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PostPosted: May 31st, '09, 04:41 
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Location: Mt Morgan Central Queensland
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currently i am using a washed river stone aggregate comprised of 10 to 15mm stones of quartz basalt and others it is smooth on the hands. Two bobcat scoops cost me $70.00 and that is enough to fill 3 bath tubs at 1650 x 560 x 300 with a little left over.
cheers. HYdrotron is $40 for 40 lts so it would cost me $160 to fill one bathtub
pete


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PostPosted: May 31st, '09, 05:37 
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I`d use hydroton for a small bed, price is the limiting factor for larger beds.
Over here 50L of hydroton is about £12, so 3000L would cost me £720! or about 4.5x the cost of gravel. The downside of gravel is it takes a lot more effort to move it and wash it.


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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '09, 23:34 
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Been shopping in Houston Texas for media...
Expanded Shale (8mm-10mm) $110 cubic yd. in bulk, not bagged
Hydroton $30 bag
Tru-Gro "expanded shale & clay" - can't find it yet! http://trugro.com/TXI-products/TXI-trugro.html

Lightweight is good for most of the GB plans I could potentially use.

I don't have a truck so bulk is difficult or delivered for a price.
Will price some bagged Expanded Shale that I think I saw at my favorite fertilizer store.

Still searching for a description/explanation of "Blue Metal" - it seems to be local to Australia though, correct?

Rick

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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '09, 23:47 
A "Basalt Rock" aggregate ... usual size for AP... 20mm


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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '09, 00:03 
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Thanks ROO. And I found in the Other Media Thread:

steve wrote:
If you're speaking of "blue metal" it is simply crushed rock used for road base.


So, not metal at all, kind of an Egg Cream (ingredients contain No egg and No cream) syndrome? :wink:

Hydroton ("Cocoa Puffs") is shipped from Germany and Expanded Shale is a local by-product. Weighs heavily toward my favoring generic expanded shale. Grey. Oblong and occasionally sharp. May float, sometimes (I think).

Oh I am long overdue to post a New Member Intro. See y'all over there, and then in my FIST System thread...

Rick

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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '09, 03:14 
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Texas uses lime stone as road base, NOT a good idea.

Blue metal is more like the rock used by the rail road in many areas; I think.

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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '09, 08:14 
Very typically used as the base for railways Dandi...


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PostPosted: Aug 9th, '09, 12:38 
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What a bout river gravel, screened for size? Would that have some of the right organisms on it, already?

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PostPosted: Sep 5th, '09, 14:57 
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I'm surprised no one has talked about lava rock. Out here in Northern California they sell 1/4" or 3/4" size (I'm thinking of switching to 3/4" for the bottom 2/3 of the grow bed and 1/4" for the top 1/3).
Attachment:
Lava Rock Red Lg.jpg
Lava Rock Red Lg.jpg [ 88.75 KiB | Viewed 6663 times ]

It's cheap (approximately $50/yard - 27 cu ft.), it has tons of surface area and it's light (about 800 lbs/yard vs. 1500 lbs/yard for river rock).

The only draw backs I've seen so far are first, it's a pain to wash it and get all the dust off. I did it in small batches using a soil sifter screen (2" x 4" rectangular frame with 1/4" wire mesh, keeps in the rock lets water pass through easy). It takes a bunch of washing to get it clean, that is one problem.
Attachment:
soil screen.jpg
soil screen.jpg [ 116.85 KiB | Viewed 6667 times ]

Other problem is that plant roots stick to the lava rock and when it's time to pull them out, they have lots of rock stuck to them. To easy ways to solve it. First, leave the plants out for a day to dry out, next day the roots most crumble off. Second option is rip out as much of the plant as comes easy and count on the roots to decay over time and become worm food.

If price, weight and ease of obtaining large quantities are important considerations, I've been happy with lava rock in the short time I've been doing ap :-)


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PostPosted: Sep 5th, '09, 15:34 
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Rickoxo wrote:
I'm surprised no one has talked about lava rock. )


search.php?keywords=lava+rock&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

It has been widely discussed and is great for it's mineral qualities....good luck with the cleaning though :colors:

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PostPosted: Sep 5th, '09, 22:08 
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What we call lava rock over here in the USA is usually called scoria in AU. Been talked about a lot actually.

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '10, 05:31 
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I know people have used plastic in various forms. Any thoughts on this:
Attachment:
GB media candidate.jpg
GB media candidate.jpg [ 134 KiB | Viewed 6341 times ]

It's like a twine made of plastic. It's used instead of real twine on the large round bales of hay that I get. It's kind of a pain because it doesn't decompose and if left in the field the cows feet can get tangled up in it.

So before I throw it all away (tons laying around) what are people's thoughts about using it (along with other stuff) as a GB media. Lots of surface area. I guess I'd cut it into smaller section.

Any reason not to use it?

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '10, 07:43 
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You'd need something heavier on top of it cjinVT, I think as otherwise it would float wouldn't it ?

Trouble with something heavier is that it would then compress it - unsure as to what your flow rate would be like then or whether you'd get stagnant patches.

Also, I'd want it to be a foodsafe plastic before having the fish live in water that is constantly running over it.

We do have the same stuff here in Oz, also used as bale twine.

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '10, 20:10 
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I was thinking of mixing it with something. I doubt I'd get stagnant patches but I forgot all about the food safety issue.

Oh well. I was hoping to find a use for it before tossing it.

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PostPosted: Jul 17th, '10, 04:33 
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I am a newbie and have enjoyed reading this very informative forum. I was wondering if anyone has ever used glass cullet as a grow medium? I can get all I want for free from the city of Austin recycling center. It would be inert and small, the down side is that it would be smooth. What do you think?

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