||06-04-2020 05:16 AM
Re: Clay Substrate How-To
Originally Posted by athiker04
I'd like to try to revive this as I'm thinking about making a batch for a couple of new vivs that I will likely use for obligates. I'm not sure if the main contributors are still active on this forum but I'd love the hear from anyone with knowledge on the subject.
My main question, not being a biochemist: Is it or is it not recommended to mix peat or other organics in with the clay. I notice that it's in the initial recipe but that there are several mentions of organic materials having the effect of binding up the calcium and rendering the clay less useful.
Thanks for any insight.
You can't really revive this. It never died. Calcium Bearing Clay Substrates are alive and well. It's in the back areas of at least 2 zoos in the US. It's being used in Canada, and across the pond. It's latest use in the culturing of springtails and isopods.
Yes, using large amounts of organics will bind up the calcium. Small amounts decompose over time, leaving an internal "honeycomb" structure to the clay. The warning about organics and clay conflicting with one another, come from people misusing clay. It does NOT help ABG or other substrates, to add clay powder or calcium powder to it. See, that is just ruined organics, with clay goop mucking up the place and nullifying ABG's excellent drainage potential.
If you want ABG mix, use it as it was designed to be used. I'm pretty sure the developers of ABG mix would be horrified to hear about people mixing clay into it. ABG is all about the drainage. You nullify it if you add clay. Plus, you nullify the clay because it's calcium is now bound to organics.
Putting 2 good things together does not always create Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Sometimes it just makes a nasty mess that nobody wants any part of.