What are some cheap alternatives to aqua blocks?


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I found some stores are using plastic, stack-able pallets to move products around. These seem designed to carry a lot of weight. The downside is, they are designed to stack tightly, not with air gaps between them, so I'm not sure how much strength they'd have if they were stacked irregularly in a way that provided gaps for lots of water. I also couldn't find a local source to purchase these, as the local stores seem to reuse them. And on-line they can be as cheap as perhaps $20, but shipping fees are very high.
 
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You also need to be careful not all plastics are tge same. Plastics used to build pallets clearly won't be made of food grade plastics. Yes food grade other plastics can poison the fish
 
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I'm new to the forum but this is my second pond. That being said I have never used Aqua Blocs or an alternative. However I don't want a deep pond just a natural looking termination to what I'm hoping will turn out to be a very attractive waterfall. I intend to work with a 2-3" pool and a contiguous water vault below that. Aqua Blocs were suggested for my build but like you I hope to find a lower cost substitute. My search ended when I found a supply of used milk crates on Facebook Marketplace. They were only $2.00 a piece. I grabbed them immediately. I have also seen plastic pallets for sale on FB MP. Shop around and find someone within easy reach and a price that agrees with you.

I don't intend to stock mine with fish so plastic leaching chemicals hasn't worried me. The milk crates seem like a safer bet for you if you intend to keep fish. They are at least produced for food industry related use, of course that's no guarantee. I would look to a better source for a chemical recommendation. Good luck.
 
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Forgive me, I'm a new member as well, but is the only purpose of the aquablox (or anything else that might fill the void of the water reservoir) to ensure that you can stack materials, plants, rock, etc. on top of the reservoir, thus hiding it? If that is the only point, then couldn't one just as easily purchase a hard metal flat grate and lay it over the top of the reservoir, and then stack items on top of that? Why does the actual reservoir chamber need to be full of materials to support items on the top?
 

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Forgive me, I'm a new member as well, but is the only purpose of the aquablox (or anything else that might fill the void of the water reservoir) to ensure that you can stack materials, plants, rock, etc. on top of the reservoir, thus hiding it? If that is the only point, then couldn't one just as easily purchase a hard metal flat grate and lay it over the top of the reservoir, and then stack items on top of that? Why does the actual reservoir chamber need to be full of materials to support items on the top?
The aqua blox serve to create an area for settlement of any solids, thus helping avoid clogging up above. Rock, stone, pea gravel are put into a bog so there is a lot of surface area for the denitrifying bacteria. A bog isn't meant to be a mechanical filter, though it can do this, but rather, a biological filter.

In my case, I used large 8" round boulders as a first layer, then 2" cobble, and finally pea gravel s the plants were more easily supported. You can use all pea gravel (as some here have) and it'll increase the surface area even more for the bacteria to colonize. But imo, it can also lead to more chance of clogging.

The aqua blox also creates a structurally strong roof for the snorkel and vault which are usually included in a bog design, in some way.
 
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Is that sufficient to just run a whole bunch of 2" PVC pipes in a TV-aerial-type array and pour rocks over that?
That is how a lot of us have constructed our bogs.
There are basically two types of bog builds. One simple method with just a PVC manifold (pvc pipes with many slits cut in it) covered with at least 12 inches of pea gravel. The water flows through the PVC pipes, rises up through the gravel and flows back to the pond.

Then there's the aqua-block, centipede and snorkel method.

Here's my bog build...
https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/my-add-on-bog-build.26848/

Hope this helps.
 
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