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Thread: Clay

  1. #1
    Administrator brewmaster15's Avatar
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    Default Clay

    Hi all,
    I remember reading that some use "clay" as a substrate for their planted tanks.. Can you use plain unscented Kitty litter as a plant substrate? and If so ...how would it be used and what amendments should be added... I'm thinking of trying it in a potted plant... Clay base..and then a mix of sand and canadian peat as a root medium, lastly topped off by porous covering of sintered glass..
    http://a1272.g.akamai.net/7/1272/112...010_12989D.jpg

    any thoughts?suggestions?warnings?

    -al
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    Default Re: Clay

    Just some info...Kitty litter is montmorillonite clay or bentonite clay. It can come in two forms either calcium or sodium. Cheap kitty litter is usually sodium and can form a real clumpy, gooey mess. It's capable of holding something like 20 times it's dry weight in moisture.

    The calcium holds it shape/texture and is used to line mud ponds to hold water. The calcium one is also used regularly in the koi hobby to add minerial and trace elements to the water.

    More useless info

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    Default Re: Clay

    Thanks Graham,
    I like useless info..you never know when it becomes useful..

    I did find this info...
    http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Fertil...er-boingy.html



    I was planning on use Agways brand...but I think I may need to run a few tests.... Shultz has a brand that I saw mentioned alot in a web search. Its marketed as a soli conditioner.

    -al
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    Registered Member wolfbane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clay

    One post I read on Aquatic plant central had to do with the clay products pulling nutrients out of the water. a prob in planted tanks.
    Debbie G.
    planted 150 gal Discus, planted 10 gal cherry shrimp tank, 29 gal. rasbora and danio tank, 29 gal Praecox rainbow planted tank and an empty 29.Hmmmm!

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    Default Re: Clay

    Al, I've never used kitty litter so can't comment. I have used laterite though, which is a clay product so by extension, admittedly a loose one, it should work.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfbane View Post
    One post I read on Aquatic plant central had to do with the clay products pulling nutrients out of the water. a prob in planted tanks.
    Debbie, in many ways thats exactly how it should work, then the roots of the plants can take it up, great with swords and crypts, not so great with some stem plants.
    Paul

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Clay

    Al

    One can use either ordinary potting soil or garden soil as a substrate. Assuming you have soft water, you may want to use a soil that has a high level of hardwater nutrients - Ca, Mg, K and bicarbonates. Potting soil is usually low in these nutrients but one can add shell grits, etc for these nutrients. Only use about 1 - 1 1/2" as an under layer. No added ferts in the soil.

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    Default Re: Clay

    There should be no problem with the kitty litter clays removing mineral from the water...they're composed of many minerals. They have been some claims with in the koi hobby that it will remove DOC's...a good thing

    An excerpt from a paper by Chris Neaves

    Because montmorillonite clay is used as a human health food as well as in the fish industry, claims by health experts make interesting reading. An average mineral analysis of Montmorillonite by health experts demonstrate it contains no less than 67 minerals, including vital trace minerals. Recently it has been recognized and utilized by the cosmetic industry and by soil experts, who value it as an exceptionally good agricultural enhancement: crops grow faster, taste better, and are more resistant to disease.

    Montmorillonite contains a balance of minerals in their natural colloidal form, making it easily assimilated. The minerals present in montmorillonite enhance the production of enzymes in all living organisms

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    Registered Member diablocanine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clay

    Soilmaster select is an excellent substrate, I use it in several tanks. Lesco is a distributor, closest store to you is in LEDYARD @ (860)464-9752. The store in NORTH HAVEN CT @ (203)239-3803 has 61 bags of red in stock. I pay $12 for a 50 lbs. bag here. It can sometime be difficult to locate a store with some in stock. I have found their website, Lesco.com helpful. Pro Choice Soilmaster Select is a soil conditioner made by oildri used to condition the soil for athletic fields, usually baseball diamonds. Would work very well by its self in a clay pot........DC
    Last edited by diablocanine; 01-13-2007 at 04:54 PM.
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    Default Re: Clay

    Good to know, Thank you guys!
    Debbie G.
    planted 150 gal Discus, planted 10 gal cherry shrimp tank, 29 gal. rasbora and danio tank, 29 gal Praecox rainbow planted tank and an empty 29.Hmmmm!

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    Default Re: Clay

    Al,
    Many years ago using kitty litter for aquatic plants was the cat's meow (sorry couldn't help myself) it has pretty much fallen by the wayside now. For your plants and in a low light tank pretty much any substrate will work well, including regular old "aquarium gravel". If you choose to use garden soil use one that is low in nutrients (not topsoil). Like DC my favorite substrate these days is Soil Master Select, and it's what all of my plants are grown in whether in pots or not. Very cheap, great plant substrate, and extremely lightweight (a 50 pound bag will easily be enough for two 55 gallon tanks at about 4" deep. Also it's softer than glass and so can't scratch it. Just get some Job's Plant Spikes and it will be all the fertilizer you will need.
    There are 10 types of people on this planet; those who understand binary, and those who don't.

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    Registered Member Wahter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clay

    Quote Originally Posted by brewmaster15 View Post
    Thanks Graham,
    I was planning on use Agways brand...but I think I may need to run a few tests.... Shultz has a brand that I saw mentioned alot in a web search. Its marketed as a soli conditioner.

    -al
    I had tried the Schultz aquatic plant soil before - it's very light weight and it doesn't hold large plants down very well (initially anyway). In the pots, I just use a 50/50 mix of Flourite and some Estes Aquarium gravel - sometimes I put in a piece of laterite into the pot. Works for me.


    Walter

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    Default Re: Clay

    For my low light plants (which is all I have), I've just been using plain old aquarium gravel in my potted plants. Then I stick a small piece of an aquarium plant fertilizer tab in the gravel. My plants are growing like crazy. In fact, my Anubias is growing out of their pots and I never added any ferts. It is also flowering.
    Connie
    So Many Fish... So Little Tank Space

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    Default Re: Clay

    Thanks for all the feedback... I'm definetly look into all these options...Being a bit of an experimenter...I think I will pot up a few swords using the agway kitty litter... Its been a stable pH of 7.3 and is not getting mushy ( no idea how long that reportedly takes..There was very little cloudy water as well...I think a rinse would deal with it.

    DC..That place you mentioned is literally 10 minutes from me...so I will pay them a visit as well.

    Thanks all,

    al
    Your Purchase of Freeze Dried Blackworms here... AquaticSuppliers.com directly supports this forum and those that bring you this forum Free to use.
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    Registered Member scolley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clay

    Al, I just want to suggest that you take a HARD look at the Soilmaster Select DC is referring to. If you don't believe it, vs. the other options discussed here, take a wander over to a forum that specializes in planted tanks and use the search function. I believe you will come to the same conclusion.
    Steve -
    Discus novice. Planted tank pilgrim.

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    Default Re: Clay

    We don't get soilmaster select here otherwise I would have tried it by now.
    Paul

    Comfortably numb.

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