Expanded Clay or large pea gravel?
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
kamikazi
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Expanded Clay or large pea gravel?


When setting up riparium planters is it critical to use the clay pellets or will large pea gravel work?
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:42 PM   #2
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The clay pellets are generally just for the bottom of the planter. The rest of the planter should be filled with a finer clay gravel, such as Fluorite or the stuff that Riparium Supply sells.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by hydrophyte View Post
The clay pellets are generally just for the bottom of the planter. The rest of the planter should be filled with a finer clay gravel, such as Fluorite or the stuff that Riparium Supply sells.
that still doesn't really answer my question.

Maybe these will be specific enough.
What is the purpose of the clay pellets?
Will pea gravel work in its place?
Will riparium plant grow in planters with only inert material in them?
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:08 PM   #4
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OK here are more details.

The clay pellets keep the finer riparium gravel from spilling through the holes in the bottom of the planter. You could use a coarse pea gravel in place of them for this purpose.

You can fill up a planter with coarse pea gravel, but be aware that this will add a lot of weight and make the suction cups more likely to slip. I would only recommend this with plants that you want to try to grow that are not true semi-aquatic marginal plants, such as many houseplants. A coarse gravel will allow free water diffusion through the planter and more oxygen in root area and such non-aquatic plants might be able to grow alright.

I do not recommend filling the whole planter with the "hydroton" clay pellets. Since the clay pellets are very light in weight plants will be likely to tip out of the planter. The clay pellets will also wash free very easily and float all around the aquarium.

The best plants for riparium planters are true semi-aquatic marginals!
These prosper best in riparium conditions and they also make the best representation of the natural streamside/riverbank/swampy environment. Most of these plants are "heavy root feeder" and will grow best if you fill most of the planter with a finer clay gravel which provides more nutrients via cation exchange.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrophyte View Post
OK here are more details.

The clay pellets keep the finer riparium gravel from spilling through the holes in the bottom of the planter. You could use a coarse pea gravel in place of them for this purpose.

You can fill up a planter with coarse pea gravel, but be aware that this will add a lot of weight and make the suction cups more likely to slip. I would only recommend this with plants that you want to try to grow that are not true semi-aquatic marginal plants, such as many houseplants. A coarse gravel will allow free water diffusion through the planter and more oxygen in root area and such non-aquatic plants might be able to grow alright.

I do not recommend filling the whole planter with the "hydroton" clay pellets. Since the clay pellets are very light in weight plants will be likely to tip out of the planter. The clay pellets will also wash free very easily and float all around the aquarium.

The best plants for riparium planters are true semi-aquatic marginals!
These prosper best in riparium conditions and they also make the best representation of the natural streamside/riverbank/swampy environment. Most of these plants are "heavy root feeder" and will grow best if you fill most of the planter with a finer clay gravel which provides more nutrients via cation exchange.
Thanks, I think that answers my questions.
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