Dendroboard

Go Back   Dendroboard
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read Advertise

Support Our Sponsors
No Threads to Display.

facebook

Dendroboard

Dendroboard (https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/)
-   Parts & Construction (https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/)
-   -   Clay Substrate How-To (https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/63732-clay-substrate-how.html)

Pumilo 02-16-2011 12:34 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by flapjax3000 (Post 559636)
This tool does quite a good job as well.

Potato Cuber

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/images/5914362_lg.jpg

Hey Flapjax, what size cubes does that make?

flapjax3000 02-16-2011 02:04 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
I found one at the local kitchen store that makes half inch squares. The steel is sturdy and it has handles on the side that help you push it down into the clay.

The pictures that I posted are just for example, but I assume you can get them in varying sizes.

Ed 02-16-2011 02:40 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by bbrock (Post 559675)
- DOB Redart mix (described in the other clay thread). How long has it been now - 4-5 years since I set that up? I have mixed results to report. The clay remains fairly stable but the sand-like aggregate structure has broken down over time. A coupld times of aerated it by poking holes clear through to the drainage layer to keep it draining well.

Hi Brent,

I have some variations on the clay mix and do not have drainage issue with the redart mixes I've tried. The water flows through pretty well even at high misting volumes (3 minutes/2 times a day for 6 months in ten gallon verticles). Under the same conditions with a microfauna population, I lost the ABG style mixes during the same period as they appeared to breakdown and disappear into the gravel layer (the effluent from this tank was full of small particulates and humic acids).
One of the better mixes seems to be where I included a thin layer of clay mixed with organics ontop of the clay layer and included a mixture of cypress fines into that layer with the leaf litter.

Here is a picture of that layer after one year (after I pulled the leaf litter aside... unfortunately the microfauna disappeared while I was getting the camera ready).

ChrisK 02-16-2011 02:47 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pumilo (Post 559683)
Learning more about the possibilities of UVB lighting is something I want to research more, too. Got ant good threads you might be able to link me to about getting around the fact that glass tops apparently filter it out? My homemade slopefront glass vivs are kind of stumping me there.

Thanks again for adding your input here!

If I remember correctly, Brent uses a custom made Solacryl (the plastic material used in tanning beds for UVB transmission) top on the pumilio tank.

I'm playing around with using saran wrap on a screen top since Solacryl is expensive, hard to get and supposedly is supposed to be replaced after 2 years.

flapjax3000 02-16-2011 02:52 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
All of my red art clay substrates drain extremely well and have been set up for about 18 months. There is a substantial portion of my mix that is organics (peat, coco fiber, tree fern) and turface.

Do you find that tanks where you have used clay substrates tend to dry out a bit faster? Mine drain quite well, but water also seems to evaporate quicker. I have tanks side by side, one with clay/organic substrate and the other with just sphagnum. They both are the same shape with the exact same ventilation. I constantly have to drain the tank that has pure sphagnum and add water to the one that is clay.

Ed 02-16-2011 02:52 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisK (Post 559904)
If I remember correctly, Brent uses a custom made Solacryl (the plastic material used in tanning beds for UVB transmission) top on the pumilio tank.

I'm playing around with using saran wrap on a screen top since Solacryl is expensive, hard to get and supposedly is supposed to be replaced after 2 years.

You can also use starfire brand glass as it is also transparent to UVB.

ChrisK 02-16-2011 03:06 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bbrock (Post 559675)
- DOB Redart mix (described in the other clay thread). How long has it been now - 4-5 years since I set that up? I have mixed results to report. The clay remains fairly stable but the sand-like aggregate structure has broken down over time. A coupld times of aerated it by poking holes clear through to the drainage layer to keep it draining well. I still like the look of it but there is room for improvement. I'm curious to see how these newer recipes hold up because they sound promising. Also, this mix does not support as much microfauna as kitty litter substrate. I'm pretty sure that is a function of the aggregate breakdown. There just isn't as much surface area between pore spaces. Again, stabilizing that sand-like structure is an important goal. Also, this stuff eats leaf litter rapidly. I actually think that is a good thing so just an observation. I suspect it has more to do with the night crawlers that were added hoping to maintain porosity than the clay itself.

