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Old 07-19-2010, 11:01 PM
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Default Clay Substrate Question

I've been seeing a lot of people using the new clay kitty litter background idea lately and it made me curious. Would this same idea work for a clay substrate? Has anyone tried it?
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:03 PM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

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Originally Posted by ryangreenway View Post
I've been seeing a lot of people using the new clay kitty litter background idea lately and it made me curious. Would this same idea work for a clay substrate? Has anyone tried it?
I used it as an ingredient in Matts clay recipe in the ultimate clay thread. I didn't use it by itself
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

I'm thinking about setting up an experimental tank with this as the substrate, just to see how it works out.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

I just setup a 20 gallon with it.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

I've been using it for a couple years and, similarly, infield turf conditioner (Turface). The kind I use (Special Kitty from Walmart) retains its particle form and doesn't coagulate.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

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Originally Posted by jeffr View Post
I just setup a 20 gallon with it.
With just the kitty litter?
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:15 AM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

no the kitty litter is one ingredient in Matts recipe in the ultimate clay substrate thread
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

I have been talking about this for a while. I have mixed the clay mix into my abg mix and have seen increased microfauna activity and just recently I molded a few flat spot island type clay setups over some of the floor of the vivs and left the leaf litter off of it but I spread the leaf litter all over the rest of the viv. It acts as a feeding station as the microfauna are all over it constantly. The microfauna all over the clay backgrounds is what gave me this idea as they never really are seen on my GS backgrounds.

Michael
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

I had also heard about the microfauna activity in the background and it's what gave me the idea as well. I'm for sure going to try this on my next viv, I'll add it into my normal substrate mix, and use your feeding station idea.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:59 AM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

It wont hurt I guarentee you. I have retic's, vanzo's and regina's set up this way.
Im fixing to have some nice pums on in this type setup as well.

Michael
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

I'm gonna try it for my first pum tank, because I want good microfauna populations, and apparently this method has it.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

the higher levels of microfauna is only one of the benefits.. if done right it will also increase calcium availability in the enclosure.

Ed
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

Definitely try the clay substrate, just make sure to construct it properly or you will have drainage issues. Turface (infield conditioner) is highly recommended. Its a long read but definitely read through the ultimate clay based substrate thread.
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

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Originally Posted by Ed View Post
the higher levels of microfauna is only one of the benefits.. if done right it will also increase calcium availability in the enclosure.

Ed
Thanks for that info Ed.

Michael
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

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Originally Posted by Ed View Post
the higher levels of microfauna is only one of the benefits.. if done right it will also increase calcium availability in the enclosure.

Ed
Will the kitty litter background mix used as a substrate add calcium? Or just if the kittly litter is added to Matt or Brent's recipes?
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

It depends on the kitty litter. Most of them are sodium bentonite and if they are clumping then some level of calcium bentonite is added to them.

Ed
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

Not so sidetrack the thread, but if someone made a clay substrate using sodium betonite from cat litter, is there a way to add calcium to the mix? I searched and found one thread that suggested using crushed eggshells, but there didn't seem to be a definitive answer to whether or not it would work. I know it would have to be very small, preferably small enough for the microfauna to ingest it to be most effective. If I could crush a clean eggshell until it was a fine powder, similar to what we dust ff with, would it work? I also don't know how much would need to be added to be effective, if I remember from reading one of the clay threads it said even with calcium betonite the calcium content was only 2-3%, but I could be wrong. I made a few vivs recently with sodium betonite and I will be making a new pumilio tank soon, so I was wondering since I already have the supplies on hand if there was a practical way to add some calcium or not.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

Particles of clay stick to the microfauna as they crawl around in the substrate. Then frogs gain calcium by eating the microfauna with the particles stuck to them.

One way to add calcium into your mix is to add a calcium based pond additive that is used primarily for koi ponds. These are usually in powdered forms. Dusting ff with it is not necessary, I just add some to the top layer of my substrate.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

Thanks for the info, I'll try it on my next pumilio tank.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

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Originally Posted by flapjax3000 View Post
One way to add calcium into your mix is to add a calcium based pond additive that is used primarily for koi ponds. These are usually in powdered forms. Dusting ff with it is not necessary, I just add some to the top layer of my substrate.
These are typically powdered calcium bentonite sold at a large markup.

Ed
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Clay Substrate Question

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These are typically powdered calcium bentonite sold at a large markup.

Ed
Thats true, what I have is Calcium Montmorillonite and it was about 15 dollars for 5 pounds.
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