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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to work on a clay wall project has anyone work with pottery clay mix with peat moss or top soil I want to grow moss and vines on it wall is 48H 17 1/2 wide how can I make a good wall I don't want kitty litter just clay mix with peat or top soil how much should I buy of material does anymore have right about of mixing measurements?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Clay idea help

Okay so there r tons of mixes of clay and I look thur them all and don't like all the stuff that going in to the mix I want to work with clay without all the calcium powders, kitty litter etc I would like to mix clay and one other thing any ideas I was thinking clay and peat moss I want to keep it simple
 

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I merged your new post with this thread... You really don't need a new thread to follow up on the same topic.

As for the clay recipes... Most of them have been developed the way they are for a reason: to benefit the frogs. A lot of thought and experience has gone into them. I wouldn't cast them aside so quickly.
 

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I agree with Tom. You may be able to get away with leaving out the calcium carbonate, but a lot of things can go wrong with a clay background if you use the wrong mixture or types of clay. Some clays dry out too fast, crack and fall off. Some clays hold too much water and are a gooey mess. The mix that Doug and others have come up with in that thread works very well under standard vivarium conditions. I have 2 or 3 tanks that have been up for 3 years using that mix for my clay backgrounds and I don't treat them any differently from my other tanks. If you do a search on clay backgrounds, you will see a lot of horror stories about backgrounds crumbling or sliding off the back with other formulas.
Like I said, you can get away without the calcium carbonate, but the rest of the formula and materials are pretty important for a good result.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay so new plan I'm doing a clay background making it out of kitty litter/peat moss/ Eco earth i will plant vines, moss it will a big Background 17 W x 48H.... I was thinking of putting silicon on the pvc wall then the clay or should I do a PVC wall then spray foam then silicone then clay?
 

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I've made multiple clay backgrounds and I've found that different bags of kitty litter from the same brand and location hold up differently. The consistency is all over the place. I used one brand and in one tank it held up fine for 3 years. The next time I used that brand it slid down the glass after a few months and collapsed. Another one using a different brand worked perfectly for 5 years. Then the next tank I made with the same brand cracked and pulled away from the glass in some spots.

But since you are determined, I would suggest building a skeleton of egg crate that is attached to the background. With the tank laying on its back, press the clay into all of the open areas of the skeleton making sure that there are no air pockets. Then keep the clay humid but not wet until the plants have established. Only then would I actually stand it up on end, after the roots have made their way through the clay to help stabilize it.

Another issue I see with your build is lighting. It sounds like your building a 75 or 90 gallon vert? Putting a strong enough light on the top to illuminate the bottom will dry out the clay at the top of the tank. Side lighting can work, but its distracting when trying to look into the tank.

Just some ideas
 

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using Kitty litter is not the easy solution from a time perspective. Like the above poster mentioned, you are going to want to take extra caution to make sure it is set. As someone that has experimented with kitty litter backgrounds (and had mixed degrees of success) I can tell you that it is probably the LONGEST method of making a background from start to finish. Rushing it will usually increase chances of failure. Using an eggcrate support and allowing the plants to root ahead of time will help immensely, but it takes time for the plants to really get going.

My first tank I did with kitty litter was slapped together and finished in under a week. It lasted a couple years till I broke it down. I was literally never able to reproduce those results, despite my best efforts. I had some that I let sit for over a month and they still collapsed or slid down the glass... and others that just dried out and crumbled in time. I just got lucky with that first one.

The recipe I gave you in that first response is really the way to go. It may seem like more work, but in the end it will yield a better product.
 
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