In one of my histrionicus tanks, I used only Matt's from scratch recipe on top of the drainage layer, the particle sizes were ranging from small rock to sand consistency, after lots of misting it pretty much congealed into large wet chunks of clay, this tank has been producing a crazy number of froglets though and supports lots of microfauna, but the walls of the tank are also a good refugium for the microfauna (curved virgin cork bark with sunstrate stuffed behind it etc) so it's hard to tell if it's the substrate supporting it, here's when it was first set up:

http://i462.photobucket.com/albums/q...k/DSC01135.jpg


here's what it looks like now with a froglet on the clay so you can see how it congealed:

http://i462.photobucket.com/albums/q...k/DSC02018.jpg

Lately I started using a thick layer of Turface infield conditioner on top of the drainiage layer for a more stable particle layer (and also because Matt's recipe is such a pain to make :p ), then a thin layer of Matt's recipe on top of the infield conditioner.

bbrock 02-16-2011 04:17 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pumilo (Post 559683)
Hey Brent! Thanks for chiming in with an update on yours. This is obviously based heavily on your hard work (and Matt's). I couldn't have put this how to together without you guys being so willing to share your knowledge. Thank you and thanks for the kudos on my guide.

Can I ask about your kitty litter substrate? If that is the old fashioned, non clumping, fired litter, then how do you supplement that with calcium? Or is that not used with Pumilio as a calcium supplementing substrate?

Learning more about the possibilities of UVB lighting is something I want to research more, too. Got ant good threads you might be able to link me to about getting around the fact that glass tops apparently filter it out? My homemade slopefront glass vivs are kind of stumping me there.

Thanks again for adding your input here!

Hi Doug,

The kitty litter was the first substrate I experimented with and yes, it is the old fashioned fired stuff. I actually didn't supplement it with Ca as that was long before we realized there was a calcium issue with pumilio. I had that same substrate in my pumilio viv and did have issues with froglets (and even a couple adults) crashing with hypocalcemia. Adding UVB lighting and being deligent about calcium dusting completely eliminated those problems. I think the lesson here is that UVB may be more beneficial than calcium supplemented substrates for this particular issue. But what I think the enriched substrates do is provide a more steady and natural supply of calcium and reduces or eliminates the reliance on dusting food with Ca (but not other supplements). Getting back to kitty litter, I think you could probably supplement it with CaCO3 just as you do with other clay mixes. I'd mix them together dry and would guess that when the substrate is moistined, the CaCO3 would adsorb to the clay just fine.

As Chris said, I use solacryl tops on all my tanks or I just mount the UVB light bare bulb inside the viv. Either works well although the Solacryl obviously allows you to deal with excess heat more easily. As Ed mentioned, there are other UVB transparent options but the last time I priced starfire glass, it seemed about the price of gold. There is some misinformation out there about transparency of materials. There is an old site that claimed that thin (1/8") plexiglass allowed most UV light to go through. I tested a sample purchased at the local HD and found that transmission was 96%+ through the visible spectrum but rapidly dropped to 5% to 0% as soon as you crossed into UVA and beyond. Clearly there are UV stabilizing additives in at least some of the stuff sold at hardware stores. We also tested Solacryl and it maintained 96%+ transmission through the UVB wavelengths but filtered out all UVC light. The cool thing about that is that you could use Solacryl to filter unshielded halogen or other UV producing light sources to avoid the possiblity of exposure to dangerous UVC.

Of course with any UV lighting, you need to match the right bulb to the viv. I think there is some discussiong in that epic pumilio thread that happend a few years ago.

bbrock 02-16-2011 04:25 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisK (Post 559916)

here's what it looks like now with a froglet on the clay so you can see how it congealed:

http://i462.photobucket.com/albums/q...k/DSC02018.jpg

Lately I started using a thick layer of Turface infield conditioner on top of the drainiage layer for a more stable particle layer (and also because Matt's recipe is such a pain to make :p ), then a thin layer of Matt's recipe on top of the infield conditioner.

Chris,

That is pretty similar to what my aged redart mix looks like. Just to clarify, the mix still drains well without puddling of water on the surface. And I run the misters as much as 5X per day for a minute each. But that congealing you show is what I'm certain limits microfauna. With kitty litter you can look into the substrate profile and see a labyrinth of cracks and fissures that allow microfauna to live deep throughout the soil profile. When those fissures seal up, the area available for microfauna because limited mostly to between the surface and leaf litter. Imagine if you had a 1,000 gallon aquarium but fish only had access to the top 6" of water. That would seriously limit the number of fish the tank could support.

