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

Pumilo 08-11-2011 05:54 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bonobo (Post 631152)
Any big differences in what source of calcium? The one I used lists calcium gluconate and calcium lactate, it also has cholecalciferol(Vitamin D) in it..

What ya think?


Hmm.. after doing some research, I would say carbonite is the way to go.. it's listed as having the highest amounts of useable calcium..

Yes, calcium carbonite.

Bonobo 08-11-2011 06:10 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
You think I would be okay if I added more to recipe? Or should I just get rid of this batch? and redo one using calcium carbonate?

It does say calcium lactate and gluconate are absorbed easier.

Paul G 08-11-2011 06:18 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
So reading back at the posts from Brent....would kitty litter make a fine substrate by itself? Anyone try that other than Brent?
(I'm not talking about raising thumbs or egg feeders in these tanks)

Ed 08-11-2011 01:23 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pumilo (Post 631154)
Yes, calcium carbonite.

Carbonite? Have you guys started coal mining or have you been watching too much Star Wars? (see Carbonite - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) ;)

Carbonate..... I think is what you mean... ;)

Ed

Ed 08-11-2011 01:26 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul G (Post 631160)
So reading back at the posts from Brent....would kitty litter make a fine substrate by itself? Anyone try that other than Brent?
(I'm not talking about raising thumbs or egg feeders in these tanks)


There have been a number of people with success using it as a substrate. All of the issues around it were mainly due to issues with backgrounds. As a substrate it works well as long as it is well drained.

Ed

Pumilo 08-11-2011 04:51 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed (Post 631222)
Carbonite? Have you guys started coal mining or have you been watching too much Star Wars? (see Carbonite - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) ;)

Carbonate..... I think is what you mean... ;)

Ed

Sorry Ed, I though we were referring to freezing the frogs in Carbonite, to preserve the line for future use. :rolleyes: I wonder if it would also produce a frog capable of doing the Kessel spice run in under 12 parsecs?

Golden State Mantellas 08-11-2011 05:54 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pumilo (Post 631287)
Sorry Ed, I though we were referring to freezing the frogs in Carbonite, to preserve the line for future use. :rolleyes: I wonder if it would also produce a frog capable of doing the Kessel spice run in under 12 parsecs?

Oh the visuals of a frog room wall covered in miniature carbonite encased frog trophies, whilst the proud owner sits in the corner bellowing maniacally and speaking in tongues.

derail over.

tclipse 08-19-2011 11:21 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pumilo (Post 631287)
Sorry Ed, I though we were referring to freezing the frogs in Carbonite, to preserve the line for future use. :rolleyes: I wonder if it would also produce a frog capable of doing the Kessel spice run in under 12 parsecs?

Not sure, but I just sent a solarte out to the Tosche station to pick up some power converters

Neontra 08-20-2011 04:05 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
What's the difference from this and ABG? Couldn't you just use hydroton instead of making your own clay subsrate? Thanks

Pumilo 08-20-2011 05:09 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Neontra (Post 635233)
What's the difference from this and ABG? Couldn't you just use hydroton instead of making your own clay subsrate? Thanks

ABG mix, while I do love it as a simple, workable, substrate, is basically a very well-drained, dirt for very humid vivs.
A good, calcium enriched, clay substrate does a couple of important things. First off, it mimics the nutrient poor forest floor in the areas our frogs are found. This can give us more realistic growth rates without the constant trimming. I'm not saying plant growth will stagnate, but traditional substrates are rather rich compared to a dart frogs natural habitat. Honestly though, that part concerns me very little. What I am in it for, is the calcium.
There is calcium in the clay substrate. When your microfauna crawl around, they get it on them and in them. When your frogs eat the bugs, they will ingest some of this, reaping the benefits of the calcium. Your frogs may also be able to absorb some of the calcium directly through their skin. This can be helpful particularly with eggfeeders and other small froglets that are not taking dusted flies from day one.

tclipse 09-16-2011 09:07 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Neontra (Post 635233)
What's the difference from this and ABG?

