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Discussion Starter #1
Well woke up this morning to one of my 18x24 clay backgrounds on the floor.

I had a ledge that was made of clay that just fell after 2months of being up

I misted 1 time a day for 20seconds using mistking

I look at other people clay backgrounds and they look dry to touch mine turned to mush

Used red art bent and calc bent all powdered with sphagnum and peat moss


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What percentage of organics did you use?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yea I had no time to get things right before work

I have a breedi.g trio of rdyll I know two are alive hope the third didnt get crushed.

Also probably lost tads as the two broms that fell had eggs which I removed and I thought it had tads as well so that sucks have to wait and see


Now I gotta resculpt the whole back and im worried about more clay now.

Probably will take frogs out for couple days if I can catch them to redo the ledge with great stuff then just coat the greatstuff with clay

Just sucks becuase now I will have to wait days or weeks to get fumes out....

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Discussion Starter #5
80% red art
15% calc bent
The rest peat and sphag

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Discussion Starter #8
Well looks like great stuff is going in now....


Im really worried lol cant stop thinking about my male rydll found both females hope he didnt get crushed

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I use clay as a substrate - you're describing one of many reasons I do not use it as a background.

s
I have also moved back towards cork bark backgrounds. I don't think I have the patience Ed talks about in establishing a bio film. I still love my clay substrates.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well that sucks. Any advice on fastest way to get my tank back up?

Sould I just gorilla glue cork bark back their put a little bit clay?


Want to use great stuff but then due to fumes my tank will be down for a while. Sucks for my frogs

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I silicone my cork bark up and then, after it's dry, I stuff the cracks with sphagnum moss. Of course you still have to wait for fumes to clear. I use GE silicone 1.
 

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I have also moved back towards cork bark backgrounds. I don't think I have the patience Ed talks about in establishing a bio film. I still love my clay substrates.
Using clay as a ledge and subjecting it to stresses fairly early in the process is a good source of possible failure.. It takes a long time (at least 3-5 months) of patient work to get a clay background to work in the long haul and a ledge is something that I would take much longer before I was sure it was established. I just started taking down the one I set up all of those years ago as I think I've learned all I can from it.

Instead of stuffing the cracks with sphagnum which is going to loosen and break down over time, I've had good luck filling them with clay. Partially fill a decent sized ziplock bag, squeeze out all of the extra air, seal the bag and cut out one of the bottom corners. This works like a icing bag so you can pipe the clay into the crack and then stuff it with sphagnum. That way if the sphagnum comes loose the frogs still can't get behind the cork.

Ed
 
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Using clay as a ledge and subjecting it to stresses fairly early in the process is a good source of possible failure.. It takes a long time (at least 3-5 months) of patient work to get a clay background to work in the long haul and a ledge is something that I would take much longer before I was sure it was established. I just started taking down the one I set up all of those years ago as I think I've learned all I can from it.

Instead of stuffing the cracks with sphagnum which is going to loosen and break down over time, I've had good luck filling them with clay. Partially fill a decent sized ziplock bag, squeeze out all of the extra air, seal the bag and cut out one of the bottom corners. This works like a icing bag so you can pipe the clay into the crack and then stuff it with sphagnum. That way if the sphagnum comes loose the frogs still can't get behind the cork.

Ed
Hey Ed, you remember I built my first clay walls out of pure sodium bentonite and lots of organics....It seemed like a good idea at the time! :rolleyes:
 

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Our 1st clay background is still holding up really well, after about a year. We haven't had the patience to do any other backgrounds strictly out of clay, and use it more as an adhesive/crack filler in conjunction with cork. We have a few tanks set up with varrying percentages of the background consisting of clay. We used very little sphagnum or peat moss, and are still working through the bags of special kitty that we bought. We never got the fine powdered clay mixes. Maybe the strength is from the large ammounts of undissolved clay particles left in the mix, regardless of how long we soak the litter. The original background was shaped, and then allowed to dry for a couple days, before proceeding with the build.

I hope all turns out ok, for you and you are able to find all your frogs.
 

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In my experience, the kroger and walmart brand kitty litters hold up better than a red art and bentonite mixtures. They even seem to film up faster. However I do have one that is 100% bentonite and it is fine. The red art mixture seemed to keep absorbing water until it slid off the glass.
 

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I'm thinking of using GS to sculpt ledges that will hopefully hold the clay in place. Has anyone else tried this?
I'm also wanting to add a ledge in my viv, but plan on using GS and drift wood to help hold it up, and in place. I hope you find all the frogs and they are not too stressed over all this.
 

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I had the Walmart brand up for almost a year until 25% came tumbling down. I moved recently so I redid all of the tanks with Cork and GS. I enjoyed being able to put brom's everywhere without having to drill into the gs or cork, but the danger of an avalanche called for a complete over haul.
 

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Many of the fails I've seen discussed using clay as a background are in no small part due to a lack of letting it fully stabilize before putting weight and stress on it. In the tank I just took down I spent literally months stabilizing it before I stressed it with weight.

I've used red art and bentonite mixtures and they have been extremely stable but as I've noted above and elsewhere, months went into stabilizing the clay.

I'm with Doug, I'm not giving up clay substrates....

Ed
 
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