Akadama - A cheap substrate

JamesC

Member
Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
1,276
Location
Bexley, Kent
The sphagnum moss peat isn't added to provide nutrients but to provide ideal conditions for bacteria and nutrient uptake by the roots. You could use any peat if you wanted.

James
 

MikeC

Member
Joined
28 Jan 2009
Messages
37
Location
Sittingbourne, Kent
I looking at trying either tropica or jbl aquabasis substrate under akadama, my question is would the Shohin Double Red Line Hard Quality be better for plants like hc.
 

Antoni

Member
Joined
25 Jan 2009
Messages
816
Location
Pompey
I have been reading a lot last few days and I still can't figure out, what is the best base mix for Akadama:
If we are looking at the AS and PS combination it is well known that AS is similar to Akadama, with one major advantige the advantige of the AS - it is nutrient rich.
About the PS - some claim it is needed addition to AS, other seems to does not see any advantages of using it with nutrient rich top layer as AS.
The assumption for the contents of PS is: lava(porous material), peat and some slow released NPK+micros )

So logically I was thinking what would be the best bottom layer for the Akadama? Maybe something analogues to PS?
As James has told it is necessary to add some peat and osmocote or its alternative. So my question is, do we need to add some lava or pumice as well, to give the bacteria cosy home? Or it is useless, because it is going to clog after some time?
I have been reading carefully the recommendations of Dupla for setting a tank and the interesting thing is the close visual relation of their substrate. As it is nutrient pour they add laterite to the bottom layer + some ferts with Macro and micro elements. :?:

Regards
 

Themuleous

Member
Joined
6 Jul 2007
Messages
4,124
Location
Aston, Oxfordshire
Antoni Dimitrov said:
I have been reading a lot last few days and I still can't figure out, what is the best base mix for Akadama:
I've been using 100% akadama with great results, so you dont have to have anything under it. It also depends on what scape you are going to have as very deep areas probably won't be reached by many plants, and what plants you intend to use, things like glosso and HC have very shallow roots so wont get to much deeper than and inch or two. If it were me and I def wanted/needed something underneath I'd get a cheaper substrate like tropica which is designed to be a base layer. That said a shallow layer or AS wouldn't cost the earth on most tanks, but you would have the initial NH3 spike to deal with.

aaronnorth said:
How is this stuff for sloping? I know aquasoil is very good as it stays in shape pretty well.
I've managed to get fairly steep slopes from it. Say perhaps 30 degrees or so.

Sam
 

JamesC

Member
Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
1,276
Location
Bexley, Kent
You could use those but would have to break them up first as them come stuck together. I just popped into B&Q and brought the Miracle Grow version which is pretty much the same thing.

James
 

joanne

Member
Joined
31 Jan 2008
Messages
46
Location
Nottingham
Thanks will nip to B&Q only down the road from me and like you say will use the rest in the garden.

Do you just add a little bit to the tank?
 

JamesC

Member
Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
1,276
Location
Bexley, Kent
Didn't actually use it in my current setup as I only learnt about it after I set it up. I have used these - http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/miraclegro-controlled-release-plant-food-tablets-33-x-5g-tablet-p-1620 - like root tabs around my crypts and echinodorus. They grow very healthy but can't say for sure that it's because of the tabs, but as they are fairly cheap I just add them anyway.

As for how much to add, I'd say a good sprinkling if that makes any sense. As long as you don't put loads in I can't really see it making a great difference. Put them in the bottom with the peat as any nutrient will drift up slowly. They do contain some ammonium but the Akadama will lock this up making it available for the plants later.

James
 

JamesM

Member
Joined
17 Apr 2008
Messages
1,913
Location
The BIG End, South Wales
I'm reading Amano's NA book 1 atm, and one interesting fact is Takashi Amano has used Akadama as a substrate since the 70's, way before he realised plants needed co2 instead of o2 (after an experiment with soda water whilst drunk :lol: ).

I wish I could source it locally though, as I'd love to try it in my big tank at some point.
 

MasterMoriarty

New Member
Joined
16 Jun 2009
Messages
12
Hi James
Great setup BTW.
I'm about to re-do my 120 l with Akadama and have been reading this thread with interest.
Is there any reason why dry ferts couldn't be spread over the layer of peat instead of Osmocote?
Or even using both together to give an initial boost to the Akadama from the ferts and a longer term supply from the Osmocote?
If this could be done, how much of the dry ferts do you think would be needed?
 

Similar threads

Top