Everything Pumilo mentioned above.... plus, it's CHEAP. I just spent ~$20 on enough redart/bentonite/calcium carbonate to do backgrounds AND substrate on a whole bunch of vivs. Premixed ABG would be that much for *maybe* two verts worth.

Would love to see this stickied, very informative & helpful.

gturmindright 02-24-2012 06:23 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Okay, I ordered my supplies. My plant is to make it and then roll it out on a cookie sheet over parchment paper and then cut it with a pizza cutter into quarter inch squares so they break up easy after I bake it. Plan sound like it'll work?

Pumilo 02-24-2012 07:03 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gturmindright (Post 702775)
Okay, I ordered my supplies. My plant is to make it and then roll it out on a cookie sheet over parchment paper and then cut it with a pizza cutter into quarter inch squares so they break up easy after I bake it. Plan sound like it'll work?

It should work. You might want to do a small test batch first to make sure it is going to release from the parchment paper. Even if it doesn't release right, you could still use it as it's food safe. It would just look funny until it decomposed and was eaten by your bugs. If it doesn't release right, though, it will be a hassle to cut it all up to get it into little cubes.

gturmindright 02-24-2012 07:04 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Do you just put it directly on a cookie sheet or what?

Also, I read this thread a couple times and I don't know if this is addressed, would you use this substrate or this size of substrate for something like terribilis? Can they accidentally eat a chunk or does it sort of get stuck together. I like to keep everything the same way, I was gonna just do a grow out tank but now I think I'm gonna do everything in clay from now on if it's as successful as I hear. I think it would be good for me bc I don't have a misting system, I just mist by hand so it should stay good for a really long time for me.

Pumilo 02-24-2012 07:52 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gturmindright (Post 702785)
Do you just put it directly on a cookie sheet or what?

Also, I read this thread a couple times and I don't know if this is addressed, would you use this substrate or this size of substrate for something like terribilis? Can they accidentally eat a chunk or does it sort of get stuck together. I like to keep everything the same way, I was gonna just do a grow out tank but now I think I'm gonna do everything in clay from now on if it's as successful as I hear. I think it would be good for me bc I don't have a misting system, I just mist by hand so it should stay good for a really long time for me.

I put a disposable, aluminum, cake pan/roasting pan under my screen and just push it through the screen, letting it fall into the disposable pan. Because it's not rolled out in the pan, I have no issues with it sticking to the pan.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pumilo (Post 555983)
Place a cookie sheet or a disposable aluminum cake pan under the screen so that your little cubes of clay will fall straight in. This will help to reduce the sticking together that you are going to get. Push clay patties through screen to make into little cubes. I like to use this rubber sanding block that I got at WalMart. I push down and then slide the block towards me while still pushing down. Doing small sections at a time makes it easy.


Ed 02-24-2012 08:18 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Rolling it out isn't ideal as you are going to remove all of the little air pockets and voids that the preperation methods try to create... those are important for structure and for microfaunal spots (if they open up over time). This is why passing it through a screen, letting that dry and breaking it up accomplishes.

Ed

Robzilla56 04-11-2012 08:38 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
I wouldn't mind seeing some picture of a viv or two that have used your clay substrates. It seems many people are moving to this and I'm also curious whats the longest you guys have had one with the clay in it? Do you plan on cleaning them out after a year or so or just leaving it? Also whats the consensus on false bottoms or drainage layer underneath this?

Just a few questions I had for the experts

Robbie

Ed 04-12-2012 04:44 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Robzilla56 (Post 720158)
I wouldn't mind seeing some picture of a viv or two that have used your clay substrates. It seems many people are moving to this and I'm also curious whats the longest you guys have had one with the clay in it? Do you plan on cleaning them out after a year or so or just leaving it? Also whats the consensus on false bottoms or drainage layer underneath this?

