? Really the question is whether I can use the existing akadama substrate + its existing bacterial/archaea colonies or if I'm going to have to start from scratch to set up the UGF, relying as it does on substrate based colonies? The tank is very heavily planted so I'm not that bothered either way . . . I'll be mixing a lot of the existing biological filter material with whatever substrate I end up using.

cheers
 

JMorgan

Member
Joined
18 Oct 2015
Messages
108
Location
North Yorks UK
Why a UGF?
Because my fish room's costing quite a lot in electricity and I'm already running a 20W air pump on a closed loop which supplies air to all the other tanks. If I can get to a point where one 20W air pump is doing all my filtration I'll save quite a bit - over the course of a year since its all running 24/7 obviously. By my calculations anything running at 20W 24/7 costs roughly £25 a year . . . that used to be one per tank so 8 x 25 or £200 just on filtration before adding in lights. With my (relatively new) air pump all my tanks now cost £25 per year to filter :) That allows me to reasonably consider installing more tanks . . . most will probably be either just standalone sponge filters or HMF's, but since UGF's also run on air I'm playing with those too.

So far I'm very pleased and so are my crypts :)
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
7,542
Location
Netherlands
have you any experience of using akadama with an under gravel filter?

Hi J
No, i never used UGF in any way. I don't like the idea of using it same as UG heating.. I like my stuff accesible if it comes to that. So i actualy never even gave it a thought and never realy closely looked at any under gravel filter concept. I only know they are air driven and that's where stoped reading about it any further, i realy dislike the sound of humming airpumps, rather use a venturi if i ever need air bubbles and actualy don't like that sound either. :)

So i have no idea how Akadama performs and holds in these conditions.
 

JMorgan

Member
Joined
18 Oct 2015
Messages
108
Location
North Yorks UK
Thanks Marcel - appreciate your point of view.
 

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
11,267
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
for a UGF because I'm running a reasonably powerful air pump in my fish room already, so I might as well make use of it if possible.
That allows me to reasonably consider installing more tanks . . . most will probably be either just standalone sponge filters or HMF's,
I agree with the others, air is fine but I would definitely use the HMF (or a sponge block) and <"jetlifter combo">, rather than a UGF.

cheers Darrel
 
Joined
10 Mar 2018
Messages
464
Location
Aylesbury
Does anyone have a link to the original research paper by Tom Barr? Has anyone repeated the experiment adding EI ferts to the test?
 

Similar threads

Top