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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #589

In a message dated 10/5/00 1:56:08 PM Mountain Daylight Time, 
Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com writes:

>      I have read the article in PAM (Planted Aquarium Magazine) on the topic
>  of substrates.  However, I am curious about two other substrates not
>  mentioned in the article that are easily available.  They are Lava rock and
>  pumice.  I have heard and read that these are good for plants and am
>  assuming they should offer quite a variety of nutrients which rooted plants
>  could get to for their uses.  Does anyone have any experience with these 
>  as substrate additives. 

Amano uses pumice as the primary ingredient in one of his substrates, and so 
do I in the one I make for myself.  It is high in CEC, but the "nutrients" 
are locked in non-useable forms.  It makes a great medium for wet-dry trickle 
filters, because of its huge surface area.  My planted tanks using pumice, 
peat, and pyrophillitic clay do well.  I'm not an expert, and I can't say 
I've grown any tough plants.  I'm low tech and no CO2, but I get the growth I 
am looking for.

Someone recently forwarded me some info about pumice-based substrates.  Maybe 
it was James Purchase.  IF so, I hope he will post that info here for you.  
It works well for others also.

I wouldn't try lava, because the edges are very sharp and I would expect it 
to cause trouble for the root systems.  The minerals there are also in 
non-chelated form, and for the most part not soluble, but in a "living 
environment" where all kinds of unseen organisms thrive, who knows?

If you want to discuss it further off-list, just email me.

Bob Dixon