Australian diatomite as a substrate

Vladimir Zhurov

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Aug 25, 2006
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Does anyone have any experience with this kind of substrate?

Here is the picture from the local retailer website:

diasmall.jpg


Here is the info they provide:

2mm to 7mm size granule

Diatomite is a fossilized sedimentary rock (diatomaceous earth) consisting of approximately 90% silicon dioxide with the remainder consisting of essential plant growth materials.. Diatomite comes from Australian Fresh water deposit (not salt water) making a high quality horticultural grade growing medium.

Here the link to manufacturer's (Maidenwell) site with some tech info and analysis report.

I have set up one non-CO2 tank yesterday with it and am planning to use it for CO2-enriched tank. My main complain is that it is too light, but I never had any experience with anything other than gravel and sand. It requires rinsing, is fairly soft (you can break granules with an effort) and quite nice looking.

Tom, what do you think about this substrate?

Regards.

Vladimir.
 

Tom Barr

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Seems alright, it's inert.

Main thing is, if it is highly porous, that's a key for the inert substrates.
It's a tad larger than need be, 2-3 mm would be nicer.

Regards,

Tom Barr
 

Vladimir Zhurov

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Tom,

Thank you for reply.

The only smaller size they make is 0.5-2 mm.

diafine.jpg


I was thinking whether it would be a better
choice.

And it is highly absorbent (and I guess porous) and is also used as pet litter, oil/chemical absorbent and such.

Regards.

Vladimir.
 

Tom Barr

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The smaller stuff might be fine.
The grain sizing is very variable, the more consistent, the better.

Regards,
Tom Barr