Just a few questions I had for the experts

Robbie

If you set the clay up properly there are people out there with enclosures that were set up more than a decade.
If I remember correctly there are some after shots in this thread http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...tml#post622732

Ed

jejton 07-25-2012 01:49 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Trying to decide on a substrate for my reentry to PDF and this looks worth a try. The main barrier I'm having is buying everything in a cost effective manner for 2 vivs ( no bigger floor space than a 29 gallon ). It seems like the cost of getting everything shipped from different suppliers will cost as much as the material. Anyone in NY area know where I can buy the ingredients locally?
Also, instead of using a false bottom ( I just hate dealing with cutting eggcrate and its getting harder to find anyways ), can I lay the clay on top of hydroton/leica/gravel with windowscreen as a barrier?

tnwalkers 07-25-2012 02:20 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
hey Doug I was curious how would this work as a material to build a 'pond' feature or shallow pools?

Pumilo 07-25-2012 04:28 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tnwalkers (Post 754427)
hey Doug I was curious how would this work as a material to build a 'pond' feature or shallow pools?

I think that your water would remain continually cloudy. I'm really not sure if if would stand up long term. I KNOW that a primarily bentonite clay would absolutely NOT work. It would turn into mush, and then gray water.
I think there are probably better ways to build a pond.

jejton 07-25-2012 08:22 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Can anyone convert the volume measurements in the recipe to pounds? The site I'm trying to order from sells by weight only.

Ed 07-25-2012 08:36 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Sodium bentonite is used as a liner for ponds and retention ponds because as it swells it binds to the soild in the bottom of the pond creating a water proof barrier. This is often impractical in the enclosures

1) the thickness needed for a stable pool and the amount it swells makes it impractical
2) the volume in the enclosure is typically too small to keep the pH swings down


Some comments

Ed

Pumilo 07-25-2012 09:23 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Thanks Ed, and I do remember discussions with you concerning the possibility of using clay for a leaking tank and how it is used for leaks in ponds. Both of those uses, of course, are relying on existing surfaces to bond to and be able to fill cracks. I just wasn't sure it would be the best material to try to build up the bank of a pond for. I'm not sure the wall would hold it's integrity, long term, under constant contact with water.

Ed 07-25-2012 09:59 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pumilo (Post 754679)
Thanks Ed, and I do remember discussions with you concerning the possibility of using clay for a leaking tank and how it is used for leaks in ponds. Both of those uses, of course, are relying on existing surfaces to bond to and be able to fill cracks. I just wasn't sure it would be the best material to try to build up the bank of a pond for. I'm not sure the wall would hold it's integrity, long term, under constant contact with water.

I wouldn't try a wall of it in contact with water unless your really serious on taking the long slow route.... I spent more than six months getting some clay to withstand a slow water flow....that means no animals and no messing with it as that disrupts the structure.

Ed

rgwheels 07-26-2012 04:16 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Great thread thanks!

I have two practical questions:
1. How does one make the background with the clay? Does it simply adhere to the glass and hold its form? I'm assuming background clay is mushed onto the glass. Or would you place something like an egg crate behind it.
2. Should microfauna be added as soon as the clay and tank are set or should the tank sit for some time?

Thanks, I'm starting to persuade my wife to let me do a new build with clay!

Ed 07-26-2012 04:23 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
What kind of clay do you intend to use?

Ed

Pumilo 07-26-2012 06:23 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rgwheels (Post 754906)
Great thread thanks!

I have two practical questions:
1. How does one make the background with the clay? Does it simply adhere to the glass and hold its form? I'm assuming background clay is mushed onto the glass. Or would you place something like an egg crate behind it.
2. Should microfauna be added as soon as the clay and tank are set or should the tank sit for some time?

Thanks, I'm starting to persuade my wife to let me do a new build with clay!

