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I recently made the clay substrate however I used an extruder to make the clay pieces. There were 2 attachments I used. The first made long flat pieces that were easy to break into pieces about the size of 1/2 of a Hershey bar section. The second attachment made spaghetti like pieces that were easy to break into a range of lengths. My question is... which do you think would be most beneficial? I believe it would be the larger chunks for irregular surface area and cracks/crevices but I attached a few pics to see what you guys think. Thanks!

Large pieces




Spaghetti pieces



Mix

 

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Does anyone sell the clay premade, or is willing to sell some?
I need enough to make about 8 , 8oz springtail cultures.
Please post a link or DM me if you would sell directly. Thanks

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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.
 

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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.


The consensus seems to be its fine at low quantities. One of the OG clay guys had posted he keeps it under 5%. From my understanding part of the point of using organics is they will decompose and add more surface area(voids on the exterior creating an uneven surface). I suspect that you could forgo the use of it without any issues, I only just started using substrate so only time will tell.

Also there is another thread that may have your answer.

https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/general-discussion/22990-ultimate-clay-based-substrate-thread.html
 
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I had a question that was only partially answered. So I wanted to post what I discovered making this substrate. The question was what is the stability of the substrate dry(in reference to storing for later use). It is brittle enough to break in your hands with some force but strong enough to be stored in large amounts(I had ten pounds in a box without issues). Wanted to post this for anyone who may read this thread in the future, but maybe alone in that question seeing as I never saw it asked.

Also other notes,

I see most people were using hardware cloth but I found an alternative product that was located directly behind the hardware cloth. Holes seemed to be a hair or two over 1/4”. Comes pre-framed but I would recommend elevating one side with blocks of wood.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Constru...d-Steel-Flat-Screen-Vent-SCV168-1-8/310198652

Also I would recommend only dry mixing one batch at a time, I did two and had to go back and mix again due too some being unmixed in bottom “corners” of the bucket. Wet mixing I would only do half a batch at a time. This stuff is thicc.




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Discussion Starter #288
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.
 
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Discussion Starter #289
I recently made the clay substrate however I used an extruder to make the clay pieces. There were 2 attachments I used. The first made long flat pieces that were easy to break into pieces about the size of 1/2 of a Hershey bar section. The second attachment made spaghetti like pieces that were easy to break into a range of lengths. My question is... which do you think would be most beneficial? I believe it would be the larger chunks for irregular surface area and cracks/crevices but I attached a few pics to see what you guys think. Thanks!

Large pieces




Spaghetti pieces



Mix

I like the mix.
 
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