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 Post subject: Bauxite as a bed media?
PostPosted: Jul 20th, '14, 15:04 
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I am interested in using bauxite as a growing bed medium. Has anyone else tried this? I can find it abundantly in a pea size pebble.


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PostPosted: Jul 20th, '14, 16:38 
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I'd be hesitant.

Normally I'd say just do a PH fizz check, but bauxite is Aluminum ore. Aluminum oxide is supposed to be bad in an system, and the slightly acidic environment will break it down quicker.

Others might know better though.

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PostPosted: Jul 20th, '14, 16:53 
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Thanks for the advice. I'll try the fizz test.
Otherwise kaolin or ironstone are the other abundant local choices


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PostPosted: Jul 20th, '14, 17:06 
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I'd go the ironstone. Might not need to add much chelated iron that way (don't quote me on that, I know there is a difference between soluble iron and sticking a few nails in there) :)

The kaolin would be a little too fragile?

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PostPosted: Jul 20th, '14, 17:15 
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After a little googling I have a few thoughts about bauxite as a GB media.
Any link between aluminium exposure and Alzheimer's disease is still up in the air and unproven but potentially a risk.
Aluminium exposure is a definite risk to babies, young children and any people with kidney disorders or impaired kidney function.
Also it is apparently a problem for plants (under acidic conditions), slowing their growth and causing issues with root growth and function.
Personally I'd try to avoid using bauxite if I possibly could.

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PostPosted: Jul 20th, '14, 21:09 
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No hang on, lets be careful not to mix things up.. If you are talking the same bauxite as what we have over here in W.A. that they mine up in the hills? Here's it's the local pea gravel, I've used it in many systems, there are no problems with this....

If it's this stuff? All good..

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PostPosted: Jul 20th, '14, 22:35 
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Yep, agree with earthbound.
Whilst it is about 40% aluminum oxide, it's not easily/not able to be leached in water, so is pretty safe.


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PostPosted: Jul 21st, '14, 05:05 
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Hello Barndillo,

aluminum oxide is one of the most stable minerals that we know of.
It takes so much energy to break it apart that aluminum is sometimes
referred to as "concentrated" electricity.

There is is no way that you can break it down in a POOL envirement that can
harm your fish...or your veggys.

you can even "acid wash it" to desolve the calcium build up from evaporation.
Many of the "expanded clay" products relly heavily on this.

I use it in my foundery insulation because no chemical flame can melt it.


Just a though to consider daucie


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PostPosted: Jul 21st, '14, 06:33 
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earthbound wrote:
No hang on, lets be careful not to mix things up.. If you are talking the same bauxite as what we have over here in W.A. that they mine up in the hills? Here's it's the local pea gravel, I've used it in many systems, there are no problems with this....

If it's this stuff? All good..

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peaGravel.jpg


That is the stuff. I think the geo's call them pisolites. It's really stable stuff, and non-toxic. Lots of fish swimming in bauxite lined rivers here.


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PostPosted: Jul 21st, '14, 09:53 
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Glad to have that confirmed, since I just had a cubic metre of it deposited on my verge, ready for washing :-)


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PostPosted: Jul 21st, '14, 10:40 
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PostPosted: Jul 21st, '14, 12:02 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Bodgy wrote:
Any link between aluminium exposure and Alzheimer's disease is still up in the air and unproven but potentially a risk.

Anything is potentially a risk. The original research that created the idea of a link between aluminium and alzheimers has been retracked. Which is not to say it won't cause alzheimers but we don't have any evidence does. So if you are going to get rid of your aluminium pots and pans because of the possibility of them increaseing your alzheimers risk I'd also get rid of all your computer screen or cat for the same reason.

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PostPosted: Jul 21st, '14, 12:30 
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Glad that google based fears were largely baseless! :D
The main worry for me was that Al cations in acid soils do interfere with root development but if it's nice and stable in bauxite it sounds like my concerns are irrelevant.
Pretty sure EB would have noticed the difference in growth between media beds if it was an issue. Good to know I was wrong. (Pretty sure that's not the first time either :shifty: ).
The only real health risk to humans I could find was to those with kidney problems and babies (undeveloped blood-brain barrier or some such thing). And that's really for elemental Al or cations in large doses or long exposure I suppose, since bauxite is apparently such a stable mineral.
Nothing wrong with being wrong (as long as someone sets me straight :blackeye: ).

As for pots and pans, once the anodising or teflon has worn off I do bin them. If only because they are required to be coated to be sold in Aust (I'm pretty sure?). Might be overcautious but seemed like a fair call either way. And cats? Yep, nobody wants to be the crazy cat guy. :-P (I realise you are probably talking about T. gondii Stuart, but the lady on the Simpsons comes to mind first).

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PostPosted: Jul 21st, '14, 12:44 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Bodgy wrote:
Nothing wrong with being wrong (as long as someone sets me straight :blackeye: ).

Yep. I live by this one.

I'm never wrong
Because if I'm shown to be
Then I'm not
Until once again I'm shown to be
And then I'm not

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I realise you are probably talking about T. gondii Stuart, but the lady on the Simpsons comes to mind first).

Ehhh...no. I just picked the first two things that popped into my head. Could have easily been coffee and chisels (there is one my desk but its a good organic one hand made over 200 years old so it would be fine) :D

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PostPosted: Jul 21st, '14, 13:00 
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Nice coincidence then! It's a protozoan parasite that uses cats as hosts and has a (tenuous) link to causing 'crazy cat person' syndrome.
Infected mice tend to be attracted to, or indifferent to cats which obviously gets them eaten, the protozoa needs both hosts to complete its life cycle. An interesting quirk of nature and possibly a more of a mental health concern than Al exposure!
You were cleverer than you realised. :wink:
I just googled it (yeah, I know google has failed me lately...) and apparently it is being considered for trials as a cancer vaccine-like treatment, seriously the bloody world has gone mad. Or maybe that's the aim? :dontknow:

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