Volcanic rock - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Volcanic rock

Just bought some volcanic rock, It goes underneath normal substrate, it says on the pack designed for plants, any reviews I can't seem to find any online?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 04:33 PM
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Volcanic rock is kind of a loose term, do you mean lava rock?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 05:00 PM
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Lava rock is a more common term.
It is available in many sizes and colors.
I use the 3/8" material (well rinsed) from landscape stores for several gardening purposes, including soil mixes for house plants. It is also good in a sump or filter as a very cheap biomedia. Fair amount of surface area for bacteria.
It might work as a substrate, should be OK under other materials like a soil type of substrate, but I think it will blend with the soil all too easily.

Are you using this as a bulk to build up a hill?
What size material are you using?
Are you putting any sort of mesh between this and the soil to keep them separated?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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I was only going to do the gradual slope up the back, I've never seen anyone use it so I probably shouldn't have bought it! I think I just impulse bought a few bags of expensive gravel! The tank in the shop literally had this underneath regular grit, looked really good and the plants looked healthy. I'm not sure its called lava rock though. Any ideas on it?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 08:55 PM
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The open pored structure is true, until it fills with debris.

The part about the nutrients is a scam.
Minerals in volcanic materials are baked in so tight the plants cannot utilize them. Takes millions of years to break down volcanic materials to become rich soil. It is like saying you dinner dishes give you vitamins and minerals because there is calcium (or whatever) in the materials they made the plates from.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Oh right okay, so I would of been better sticking with flourite or something, I did have a feeling it was no good, Its not like I'm desperate for more BB in the substrate so I'll probably take it back. Thanks!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-22-2014, 03:16 AM
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Beneficial bacteria will grow wherever the conditions are right.
Some, like nitrifying bacteria, demand very high oxygen levels and would not grow on this if it were covered in soil. They will grow on almost anything that is in a high flow area, such as a filter. They will grow in the substrate only when you are forcing water through it, like the old style undergravel filter. Otherwise they will just grow on the top layer of substrate, perhaps 1-2 rocks deep, where the maximum oxygen is.
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