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Cheap/easy/effective filter media

2964 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ordanjay
Recently i have started using a mix of perlite for its vastly superior surface area compared to most commercialy sold filter media aswell as vermiculite which can hold a fairly large amount of water inside.
I read somewhere that nitrite producing bacteria prefer a sealed environment where oxygen cant easily reach, making vermiculite an ideal home.
Both of these can be purchased at local garden centers and are extremely inexpensive.
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How do you use it? It's pretty dusty and messy stuff.
I think you'll have to research your science a bit more on this. Both of those products are very small volume pieces. Oxygen will saturate to the centres very easily. That's why traditional media come in much larger sizes.
Both are not difficult to find in larger chunks. A quick rinse will easily remove dust before filling media bags.
If u cant find a bag with a majority of suitable size pieces u can rinse under a colander to sift out small pieces.
Well, if they do come in larger sizes, they are not the usual product you find available in garden stores. This would not be what gardeners are after in the product since they don't want big chunks in the soil mix when starting seedlings. I am well aware of both products.
I mix it in with all my soils not just for starting seedlings and yes you can buy course perlite at garden stores.
What you call coarse perlite is definitely NOT big chunks or anywhere near as big as needed for anaerobic conditions inside. As I said, get your science right first before giving bad advice.
The perlite part of the mix is only used for its surface area as it does not absorb water inside of itself but instead holds it on its surface. Vermiculite absorbs water inside of its self and is what I was referring to when creating an anaerobic environment.
keep in mind this is a DIY page and its purpose is a cheap available alternative to spending money on high end overkill biological filtration.
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