What are some cheap alternatives to aqua blocks?


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Aqua blocks seem very pricey. For my pond, I'll need about 100 of them, so I'm looking at spending $4000+.

Are there some cheap alternatives?

Note, I don't need my bog to support the weight of tractors or cars, but I do expect people to need to walk on top to tend to the plants growing in the bog.

If the purpose is to simply create a void underwater, could one simply buy four metal bed frames, ($100 each), cover them with chicken wire ($50 for a bunch) and have the same results, a void underwater that supports 12" of gravel?

Or could I loosely arrange a row of concrete cinder blocks? They have large holes in the middle. I could align them in a way that insures the water flows through them, and leave 1/2" spaces so the water can still seep upwards through the gravel above.
 
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Metal sounds like a not great idea - sharp for one, and I'd imagine it would rust.

You don't need to create a void at all if you don't want to. You can fill the whole bog with graduated sizes of rock and gravel. @addy1 has a bog full of just pea gravel. They all work. The advantage to the aquablox is your bog will hold more water in the same amount of space.

People do use milk crates or PVC piping cut into pieces or those heavy duty soda crates. But here's the question - if your "cheaper than aquablox" plan fails, do you want to have to be the one who digs it all out?

How big do you anticipate your bog being?
 
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Aqua blocks seem very pricey. For my pond, I'll need about 100 of them, so I'm looking at spending $4000+.

Are there some cheap alternatives? Easy pro matrix blocks are the cheapest i have found and i found one web site that had a per pallet price if i remember correctly i bought 80 which was a pallet plus 20 and the price was around $1800.00 i will say this though the aquablocks in my eyes were stronger

Note, I don't need my bog to support the weight of tractors or cars, but I do expect people to need to walk on top to tend to the plants growing in the bog. if you put enough stone on the bog and walk on it the weight is probably close to that of a car per sf. and i you place some boulders for look inside the bog even around the edges it adds up quick. i will say that Aquascapes had o have i have seen them on a you tube video but not on a website for sale it's a double layer of a aquablock long panel that has no sides and it is doubled up to it's like the top of a aquablock x 2 plus the top layer of the block so you have three layers on the top to keep the one layer of plastic from breaking under pressure." i wish i had thought of this myself but the easy pro and the aquablocks have both done the job. the aquablocks i have are one layer i can't feel anything under foot feels solid as a rock. the easy pro cistern i made was two blocks high and i can feel the vibration below my feet. so it's really not a fair comparison by holding them both in my hand which i did have the aquablocks had smaller spaces and more reinforcement and were clearly stronger.

If the purpose is to simply create a void underwater, could one simply buy four metal bed frames, ($100 each), cover them with chicken wire ($50 for a bunch) and have the same results, a void underwater that supports 12" of gravel? you can do what ever you like but do some simple math chicken wire will not hold a lot of stone add aging and rot and i'd not want to do all that work and have it fail.......

Or could I loosely arrange a row of concrete cinder blocks? They have large holes in the middle. I could align them in a way that insures the water flows through them, and leave 1/2" spaces so the water can still seep upwards through the gravel above. cyder blocks could work but there weakest point is exactly the way your probably thinking of using them with them laying on there side. could it hold a foot of pea stone . i would thick theres a good chance would i also place a few boulders probably not . you can use boulders and deliberatly make as many voids as possible but rock is handly a cheap alternative
Now one thing i did find after i ad built mine way nursery tables they are made to hold pots full of soil so there no whimpy table. i believe they were made of fiberglass about a 1 1/2 thick now if you had cinderblock legs and those table tops with a layer of 2 ich rock then your 3/4 and then 3/8 pea that might do the job . i saw these nursery tables in craigslist
 
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i did they come in all sizes they can get pretty big. For a single layer design of aquablocks i feel they could do the job but you do loose i would guess between 1/3 rd and 1/4 the over all dead space. If your thinking of a larger size bog and these as the snorkel i would think they would be fine as well but in a smaller bog I'd be afraid those small fins would get clogged easily. those are designed for a low flow situation and as you know yur going to be pushing 3 to 4000 gph at them
 
