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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. Been lurking on here for some time now but this is my first post. I was interested in pdf's back in the late nineties and might make the plunge again (wow has a lot changed) since then I have been keeping planted aquariums.

Anyway I have been reading up on the clay backgrounds people make and would like to incorporate one into a paludarium I am making for vampire crabs, shrimp and maybe some fish and had a thought.

From what I am reading it is important to establish a bio-film in the clay wall for it to maintain its structure overtime. I was wondering if adding a product that promotes this in ornamental shrimp culturing like bacter ae would help speed up this process.

Just wondering if anyone has tried this? I might since I plan on buying some anyway for the shrimp I will be getting. Not sure how you could measure the results but I do plan on sharing the build once I start.
 

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I don't know about the bacter products. I mix long sphagnum moss with my moss to help keep it stable. I also glued large pore foam onto the walls to act as anchors to help keep the clay up on the walls. as long as it doesn't dry out it has been stable.
 

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It is unlikely to speed it up.

I'm also going to note that your going to have to pay attention to the clay your using for several reasons. Sodium bentonite for example will continue to swell as more and more water is passed over it and this can cause the clay to become unstable. Second your going to have to watch the pH of the water that comes in contact with the clay. For example I've had water in contact with bentonites have a pH of well over 8. This is one of the reasons you can't shortcut it.

If I remember correctly Geosarma do create burrows so this is going to be a further problem for the clay backgrounds.

Some comments

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your comments.

I was planning on using ~ 75/25 redart / calcium bentonite then 50/50 clay / organics (peat/sphagnum) will that work? I plan on having the background above the water line and misting it instead of having a water feature at least starting out, that might change.

I know the crabs are burrowers but did not think of the fact they might mess with the clay wall. I was planning on having a substrate for them in the land portion for burrowing. Anyone have experience with vampire crabs and claywalls?
 

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That is a better clay mixture ratio but I would suggest that it will still take at least three months to stabilize enough. It is likely to still produce a very basic pH. Your going to have to monitor the pH of the water.

And if the crabs can access it they will burrow in it. For example, look in the ecology and habitat section http://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/rbz/biblio/57/57rbz183-187.pdf

Some comments

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
One thing I can do well is put things off :)

As far as pH will the peat help to bring down the pH?

I have found a little on vamps and clay walls and it seems to work out fine. One thought I had was to use some cork bark at the base so they can't burrow low enough to cause structural issues.
 

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Fairly certain that I saw a discussion of that clay background sold on ebay where they mention using it for geosarma and he said they burrowed into his background.

Thank you for your comments.

I was planning on using ~ 75/25 redart / calcium bentonite then 50/50 clay / organics (peat/sphagnum) will that work? I plan on having the background above the water line and misting it instead of having a water feature at least starting out, that might change.

I know the crabs are burrowers but did not think of the fact they might mess with the clay wall. I was planning on having a substrate for them in the land portion for burrowing. Anyone have experience with vampire crabs and claywalls?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now that you mention it I remember reading that too. I guess that's a nice thing about the clay wall it could be easily removed if need be. I was also looking into the cork bark mosaic style so maybe I could do that if it doesn't work or maybe no background.
 
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