Hydroleca (Clay spheres) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Hydroleca (Clay spheres)

Anyone ever used these in a planted tank? Was at a local garden store and ran across these little Clay spheres...

Apparently very porous on the inside... Absorb and retain water etc. So I am wondering if you could mix up a nutrient rich bucket of water then drop these clay spheres in, then put them in the bottom of given aquarium and cap with something else..?

Anyone ever tried this, think it might work? I would think if anything gives your regularly inert substrate a great cec capabilitie

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 04:23 PM
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That's the hydroponics stuff
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 05:03 PM
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Those clay spheres can float in my experience (with hydroton). And, once they get on top of the substrate it is very difficult to get them back below the top layer. Why not try your idea and report your results?

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hydroleca (Clay spheres)

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That's the hydroponics stuff
And Poly fill is just for pillows and quilts?





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Those clay spheres can float in my experience (with hydroton). And, once they get on top of the substrate it is very difficult to get them back below the top layer. Why not try your idea and report your results?
Yea floating is a possibility... But I would think if they are thoroughly water logged floating would be minimal if they are capped good.

For a soaking solution, could I just do a bucket and mix my dry ferts in there? I mean in theory sounds good, just kinda wonder the ratio to mix in

My10 gallon might be a good candidate

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 05:58 AM
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Soaking in hot water helps them sink. It also rinses off some of the fine reddish dust. After a while, I scoop off any still floating and use the rest. Capping helps. If you replant a lot, they do have a tendency to work their way to the top. Used alone, it is a beast to plant in.

This was back when I couldn't keep anything alive, plant-wise. So I don't really have anything to offer on how well it works. I find that I prefer high CEC gravel type substrates: easier to work with, more natural appearance, cheaper depending on the type. Anything with a good CEC can be charged with fertilizers, and should be able to pick up ions from water column dosing (heavy root feeders do much better with some kind of tab, though).
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 05:59 AM
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Why not use hydro balls? They're the same thing are they not? Just they are designed to be the substrate in terrariums and vivariums
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Hydroleca (Clay spheres)

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Why not use hydro balls? They're the same thing are they not? Just they are designed to be the substrate in terrariums and vivariums
Haven't stumbled across those, will have to check it out

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 01:08 PM
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Take a look at Growstones. I'm using them in my grow bed. While they will have floater too, it will be less that they various clay balls. I think the Growstones will hold up better over time.

You could also use lava rock pebbles to. Many people use Lava rock under Hydroponic media to gain depth in the grow bed while save $$$.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hydroleca (Clay spheres)

Could be a fun little project :-)

As far as soaking any of the stones in a nutrient rich "bath" so to speak, any ideas on concentration?

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 02:07 PM
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It works, they just tend to float. Flourite, Ecocomplete, and all of the ADA substrates are all expanded clay products similar to hydroton and hydroleca although some definitely seem to be more buoyant than others.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 03:25 PM
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....As far as soaking any of the stones in a nutrient rich "bath" so to speak, any ideas on concentration?
...
Maybe 4-5Xs strength as you are planing on a pre-soak.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 07:45 PM
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All LECA (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregates) will float. There is about a dozen different names for essentially the same product (hydroton, hydroballs, growstones, etc) some are diff shape and the like, but they're all pretty identical beyond cosmetics.

I think it sounds like a great idea to experiment w/, why not? Once they've been soaked for some time, they'll all sink eventually. I do wonder whether or not they will retain their open pores w/ whatev nutes you add to load em, the pressure of the water, plus whatever it is you plan to cap them w/. You may lose that porous quality about them and end up with a clogged, nutrient-filled, and possibly anaerobic tank bottom. I think the anaerobic option is a whole lot less likely given that sometimes even peat moss is placed at the bottom and capped.

Anyways, if you do give it a shot please let us know how it goes.
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