Pumilo 02-16-2011 08:36 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
I looked into the UVB transmittance of glass. I cannot find any spec sheets from PPG about Starphire glass. PPG is the manufacturer. Borofloat is supposed to be clearer, and have more transmittance in th UV range than Starphire. Can't prove this as apparently PPG has not made specs available. Borofloat, however, drops uvb transmittance rather sharply with thickness. By the time you get up to DS, (1/8" or 3.3mm), the UVB transmittance drops clear down to only about 45 percent. It appears that much more testing has been done, or at least made available by the manufacturer, than with Starphire.

ChrisK 02-16-2011 08:40 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pumilo (Post 560031)
I looked into the UVB transmittance of glass. I cannot find any spec sheets from PPG about Starphire glass. PPG is the manufacturer. Borofloat is supposed to be clearer, and have more transmittance in th UV range than Starphire. Can't prove this as apparently PPG has not made specs available. Borofloat, however, drops uvb transmittance rather sharply with thickness. By the time you get up to DS, (1/8" or 3.3mm), the UVB transmittance drops clear down to only about 45 percent. It appears that much more testing has been done, or at least made available by the manufacturer, than with Starphire.

That's all true, actually I corresponded with a Borofloat (and other low iron glass) distributor near me and they sent me some info on the UVB transmittance levels, I'll see if I can find it.

koolparrot 02-18-2011 01:45 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
So here is my questions,
Do plants grow well in that soil, compacted or loose
Can you have multi types of springtails and isopods in one tank,
Could you add some peat or coco fiber to the loose clay mix?

Thanks
Kp

ChrisK 02-18-2011 02:31 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by koolparrot (Post 560822)
So here is my questions,
Do plants grow well in that soil, compacted or loose
Can you have multi types of springtails and isopods in one tank,
Could you add some peat or coco fiber to the loose clay mix?

Thanks
Kp

Some yes and some no, it definitely takes a while for them to take off,

Yes,

Yes but it's probably better to add it during mixing process

Pumilo 02-18-2011 04:28 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by koolparrot (Post 560822)
So here is my questions,
Do plants grow well in that soil, compacted or loose
Can you have multi types of springtails and isopods in one tank,
Could you add some peat or coco fiber to the loose clay mix?

Thanks
Kp

I use a couple handfuls of ABG mix around the roots of each plant. I cover thi in a thin layer of clay mix. I think its helpful for the plants to get started. I put multiple types of springtails and isopods in every setup.

bbrock 02-18-2011 05:24 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by koolparrot (Post 560822)
So here is my questions,
Do plants grow well in that soil, compacted or loose
Can you have multi types of springtails and isopods in one tank,
Could you add some peat or coco fiber to the loose clay mix?

Thanks
Kp

One note. If you use organic matter like peat or coco fiber to open up the structure of the clay to create more porosity, it will likely be a temporary solution since the OM will break down into humus and the open structure will collapse. That was one of the main reasons I started using mineral substrates to begin with because I wanted a substrate that would hold its structure indefinately. But a little OM in the mix is still a good thing for a number of reasons. But I would probably keep it to no more than 5% of the mix or so other than the thin layer of leaf litter on the surface.

Because we tend to keep frog vivaria wet (probably too wet), most of the old standards for viv plants that aren't epiphytes seem to be tolerant of constantly wet feet and grow just fine in the clay substrates. I tend to plant few plants in the substrate and instead plant the tank with epiphytes or lithophytes on branches and rocks. For terrestrials that need a more organic substrate, I do like Doug and just make a little planting pocket with the appropriate mix.

tim13 02-25-2011 06:05 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
I have a question, after everything has been mixed and oven dried and split apart, can it then be stored away for later use in an air tight container? I want to make some of this but i won't be ready to use it for a few weeks. Just wanted to know if it would be okay to dry store it.

ChrisK 02-25-2011 06:11 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tim13 (Post 563998)
I have a question, after everything has been mixed and oven dried and split apart, can it then be stored away for later use in an air tight container? I want to make some of this but i won't be ready to use it for a few weeks. Just wanted to know if it would be okay to dry store it.

Yeah .

flapjax3000 02-25-2011 09:00 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tim13 (Post 563998)
I have a question, after everything has been mixed and oven dried and split apart, can it then be stored away for later use in an air tight container? I want to make some of this but i won't be ready to use it for a few weeks. Just wanted to know if it would be okay to dry store it.

