Zeolite as akadama substitute

I wonder what experience people have had with using zeolite as a substitute for akadama. Also, where it can be obtained in the correct size (1/8 - 1/4 inch) for use in soil.

Hi Treetroll,

Have tried Zeolit a lot in the past. I’d say it’s pretty shit compared to the other modern substrates we use and would recommend to not look for anything there. As a water filter it could work great but I don’t think it has a place in our practice. I’m now starting to question if even lava is a good component.

Now something that does work well and doesn’t break down is Teramol. We can get it here in the CZ easy but I’m not sure what the distribution is like for the rest of the world. Akadama is getting harder to find here especially good harder granules.


Czech Republic? What size is available? Purchase in bags or in bulk?

Yes The Czech Republic.
Hmm, different bag sizes and i think youd be able to find bulk somewhere but i have no idea where. And can’t remember the sizes but inthink from 1-6mm and 3-6mm i think?

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I did a quick web search and found it spelled Terramol. It appears to go by several other names as welll. It looks like it is a fired clay product similar to Turface.


I have no experience with Turface but Teramol works well and doesn’t break down. My friend who sells it through his business has been using it as one of the components in all of his soils for over a decade and they are happy with it.
They don’t top dress due to the quantity of trees they have and with the freeze/thaw cycles they often get in the fall and spring which destroys akadama, this stuff holds up without fail.

Would like to see it under a microscope

Hi Treetroll, I have not used zeolite, but I frequently use different calcined clay products designed for aquatic plantings. The clay doesn’t break down, there is good oxygen and water retention.

Where do you source the calcined clay for aquatic plantings and can you get it in bulk?

Hey Les, I have not bought any since before the pandemic. The product is Schultz aquatic plant soil. It came in 25 or 30 lb. bags. I used to get it at an aquatic garden supply shop over on W. Kingsley Rd., east of LBJ. I forget the name of the store.

Looks like it is widely distributed on the web.


Thanks for the input. I’m in Santa Fe now but we are in Dallas intermittently and as you noted, it’s searchable on the web as well.
I’ve got all my trees now here, healed in still since it was freezing last week. I’ll be cobbling together benches and shade cloth coverage this week as a prep for them to declare if they are going to survive here.

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I believe the aquatic plant soil is primarily fuller’s earth, at least according to the web sources I looked at. If you are in Santa Fe, NM you have ready sources of pumice from the mines in the Jemez and lava from several nursery sources in Santa Fe. I also assume you know of the Albuquerque Bonsai Club, who has a number of sources that can provide information about bonsai soil components in the NM region.