Originally Posted by Mr. elder
I read allot more. and it make a little more scene now. just got to the substrate on my tank and just wandering whats the best for these tank . it make scents what ed said by being incomplete . what is the PH after done with your substrate ? It seems to only benefit every thing . the only thing I wonder if the PH is higher . thanks for the feed back
Most clays have an akaline based pH of around 9-10. This includes both sodium and calcium bentonites.
Red Art Clay which is actually Hydrous Aluminum Silicate has an acidic pH range of 4-6.
When mixed depending on your proportions used, you can assume the pH will fall somewhere in the middle (a soil test kit is the only way to get an accurate reading). I personlly use about 1:2 ratio of red art to bentonite clay which would puts my soil pH just over 7 on average.
If you are trying to mimic true rainforest soil then you would need a lower pH. Most rainforest soil has a pH range of 4-5. So a good way to lower the pH of the clay substrate is to add peat moss. Sphagnum peat has a pH of 3.5. When it is added you can drastically lower you pH to an optimum level without having to add an sulfur product. There are other forms of peat that are not as acidic because the soil content contains lime.
I just play around with it and see what pH levels I can get that are best for the plants in the viv. I am not sure if there is an optimum level of soil pH that are trying to achieve for the darts. Ed is there any literature on this?
This is a good thread thank you.