I keep a pre-made wet mix on hand in a large tupperware. When I am close to making a tank I just put it out to air dry for a few days to help speed up the baking process.

You can keep it in dry storage forever if you liked, the clay will not break down or need to be sterilized. You can always re-bake it if you are concerned.

Pumilo 02-26-2011 04:39 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
You can store it dry for as long as you want. I would think that trying to store it wet would cause the pieces to clump together badly when you try to get it out and spread it in your new viv. The finished clay product should not be handled when wet or it will clump together.

ChrisK 02-26-2011 05:11 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bbrock (Post 559961)
Chris,

That is pretty similar to what my aged redart mix looks like. Just to clarify, the mix still drains well without puddling of water on the surface. And I run the misters as much as 5X per day for a minute each. But that congealing you show is what I'm certain limits microfauna. With kitty litter you can look into the substrate profile and see a labyrinth of cracks and fissures that allow microfauna to live deep throughout the soil profile. When those fissures seal up, the area available for microfauna because limited mostly to between the surface and leaf litter. Imagine if you had a 1,000 gallon aquarium but fish only had access to the top 6" of water. That would seriously limit the number of fish the tank could support.

Here's a side view from tonight of the tank I pictured (it's about 2" of clay on top, a thin layer of sphagnum under it, landscape fabric, then feather-lite drainage layer), the sand-like particles seem to have "melted" into the larger stone type particles, but those larger ones seem to have kept a nice amount of separation:

http://i462.photobucket.com/albums/q...k/DSC02052.jpg

flapjax3000 02-26-2011 12:14 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pumilo (Post 564247)
You can store it dry for as long as you want. I would think that trying to store it wet would cause the pieces to clump together badly when you try to get it out and spread it in your new viv. The finished clay product should not be handled when wet or it will clump together.


I just meant that I have a wet mix on hand. When I am ready I take out what I need, air dry it, press it through the screen and then bake it.

tim13 02-26-2011 02:45 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
I have searched all over, including ebay and craft stores, and no one carries "RedArt" clay. Is there a different name for it i don't know about?

Okapi 02-26-2011 05:09 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 

Pumilo 02-26-2011 06:45 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by flapjax3000 (Post 564308)
I just meant that I have a wet mix on hand. When I am ready I take out what I need, air dry it, press it through the screen and then bake it.

That should work fine for some mixes, although I think with my mix you may have mold problems if you store it wet. The reason would be the cornstarch and sugar in the mix. They are there to encourage a biofilm to help in keeping the clay intact. Eventually, the mold would pass, but then the cornstarch and sugar may be rendered inert.

Quote:

Originally Posted by tim13 (Post 564323)
I have searched all over, including ebay and craft stores, and no one carries "RedArt" clay. Is there a different name for it i don't know about?

The supplier I listed earlier, Mile Hi Ceramics - Ceramic supplies, Pottery supplies , Ships all over the states. I did not see it listed on their website, but I know they have it. You may just have to email or call them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Okapi (Post 564365)

Thanks Okapi, multiple sources are great to have. Anybody else with a good clay source is welcome to throw it up here.

Okapi 02-27-2011 03:58 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 

tim13 03-05-2011 03:02 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Pumilo, your idea for pushing the clay through a screen was good, I'll give you that. BUT, this is faster!



See that doohickey with the red handle in the center of the box? Yea, that will push clay our in about the same size lines as your screen. Then, just take a straight edge and "chop chop chop" like your cutting vegetables. BAM, you're done.

Disclaimer: May contain choking hazards.

bristles 03-05-2011 03:34 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Clay is very important for cation (pronounced cat-ion) exchange which allows plants to absorb nutrients. I always have clay in my planted aquarium substrate so the plants do not become nutrient bond

bristles 03-05-2011 04:30 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 

GRIMM 03-18-2011 02:47 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Awesome DIY Pumilo! Really helped me out for my next tank. I’m currently finished mixing my batch and I'm about to start the baking process. A few questions first though.

I’m interested in prolonging the life of the clay the best I can, while still maintaining all the positive effects of using this method. You baked your clay at 300 degrees, but have you or anyone else ever tried baking it at higher temperatures?

Here is a clay firing temperature chart...