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It would be easy to enlarge the slots, just thought it would be a cheaper solution. I still intend on using my original design of 3-4 runs using 3" perforated drain pipe. should give good flow and cheap. Maybe add a couple more rows of holes.
1607701015307.png
 
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If i'm not mistaken thats thin walled pvc take care if it is going to be anywhere near frost line
 
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Frost line??? ;> We are a lot like Seattle but probably a bit milder since we are 32 miles off the coast on Vancouver Island. I have miles of this stuff buried on the property to try and keep the rain runoff heading where I want it to go. It also comes in two thicknesses, CSA spec which is thick and the cheap stuff which breaks if driven over.
Yes for someone that gets actual frost it may be a concern although if its 10-18" under the ground it would have to get pretty cold and who in their right mind would live in such a place. ;>)
This piece was run over by an excavator last month so its pretty tough. This is the same pipe but without the holes.
pipe.jpg
 
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It would be easy to enlarge the slots, just thought it would be a cheaper solution. I still intend on using my original design of 3-4 runs using 3" perforated drain pipe. should give good flow and cheap. Maybe add a couple more rows of holes.
View attachment 135536
Is that sufficient to just run a whole bunch of 2" PVC pipes in a TV-aerial-type array and pour rocks over that?
 
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Those would do the job for the centipede where it would then disburse the water into the aquablocks. But as far as acting as such sure they could do the job but it won't be as uniform as a disbursement as it would the aquablocks now is that the end of the road i'd say no will it be as efficent id say no but would it work as a cheaper form of aquablocks yeah i believe it would would it give space to organisms to thrive in a cave like environment that alows them to eat up all the uneaten food and wastes i believe it would.
 
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I have no experience with these or any other form of bog stuff yet. I'm just a student. I have seen these advertized on Facebook marketplace and other local sites when people buy too many, I just thought they may be an alternative since they are doing the same basic job in a septic system just at a much lower flow rate. I would think a row or two of these would still be better than just the perforated PVC pipe?
 
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I have no experience with these or any other form of bog stuff yet. I'm just a student. I have seen these advertized on Facebook marketplace and other local sites when people buy too many, I just thought they may be an alternative since they are doing the same basic job in a septic system just at a much lower flow rate. I would think a row or two of these would still be better than just the perforated PVC pipe?
I would agree with you it would be a cross between the two. i did similar as i used 24 " culvert pipe to disburse the water across the bottom of the bog where it then went through 4 to 6 inch and then into the aquablocks . again some 3 to 4 , about 6 to 8" thick 2 to 3" about 8" thick and 3/4 and 1" along with some 3/8" river rock for 18 inches thick
 
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They may seem to be a bit pricey, but think about how much it will cost you if you use a less superior alternative. Nobody wants to have to rebuild a wetland filter or bog because of cheap inferior product being used. The Aquablox system is engineered to work. You don't get champagne on a beer budget.
 

Mmathis

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They may seem to be a bit pricey, but think about how much it will cost you if you use a less superior alternative. Nobody wants to have to rebuild a wetland filter or bog because of cheap inferior product being used. The Aquablox system is engineered to work. You don't get champagne on a beer budget.
Same applies to using a lower grade liner!
 
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They may seem to be a bit pricey, but think about how much it will cost you if you use a less superior alternative. Nobody wants to have to rebuild a wetland filter or bog because of cheap inferior product being used. The Aquablox system is engineered to work. You don't get champagne on a beer budget.
Some of us are on a beer budget and have to work with what we can afford.
I do agree on the liner though. :)
I figured that if those aquabloxs are just there to provide underground water storage that the septic tunnels are designed to also do that in a septic system and I dont think anyone ever wants to rebuild one of those! :( I have no experiance or knowlage of either system but I learned from my dad to adapt and man over the last 50 years I have certainly done a lot of that! Maybe as I read more on this forum I will begin to understand their purpose and the reason they are superior.
 

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