Red Lava as substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-09-2013, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Red Lava as substrate

Hss anyone used Red Lava as substrate? HD has it $4 for 0.5cf, cheap. It is inert, and rich in iron, and porous.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-09-2013, 11:52 PM
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Red Lava as substrate

I've heard of people using it under their substrate.

Seems like it would be ok, depending on what your plans are for your setup.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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On theory, it should be perfect. It is very porous, light weight, and is iron rich. I bought two bags of HD, for $7. But it is 2 inch top size. So I crushed it and sieve it, end up wiht about 5 lbs of sand between #8 and #30, the rest are too fine. Not enough for even a 20G tank. The fines actually may be bettter then soil, but will color water.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2013, 11:14 PM
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If you go to a landscape supply place, you can probably find gravel-sized lava rock. I've also seen it in nursery centers, etc., but it's usually sold by little bags ~1qt or so, and probably wouldn't save you anything.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
If you go to a landscape supply place, you can probably find gravel-sized lava rock. I've also seen it in nursery centers, etc., but it's usually sold by little bags ~1qt or so, and probably wouldn't save you anything.
You certainly have to process it, saving money just one point, I think the quality of the rock would be good.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 03:58 PM
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I would worry about the sharpness of the lava in what it could do to cory cats and the like.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 04:14 PM
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I bought a 1 cubic foot bag of 3/8" diameter red lava at a rock yard.
There is a lot of powder in it, and this will definitely cloud the water.
So I cleaned the lava by washing it in small batches in 5 gallon buckets. I stirred it by hand. The material I got was not very sharp at all. By no means smooth, like river rock, but simple rough texture, not sharp.

If you want sharp there is a grey pumice that is sold as boulders for landscaping. So full of air holes it will float! But SHARP! It will draw blood, and you must use gloves for handling it.
Makes interesting planters for flowers, though. You can work it with simple tools, like an old spoon, and hollow out the stone. (Don't forget the gloves!)
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2013, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
I bought a 1 cubic foot bag of 3/8" diameter red lava at a rock yard.
There is a lot of powder in it, and this will definitely cloud the water.
So I cleaned the lava by washing it in small batches in 5 gallon buckets. I stirred it by hand. The material I got was not very sharp at all. By no means smooth, like river rock, but simple rough texture, not sharp.

If you want sharp there is a grey pumice that is sold as boulders for landscaping. So full of air holes it will float! But SHARP! It will draw blood, and you must use gloves for handling it.
Makes interesting planters for flowers, though. You can work it with simple tools, like an old spoon, and hollow out the stone. (Don't forget the gloves!)
Couldn't find the 3/8, I got the 2 inches. Have to crush and sieve, a lot work. Hope it will pay off. As you said, rough, but not sharp. YOU have to wash it a lot.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post

If you want sharp there is a grey pumice that is sold as boulders for landscaping. So full of air holes it will float! But SHARP! It will draw blood, and you must use gloves for handling it.
Makes interesting planters for flowers, though. You can work it with simple tools, like an old spoon, and hollow out the stone. (Don't forget the gloves!)
haha- I bought a chunk of this stuff, and was sawing it in half to try and make something (kinda got sidetracked/put on back burner). Yeah, pretty sharp- I ended up getting a tiny shard in my foot and tracking bloodspots around my apartment before I realized it :P

Though, once you get the shape you want, you can sort of smooth off the outer surface so it's not cut-you sharp, but will still be rather abrasive.
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