212° F -Water boils.
212 to 392° F - Clays loses water.
392° F - Typical kitchen oven baking temperature.
705° F - Chemically combined water leaves clay.
932° F - Red glow in kiln.
1063° F -Quartz inversion
1472° F - Organic matter in clay burns out.
1472 to 1832° F - Low fire earthenwares and lowfire lead glazes mature.
Normal firing temperature for red bricks and terra cotta pots.

***as an additional note, most home ovens will reach 700-900 degrees during the self clean cycle***

By looking at the chart I can only assume that at 705 degrees, clay has reached the point where it becomes much more stable and solid, due to chemically combined water leaving the clay. Just to be safe, I checked the temperature at which calcium carbonate will dissociate. It forms calcium oxide at 825 degrees. However even if this temperature is exceeded, all that is needed to reverse the process is some good ol' H2O. I’m unsure of how the rest of the ingredients will act, but the main benefits of this method are calcium absorption and surface area for micro fauna growth.

Anybody have thoughts on this, or has anyone already tried baking at cleaning cycle temperatures? Good, bad, ugly? I’m curious as to if this could help extend the life of the clay.

stevenhman 03-18-2011 03:28 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Thanks for the simple recipe. I was going to make the more complicated version (Matt's), but I wasn't able to find everything locally.

I didn't press it through a screen and then bake it, although after seeing ChrisK's pictures I might just end up doing that. I baked it, then just broke the clay into chunks (1in sq & smaller).

Pumilo 03-18-2011 04:08 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GRIMM (Post 573087)
Awesome DIY Pumilo! Really helped me out for my next tank. I’m currently finished mixing my batch and I'm about to start the baking process. A few questions first though.

I’m interested in prolonging the life of the clay the best I can, while still maintaining all the positive effects of using this method. You baked your clay at 300 degrees, but have you or anyone else ever tried baking it at higher temperatures?

Here is a clay firing temperature chart...

212° F -Water boils.
212 to 392° F - Clays loses water.
392° F - Typical kitchen oven baking temperature.
705° F - Chemically combined water leaves clay.
932° F - Red glow in kiln.
1063° F -Quartz inversion
1472° F - Organic matter in clay burns out.
1472 to 1832° F - Low fire earthenwares and lowfire lead glazes mature.
Normal firing temperature for red bricks and terra cotta pots.

***as an additional note, most home ovens will reach 700-900 degrees during the self clean cycle***

By looking at the chart I can only assume that at 705 degrees, clay has reached the point where it becomes much more stable and solid, due to chemically combined water leaving the clay. Just to be safe, I checked the temperature at which calcium carbonate will dissociate. It forms calcium oxide at 825 degrees. However even if this temperature is exceeded, all that is needed to reverse the process is some good ol' H2O. I’m unsure of how the rest of the ingredients will act, but the main benefits of this method are calcium absorption and surface area for micro fauna growth.

Anybody have thoughts on this, or has anyone already tried baking at cleaning cycle temperatures? Good, bad, ugly? I’m curious as to if this could help extend the life of the clay.

Thanks Grimm, I'm afraid I'm in the dark about trying higher temps. I baked it simply to speed the drying. I would be concerned that firing it too high (and too hard), could lock the calcium up into the hardened clay pellets so that the frogs were unable to digest tiny bits of it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by stevenhman (Post 573097)
Thanks for the simple recipe. I was going to make the more complicated version (Matt's), but I wasn't able to find everything locally.

I didn't press it through a screen and then bake it, although after seeing ChrisK's pictures I might just end up doing that. I baked it, then just broke the clay into chunks (1in sq & smaller).

Hey Steven, in a PM from Matt, he told me he has gone back to locally collected clay which he amends with minerals and calcium. He did not state details why.
Obviously, I don't know the longevity of the clay structure, but I tried both crumbling, and screening, and I really love the particle size of running through the 1/4" screen. It just seems to have so many nice sized cracks and crevasses. I know my isopods and springtails are loving crawling through it! I found that with crumbling, many of the smaller bits, fell into and plugged up much of the open structure that the bigger pieces were creating.

davecalk 03-21-2011 06:03 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bristles (Post 567721)
Clay is very important for cation (pronounced cat-ion) exchange which allows plants to absorb nutrients. I always have clay in my planted aquarium substrate so the plants do not become nutrient bond

Hi all,

Great thread. Just saw it and have been reading through it.

To make different sized chunks, you can get different sized hardware cloth, also know as welded wire mesh.