Here is how I did my last clay background. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/mem...ilo-build.html

rgwheels 07-26-2012 04:17 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
I was going to use the recipe mentioned at the beginning with the modifications that were discussed in the thread elsewhere. I'm considering starting with a ten gallon vert to get practice. Then moving to a bigger build later.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed (Post 754910)
What kind of clay do you intend to use?

Ed


Pumilo 07-26-2012 05:21 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Read through this thread http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/gen...clay-fail.html paying attention to Ed's comments regarding slowing things down and establishing a bio film. It will be helpful for long term success.

gotham229 08-04-2012 10:01 AM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
I having a hard time finding sodium and calcium bentonate. Dors anyone know where i might be able to obtain this. I found this but not sure if this is correct.

Bentonite 325 Mesh (sold per lb.)
Bentonite - BentoLite L-10 (White) (sold per lb.)

Thank you for you help

Ed 08-04-2012 02:29 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
Talk to the pottery suppliers directly. They can usually answer the questions.

Ed

Pumilo 12-04-2012 09:31 PM

Re: Clay Substrate How-To
 
My pottery store has no idea what Calcium Bentonite is. I get my Calcium Bentonite from eBay seller "doormatz". Here is a link to the product 4 Pounds or 14 Pounds Calcium Bentonite Clay Koi Ponds Plants Worldwide | eBay
That link won't last because it is an eBay item. Here is the link to his seller page. eBay My World - doormatz When you see his listing that shows Koi or goldfish in the pic, you have the right product.

Checking your links, it looks like this one Bentonite - BentoLite L-10 (White) (sold per lb.) will work for your Calcium Bentonite.
This one Bentonite 325 Mesh (sold per lb.) does not state that it is sodium bentonite, HOWEVER, it does state, "The most commonly used bentonite, and is considered a standard glaze and clay additive.", and that is what sodium bentonite is used for. I believe it is the right product, but you might want to contact them and ask.

R1ch13 12-19-2012 04:01 PM

Move to Clay Substrate Thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed (Post 689137)
It is possible that red art isn't available since that is a specific location harvested in the USA and I've seen some sellers that didn't carry it. I do have doubts that multiple equivalent clays aren't available from ceramic/pottery suppliers.... since high iron clays are some of the most common clays used in making pottery and virtually all will function the same way in the enclosurer.

Ed

Thought I'd somewhat resurrect this thread after yet another reading in its entirety.

Being in the UK myself and having never had any luck sourcing RedArt clay like Gex, are there any substitutes you would recommend?

It is my understanding that RedArt is simply a brand name for a red, high iron Earthenware clay sourced from a particular area within the US.

Would the likes of other red Earthenware clays or even Terracotta suffice as a stand in?

Regards,
Richie

Ed 12-20-2012 06:08 PM

Re: The TRUTH about ABG Mix!!
 
any red earthware clay should be fine.

Some comments

Ed

R1ch13 12-20-2012 07:44 PM

Re: The TRUTH about ABG Mix!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed (Post 798852)
any red earthware clay should be fine.

Some comments

Ed

Cheers for that Ed, will give it a go in the new year and see what I come up with. Had almost given up hope on creating a good clay substrate!

Organics just don't cut it...

Regards,
Richie

Pumilo 12-20-2012 10:09 PM

Re: The TRUTH about ABG Mix!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by R1ch13 (Post 798579)
Thought I'd somewhat resurrect this thread after yet another reading in its entirety.

Being in the UK myself and having never had any luck sourcing RedArt clay like Gex, are there any substitutes you would recommend?

It is my understanding that RedArt is simply a brand name for a red, high iron Earthenware clay sourced from a particular area within the US.

Would the likes of other red Earthenware clays or even Terracotta suffice as a stand in?

Regards,
Richie

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed (Post 798852)
any red earthware clay should be fine.

Some comments

Ed

Quote:

Originally Posted by R1ch13 (Post 798875)
Cheers for that Ed, will give it a go in the new year and see what I come up with. Had almost given up hope on creating a good clay substrate!

