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Old 06-03-2003, 10:49 PM   #1
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adding clay?!

okie ...

I've got a planted 29gal, dosing about .75ml of flourite every few days, diy co2 just spewing microbubbles into the tank (from a diy reactor), ph dropped from tap water of about 7.8 to about 7.2 in the tank, ~130 watts of overdriven fluorescent lights, all the other specs (kh, gh, etc...) I have no clue, other than the water here is hard enough to eat with a fork and has enough iron stain anything red.

substrate is Lee's medium black aquarium gravel (about 2") and about 1" of white play sand, with some Seachem iron+ tabs in the very bottom

tank is medium-heavy planted with:
Egeria Densa (Anarcharis)
Cabomba sp. "Pulcherrema" (Cabomba Purple/Red?)
Ludwigia repens x. "Palustris" (Ludwigia Broadleafed) (maybe Ludwigia ovalis ?)
Bacopa monnieri (Moneywort)
Rotala Indica
Echinodorus paniculatis (Amazon Sword)
Some sort of Milfoil (Myriophyllum family) 'Foxtail'
Some sort of stem plant with long slender sword like leaves ~2-4" ea, growing from a center stem, sold at "Pet Supplies Plus" as 'Assorted Aquatic Plant' lol!
and heh, Mondo Grass (i know it's a houseplant, but it looks good for now)

All the plants seem to be doing well, the ludwiga has a lot of red leaves (nearest the surface), as does the cabomba, but I can't get any of them to "pearl"

so, I was going to try adding some clay to the substrate, to see if will kick things up a notch

I've read online about "clay balls", rolling natural potters clay into small balls, drying them, and then adding them to the gravel and crushing them once they're buried deep, and let gravity to the rest of spreading them out

however, the tiny town I live in does not have any potters clay, let alone an art shop ... so I was thinking - kitty litter!

I already have a kitty litter substrate based 30 gal that's warehousing some stupid goldfish who's pond is about 38°f right now, but everything I plant in it just gets eaten, so... that leaves my 29 gal

I was thinking about buying some natural clay kitty litter (hartz PH5 is what I've used before), and boiling it in water to break down the 'chips' into a slurry, and then sun drying the slurry in icecube trays

has anyone ever tried such a venture? It just seems doomed to failure as soon as I think about "boiling" kitty litter

are there any alternative sources for clay I might be overlooking? Natural sources are out as my area is all sand ... anything I might be overlooking here?


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Old 06-04-2003, 08:36 AM   #2
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You can buy Laterite in either a dry gravel form, or in a semi-wet clay form. I've seen it in the best LFS in my area, but never purchased the wet form. I think it was called Substrate Gold. You could try to get some of that.

My tanks with DIY co2 rarely pearl, only for a day or less after water changes. I hear it is difficult to get pearling with diy co2.
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Old 06-04-2003, 10:51 AM   #3
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so you think it's more of a co2 defficency than a substrate problem?

the diy co2 system I'm using currently has two 2 liter generators connected via tee to a powerhead 'reactor' system, which seems to dissolve all the co2 instantly, as the bubbles that come out don't dissolve even if held under water

probably the concentration of co2 isn't very high to begin with, that's why i'm getting so many 'waste' bubbles

local welding shop wants $200 for a 5lb tank and regulator

do you know if the threading on regulators and tanks is standardized? If I buy the tank from them, and then get a hobbiest regulator + solonoid combo online, will they mate?
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