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Re: Pumice based substrates

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

What? Who? Me? I did?

Ahhh yes, I remember now..... (it's 3:00 am as I write this, I should be

Last year Bob mentioned that he was trying an "experimental" substrate based
upon pumice. I think that he wanted to try it because Aqua Design Amano
Power Sand and/or AquaSoil are purported to be at least partially based upon
pumice. Check the APD archives for his posts.

Based upon what Bob had written, I picked up some pumice (actually Seachem
Matrix, which is pure granular pumice) and some PyroClay... thinking that
I'd try it sometime. To date, I haven't had the time, but I still intend to
do something with the idea. But pumice is pretty low in specific gravity -
it moves around a lot and might take a while to become fully waterlogged.

In the meantime, I had been contacted by an APD member from Spain who wanted
to know what was in Power Sand and AquaSoil. I referred him to Jamie
Johnson, who had done the PAM article on substrates. Jamie got samples of
both products from the guy and analyzed them.

>From what I have read, there are sources of pumice available in Japan which
are darker and denser than the kind usually found in North America.
Something similar might be available from a really good Bonsai dealer. I
know that they sometimes sell Oiso Sand, which Amano has used in his tanks.

I hesitate to post the analysis because NEITHER is pure pumice. Power Sand
is a pumice/peat blend and AquaSoil is a soil/silt/clay blend, and they both
probably have extra nutrients added by ADA. But I did send the info to Bob,
as I thought that he would be interested. (Plus, Jamie might want to do a
follow up article in PAM, and publish the results there).

If anyone was thinking of using a pumice based substrate, it might be an
idea to follow the route Bob took and mix it with some peat and a small
quantity of PyroClay. That stuff has everything but the kitchen sink in it.
Hydroponics outlets can supply it (I got mine from Homegrown Hydroponics,
and yes, they do mail-order to the U.S.).

But to tell the truth, right now I've got my hands full with the AGA
Showcase/Contest and won't have much time for experimentation until next

James Purchase