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Just a couple of quick clay questions. I made my first clay background with sodium bentonite, iron oxide for color, water, and ground sphag moss. It's holding together well and has springs living in it. There's a ton of shroom like growth but not much else.

1. What is the point of adding redart clay to the bentonite clay? Is this just for color or is there an actual advantage?

2. when it comes to clay based substrate I've read a few recipes. It seems the two major advantages are calcium intake and microfauna growth. However, as I seen in pumilios post you can buy powdered calcium supplement and add it to regular sodium bentonite. Does this yield the same results as buying the much more expensive calcium bentonite? My microfauna loves the abg mix I use so if it does yield the same results is it logical to think that I can just use the powdered supplement to spike that abg mix and get the same results?
 

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Just a couple of quick clay questions. I made my first clay background with sodium bentonite, iron oxide for color, water, and ground sphag moss. It's holding together well and has springs living in it. There's a ton of shroom like growth but not much else.

1. What is the point of adding redart clay to the bentonite clay? Is this just for color or is there an actual advantage?

2. when it comes to clay based substrate I've read a few recipes. It seems the two major advantages are calcium intake and microfauna growth. However, as I seen in pumilios post you can buy powdered calcium supplement and add it to regular sodium bentonite. Does this yield the same results as buying the much more expensive calcium bentonite? My microfauna loves the abg mix I use so if it does yield the same results is it logical to think that I can just use the powdered supplement to spike that abg mix and get the same results?
1) Color is a factor, but more importantly, RedArt hold together better. Bentonite clay is slicker. I read online that it is made up of tiny platelets and that could be where some of the slickness comes from. The RedArt seems to just tie things together better. I made a batch of clay substrate using my recipe ( http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/63732-clay-substrate-how.html ), and another batch exactly the same, but with sodium bentonite replacing the redart. The RedArt batch is holding up better. The Bentonite batch has to be completely covered by leaf litter or the direct misting makes it swell, get slimy, and clump up.

2) When I use ABG mix, I cover it completely with leaf litter. I am trying to prevent ingestion and possible impaction. With my clay, I deliberately leave areas open for hunting areas. I am trying to encourage the frogs to eat small bits of clay for calcium. I think the bugs are probably more likely to ingest tiny bits of clay, adding to the calcium uptake.
 
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