Hardware Cloth


The sizes that might be relevant to us are 1/8 inch, 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch square openings.


http://www.hardwarecloth.org/hardwar...zed-wire-1.jpg

http://www.twpinc.com/images/product...50W48T-GRN.jpg


You can get them at big box places like Home Depot and Lowes in as small as 10 foot rolls. You may also be able to get smaller amounts from farm and garden stores like Costal, farmers coops, etc. They sell them for building cages for various animals.


The other tool that would be very helpful in making various size pieces easily would be to use a grout float.

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/att...1&d=1300724650


You can purchase cheap ones from Home Depot for about $3.00. It would make it very easy to push the clay chunks through the hardware fabric saving a lot of ware and tare on your hands and fingers. The amount of pressure that you push on the clay will allow you to vary the size of the particles coming out the back side.

Pumilo 03-21-2011 06:32 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by davecalk (Post 574449)
Hi all,

Great thread. Just saw it and have been reading through it.

To make different sized chunks, you can get different sized hardware cloth, also know as welded wire mesh.

Hardware Cloth


The sizes that might be relevant to us are 1/8 inch, 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch square openings.


http://www.hardwarecloth.org/hardwar...zed-wire-1.jpg

http://www.twpinc.com/images/product...50W48T-GRN.jpg


You can get them at big box places like Home Depot and Lowes in as small as 10 foot rolls. You may also be able to get smaller amounts from farm and garden stores like Costal, farmers coops, etc. They sell them for building cages for various animals.


The other tool that would be very helpful in making various size pieces easily would be to use a grout float.

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/att...1&d=1300724650


You can purchase cheap ones from Home Depot for about $3.00. It would make it very easy to push the clay chunks through the hardware fabric saving a lot of ware and tare on your hands and fingers. The amount of pressure that you push on the clay will allow you to vary the size of the particles coming out the back side.

Thanks Dave, that hardware cloth is the stuff I use to mold the clay into proper sized pieces. Ed originally recommended using the 1/4 inch size and I totally agree that the 1/4 inch makes for a very "microfauna friendly" size.
The link to the groat float is not working. Can you try again on that please? I would like to see it.

Scott 03-21-2011 06:50 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Doug - I've got about 5 tanks full of this clay substrate (with turface underneath) at this point.

I've got frogs residing in one of them, and a boatload of frogs due in this week.

Thank you for the thread - it was very helpful.

For the record - I've just been using the Tucson sun to bake the clay. Does the trick in 48 hours or less, and it's not even summer yet. ;)

s

Pumilo 03-21-2011 07:18 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Sweet Scott! Glad I'm able to pass on some of the help that people here have given to me! It's just getting warm enough here in Colorado to try some sun drying. My wife will be glad to get my "mud" out of the kitchen!

slipperheads 04-24-2011 04:44 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Hi Doug,

Was wondering how large an area your recipe covers? Looking into possibly whipping up a clay substrate for a big ole' display tank construction over the summer, and this looks like a much more longer-lasting alternative over ABG.

tim13 04-24-2011 05:01 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by §lipperhead (Post 588494)
Hi Doug,

Was wondering how large an area your recipe covers? Looking into possibly whipping up a clay substrate for a big ole' display tank construction over the summer, and this looks like a much more longer-lasting alternative over ABG.

It covers quite a bit actually, I doubled the recipe, and was able to do about 3/4 of an inch of clay in a 29 gallon tank.

Pumilo 04-24-2011 05:50 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by §lipperhead (Post 588494)
Hi Doug,

Was wondering how large an area your recipe covers? Looking into possibly whipping up a clay substrate for a big ole' display tank construction over the summer, and this looks like a much more longer-lasting alternative over ABG.

It's so dependant upon how thick a layer you want. I think out of a double batch, I did a 24" x 24" bottom and a 12" x 24" bottom nice and thick. Like 1" at the thinnest with other areas pushing more than 2".

slipperheads 04-24-2011 06:38 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Great, that's a perfect point of reference. So with the 2" of clay over the turface, that's only about maybe 3" - this will be enough for plants?

Ed 04-24-2011 07:53 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by §lipperhead (Post 588544)
Great, that's a perfect point of reference. So with the 2" of clay over the turface, that's only about maybe 3" - this will be enough for plants?

two inches is more than sufficient. I have tanks where much less is used with no problems with plant growth.
You just have to make sure the clay can drain throughly. I use an air gap under the false bottom to allow the clay to drain throughly.


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:13 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.