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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone used clay before?

I was thinking about molding something and then fire/glazing it. Then I realized I don't have access to a kiln/oven hot enough.

Then I started thinking about the amount of clay in the wild and how in only very rare freakish inicidents (volcano, lightning strike, forestfire) is it ever "fired."

Drainage always seems to be a big issue in terrarium design, and clay has poor drainage qualitys, but couldn't this be leveraged to make small pools/swamps/waterfalls? Eventually a water fall would erode away, but anyone have an idea how long it would take? More importantly is there any health hazard to the frogs in using clay in a vivarium?


-Tad
 

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Well I don’t know if you can put raw clay in your tank (I think it would erode pretty fast and make a big mess for when you try to change the water, as well as build up on the bottom of your tank in a slimy mess) but I do use clay balls so I would think fired clay would be fine, I know here in my area there is a pottery place that has lessons, slip cast stuff, clay and glaze sales ect and you can take your own stuff in there to get fired and its not that expensive, (look in the phone book there could be something like that near you) , if you do this and don’t know much about clay I would talk to them a bit before building stuff, for instance you cant have air bubbles in it or it can explode :shock: ....
Good luck
Michelle
(PS working with clay is soooooo much fun so if you can find a place near you dig in and have some fun 8) )
 

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No reason why you can't use fired clay. Some people use terra cotta pots as bowers, remember. It's not the clay itself that's potentially dangerous, it's the glaze. Unglazed clay should be fine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
clay

I don't think you would want to use unfired clay in your tank. Most every type of clay you can get easly (or that iv seen in my 5 years of ceramics) would wash away pretty fast. I don't think there is any problem with fired clay though as long as you dont use raku or some sort of toxic glaze. Id stick without any glaze at all. When most clay is high fired it turns out with a really earthy natural color that would match in most terrariums anyways. and if you just cant resist all glazes should tell you if they are food safe or not.
 

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Calling Brent Brock. Come in Brent.

I know Brent has used clay cat litter in the past. Pure - unadulterated (and obviously unused) catlitter.

He noted how the surface of it encouraged plant growth much like you see in the jungle (surface roots, etc).

Hopefully Brent will come along and add his two bits here.

s
 

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I read about that somewhere, i think naturalistic vivarium group. But I also remember it caused major problems dismantelling it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
would fired clay accept root growth? or is it too dense for plants to attach to?
i am sure that you can find a high school or a community college that will let you get in a little kiln time to fire your piece. i think that it is a great idea.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Major problems? or.... benefits? I guess it would depend on the mineral make up.

how sterile of an environment do we want/need?

would/could/should a frog kept in an entirely steril, plastic(inert for this hypothesis)?

-Tad
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
there are many different grades of clay, and most high end retailers will know the mineral makeup of the clay as it will impact the longevity of a completed piece. (see, the art major was worth something after all!)
there are some higher grades of clay that when fired are virtually non-porus thus preventing any leaching from taking place.
As well as that, clay taken from the amazon basin is considered the best for outdoor sculpture as it contains only trace metals whereas many north american clay is peppered with various minerals.
 
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