Organics just don't cut it...

Regards,
Richie

Just don't try substituting more bentonite, instead of RedArt or other red clay. Bentonite based mixes degraded and turned to mush VERY quickly in my side by side comparisons.

R1ch13 12-20-2012 10:35 PM

Re: The TRUTH about ABG Mix!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pumilo (Post 798920)
Just don't try substituting more bentonite, instead of RedArt or other red clay. Bentonite based mixes degraded and turned to mush VERY quickly in my side by side comparisons.

Cheers for that Doug, I wouldn't consider it. I tried a Calcium Bentonite based mix in a QT tub in 2010, it turned mushy almost instantly -boy was I pleased it wasn't a viv.

Regarding Turface, this is another hard to come by component. However, I have used a clay product in vivs for a few years which has proven to hold its form very well with impeccable drainage. The product is called Akadama and is a reknowned Bonsai potting substrate - does this sound comparable to turface/infield conditioner?

Regards,
Richie

EDIT: Answered my own question

Quote:

"The product manufactured in the United States called "Turface", most often used as a soil amendment and for surface dressing of baseball infields, is often erroneously thought to be a similar material. However, it bears no similarity to Akadama."
I would still be interested in hearing whether you guys think Akadama could play a part in creating a suitable clay based substrate mix. Am I right in saying Turface is mainly used to aid in drainage and to bulk out homemade RedArt substrate mixes?

Pumilo 12-20-2012 11:03 PM

Re: The TRUTH about ABG Mix!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by R1ch13 (Post 798928)
Cheers for that Doug, I wouldn't consider it. I tried a Calcium Bentonite based mix in a QT tub in 2010, it turned mushy almost instantly -boy was I pleased it wasn't a viv.

Regarding Turface, this is another hard to come by component. However, I have used a clay product in vivs for a few years which has proven to hold its form very well with impeccable drainage. The product is called Akadama and is a reknowned Bonsai potting substrate - does this sound comparable to turface/infield conditioner?

Regards,
Richie

EDIT: Answered my own question



I would still be interested in hearing whether you guys think Akadama could play a part in creating a suitable clay based substrate mix. Am I right in saying Turface is mainly used to aid in drainage and to bulk out homemade RedArt substrate mixes?

Akadama would work just fine as a substitute for Turface. They are both, basically hardened clay. Turface is manufactured and is a fired product. Akadama is a naturally forming, clay like mineral. Turface is used instead of Akadama all the time, by American bonsai growers. In fact, turface is one of the main components of the custom blend sold by Denver's best bonsai greenhouse.
Yes, they are different. But they are also very similar. The similar qualities they share are these:
1) They are both long lasting, and won't turn to mush.
2) They both provide excellent drainage.
3) They are both porous, and will hold some water, while still being extremely well drained.
4) They are both either natural, or made of natural materials.
5) They are both very lightweight.

For all these reasons, I believe that Akadama will work just as well as Turface for a drainage layer.
The problem I would have with Akadama is the very high price tag it carries around here.

Edit: Are you talking about using it as a drainage layer, under your clay substrate, or are you mixing it into the clay? I don't mix any turface into my clay. Here is my clay recipe. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...trate-how.html

R1ch13 12-20-2012 11:15 PM

Re: The TRUTH about ABG Mix!!
 
Thanks very much Doug, really appreciate all the brilliant information! I had a feeling Akadama would serve a similar role as Turface, I really have been very impressed with how it has held up in my vivs over the past couple of years!

Quote:

Are you talking about using it as a drainage layer, under your clay substrate, or are you mixing it into the clay? I don't mix any turface into my clay. Here is my clay recipe.
I would only use the Akadama as a layer underneath my clay to aid in drainage and help lessen the amount of homemade clay substrate used.

I am re-reading your Clay Substrate thread as I type this...

Cheers Doug!

Regards,
Richie


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