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Discussion Starter #1
So after finally going to NE herpetoculture and walking away with a tray full of Plants, I finally motivated myself to finish the four exo terras tanks I had. This is the first time I used kitty litter as a BG and it came out pretty good surpringly. The tanks has no residents yet but I am hoping to pick up some frogs locally or at the White Plains Expo next week :D

12" x 12" x 18"


18" x 18" x 18"



24" x 18" x 18"




24" x 18" x 24"

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Pretty much what I use are dr. elsey's precious cat litter from petsmart (around $14 for a 40lb bag) mix it with some peat moss and water and viola it's like playdough and you can just slap it onto the glass. So far it works really well. I don't have pictures of the process but here's a video where it shows how the background is put on:

 

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As much as I hate to rain on the parade...I can only concur with Field on the above posts. After a couple months of constant humidity, my experience is that the clay just begins to peel and fall off the side of the glass. It was a pain to clean out a 4x2x3' case in which I had used all bentonite clay for the background. Very frustrating.

However, if you take it SLOW and don't keep it too humid, and allow moss to overtake it and included some other materials in the mix...it might be okay.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have also read post where a clay wall have kept up for 3 years, I don't plan on adding a drip wall or a water feature onto the background so it should be okay. Will see how it works out I actually had these tanks for about a month already unplanted and the clay had only crack where I didn't keep it humid enough and that's the top areas before I covered it.
 

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The problem I ran into was where the condensation from the glass lid dripped onto the clay. First small chunks started to come loose, then as the clay became over-saturated, whole slabs slid down. Eventually both sides collapsed, luckily no frogs were caught under the clayvalanche. I was ticked too because I was getting really attractive moss growth.
 

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I've had my kitty litter tanks set up for a couple years now. I love it. :D

I don't have an auto misting system though. Just a hand sprayer. The clay helps keep things nice and humid.
 

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I have a tank thats clay. Made out of kitty litter, peat, coco husk and some organics. It has held up well to all the humidity, for over a year. I think the secret is to not initially wet it too much.
The only thing i dont like is the weight. Its 4x heavier then anything done with ExpandingFoam
 

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I have had my kitty litter background going for over a year and have haad no problems with it, my 3 leucs are doing fine in it. One thing you have to remember is that people usually only post about their failures with Kitty litter not that they have had tank(s) going strong for years. Just like any background its how you build it, there are reports of foam backgrounds peeling off the glass.
 

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I made a clay bg for M. stelzneri. Looked great, but it also fails when it dries too much, so it would appear you have to get the moisture just right. Considering the weight if it falls...I'm opting out from now on and sticking with great stuff. It is a PITA, but looks awesome and is so versatile.

Bad thing is I was at Lowe's the other day and they no longer carry black or brown GEII silicone.

What else can you use that isn't clear or white?
 

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When the clay was getting big on the forums we had a local decide to try one. Unfortunately we live in an incredibly dry climate. In between mistings there would be such humidity fluctuations that the clay expanded and contracted greatly. It only took three or four weeks before the background he set up was cracked and warped.

I noticed the same thing at my Lowes. However, last I checked Home Improvement still carries the brown stuff. Or, maybe it's time to switch over to Gorilla Glue.
 

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i have tank that has a clay background and has been up for about 2 years. in my experience dont wet it too much. let it dry out some. i had a brom mounted in it and would spray it all the time, finally the brom fell. sad day for that brom cause i threw it out lol
 

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For mounting bromeliads... I have found it best to drill a hole in a small piece of cork then press that cork into the clay background. Keeps the stolon from rotting as easily.
 

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Oh god, not more clay backgrounds! Get rid of them before something goes bad. Chances are quite high they will fall apart.
 

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Oh god, not more clay backgrounds! Get rid of them before something goes bad. Chances are quite high they will fall apart.
Blanket statements like that don't help anyone.

Yes... Quick mix and mash kitty litter recipes do have an upsetting fail rate. I've had luck with them, but I know many people unfortunately haven't... However, properly designed clay mixes can be extremely beneficial to your frogs.

Kitty litter can be used very successfully as an ingredient... And honestly your signature has always seemed a bit odd to me because of this. Again, i understand that some people have had bad experiences with it and that is a bummer... But it doesn't mean all clay backgrounds need to be discounted.

As with any construction method, what people need to do is research a good clay recipe (use the search function!) before jumping in. Doug and Ed have both posted extensively about this and Redart seems to be the key ingredient for consistent performance (use "redart" in your searches).
 
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