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Old 01-16-2011, 11:56 PM   #1
sewingalot
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Bentonite / montmorillonite clay and its benefits


Rather than continuing to hijack another members thread, I thought I'd start this in my own. Can someone explain the benefits to me? I used it in my tank and a few of my plants started to melt, did I add too much? Does it affect water parameters? I am hearing this is a great product, but I can't find out much about it when I google.

What are the benefits? What are the risks? Any help would be appreciated. My husband is getting me CRS for our anniversary and I want to learn as much as possible about supplements before I get them.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:11 AM   #2
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It adds calcium and helps raise GH to aid in molting. Yes, you could add too much. A TINY bit goes a very long way. It dissolves slower than most calcium supplements.

I can't remember, but know we've talked about it.... is your water hard or soft? If hard already, usually you don't need it. If it is soft, a little at change time helps.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:15 AM   #3
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It's moderately soft water according to the water reports, about 108 ppm GH. I noticed my downoi immediately started dropping leaves within a short time period. Maybe the raise in GH was too drastic all at once for the plants?
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:21 AM   #4
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It could have been. Do you use any other calcium source? I know you posted about another recently. You shouldn't need more than one.

GH changes are hard on pretty much everything(animals, plants). I've never grown downoi, but for instance my blyxa freaks if you change hardness quickly.

More sensitive species will definitely suffer. Long term it is likely fine, but changes must be done slowly.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:22 AM   #5
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Beyond the mineral benefits, it also is fully of negatively charged ions, and works much like the "ionic breeze" air purifier by attracting and trapping toxins. It also polishes water. A lot of people see my water and ask how I get it so clear, this is part of it.

It's true, the dosage in a fish tank, would be very minute. The product I sell has a suggested dosage of .12cc of powder per 10 gallons! At this dosage, it will raise the GH of the water minimally, and as far as I've seen, it's a temporary increase. By minimally, I mean around or less than one GH point.

As far as it melting your plants, I have no idea what could have caused that. I've never had a problem like that, and I quite a few extremely sensitive soft water plants. Although the reason I've never had that problem could be because I've always used a clay supplement, therefore the plants haven't had to get used to it. (although I rarely have a problem with newly purchased plants either)

Hope that helps!

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Old 01-17-2011, 12:27 AM   #6
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Good memory. I am using calcium sulfate in another tank of mine as an experiment. This one I've avoided adding anything because of the downoi. The way the clay was explained to me, it sounded like it was a multivitamin and didn't effect water parameters. My fault for not researching more and asking more detailed questions.

Once I did a large water change 80%, the plants have shown signs of recovery. From what you are telling me, it sounds like I may have shocked the plants. I'll need to find another way to help out my shrimps and their snail friends with brittle shells.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordalphus View Post
Beyond the mineral benefits, it also is fully of negatively charged ions, and works much like the "ionic breeze" air purifier by attracting and trapping toxins. It also polishes water. A lot of people see my water and ask how I get it so clear, this is part of it.



-- liam
Yes, it has a very high negative charge, thus binding to and neutralizing things like heavy metals and fish waste. This is the same way montmo/bentonite clay works.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:36 AM   #8
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A mineral rock might work, as it will be slower.

If you use these clays, put literally a tiny pinch in, and work up from their.

High calcium foods will help your shrimp and snails, too.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:57 AM   #9
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It must be that I put too much in the tank. I am going to put in a tiny pinch like you suggest and go from there. I am feeding the shrimp a high calcium diet and rarely feed proteins. I haven't seen a shrimp die for a while since I started feeding them more calcium sticks and there are a ton of babies, but the snails are still really brittle.
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordalphus View Post
Beyond the mineral benefits, it also is fully of negatively charged ions, and works much like the "ionic breeze" air purifier by attracting and trapping toxins. It also polishes water. A lot of people see my water and ask how I get it so clear, this is part of it.
Ok, now I'm curious. I've used this stuff in my soil-based substrates before, but I've never heard that it can polish water. Do you just put some in a filter bag and use it like you would activated carbon? My water is liquid limestone as it is, so I'm not worried about it raising the gH at all.
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:18 AM   #11
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I've read this, Lego when doing research on the plants. I don't know if this will help. http://www.aquaticquotient.com/forum...ilter-material

From what I've been reading the last forty minutes is that you should use caution when adding to softer waters. Something about the salts in it. I am going to see if can find more.
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:13 AM   #12
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Thought this might be helpful, http://www.chelatedtraceminerals.com..._minerals.html .

@sewingalot, Do you have calcium or sodium montmorillonite?
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:29 AM   #13
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it's a mix of calcium bentonite and montmorillonite
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:32 AM   #14
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And lego, i just dose the water column after water changes. I suppose quite a bit of it gets pulled into my canister filter, and the rest settles on the floor of the tank where the shrimp pick over it and eat it. It's pretty innocuous at the amounts I dose (.12cc per 10 gallons)
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:25 AM   #15
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Bentonite Clay is also used in the Nishikigoi (koi) industry by many hobbyists in the US. Many claim it to be a "wonder supplement". This might be because it raises their hardness to the perfect amount and has a wealth of minerals in it (thought to be a large factor of color intensity in koi).

It can be used as a lining to make a natural clay pond, or to seal off practically anything.
It is relatively common in beauty/health products (think mud facial mask).

As for shrimp, my RCS didn't do anything until I added a little tiny bit of bentonite, and BOOM! Babies everywhere.

I agree, a little goes a long way, and slow changes are the key.
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