clay in the tank idea (coming soon) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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clay in the tank idea (coming soon)

being a diy guy and cheaper than ramen noodles so I have an idea for cheap substrate fertilizer. While out kayaking a few years ago I found some hardpan clay that I gathered and added to my tank with pretty amazing results. So now im thinking, what if I cut a 1' x1' x 1/2" piece and sun dry it then add it and cover it with gravel? the only fallback before was the clouciness of the water. Does anyone have any experience with this type of thing? please share your experiences or any suggestions/ideas. Im kinda stubborn and will probably try it anyway but all input will be weighed and considered.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 12:54 AM
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Essentially, ADA aquasoil equates in nutrients to the clay from rice paddies. It can work, but it has to be covered very, very well. It is very prone to clouding, so a good cover is essential.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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what if I sun bake it, do you think that would make a difference? crumbling it dried in w/gravel clouded the water until all the stuff up top melted but the stuff in the gravel bed stayed unless i pulled up a plant. would it possibly take nutrients out of it?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 01:11 AM
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This sounds just like mineralized soil. I have tried it and used about a 12% clay mix with very nice results in a stem plant farm tank I had. I dont see why it would not work. Although 100% clay may be a problem, IDK..

This is a pic of the farm tank I had. It was used to grow every stem I could get my hands on and was changing all the time until I took the tank down. The clay/soil was almost a brick!

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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the clay when I get it is a little firmer than potters clay and can easily be sliced thin with guitar wire. I just aquired a 29 tonight so ill keep posting as to how well this works. I also have a friend who does soil testing and hopefully he can give me some numbers.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 01:19 AM
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Sounds like a nice project,please do keep us posted. Or better yet, create a journal
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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that would be very cool with time line pics.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 01:31 AM
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Lots of photos
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 05:44 AM
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The concept is actually quite an old one. I have a book so old it is falling apart that mentions clay balls for fertilizer. I think they include some actual fertilizer in the mix. As the clay dissolves the ferts are free. Just like todays fertilizer tablets.
Yes, bury them deep. Touch the bottom of the tank.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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excellent diana, these are the responses that im looking for! Have you ever tried it? im hoping that by cutting it into a flat square that I can lay it in the bottom of the tank first and pour 3" of gravel over it.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 09:33 PM
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I know Tom B. has mentioned several times of freezing river loam into ice cubes and planting them deep with no problems
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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thats a very innovative idea too. Im going kayaking on the 23rd of this month to collect and I have an empty 29 gallon ready so sounds like this experiment is taking natural shape already. any suggestions for plants? I want some that will grow under low tech lighting (single strip light) but not ones that will grow in anything (like crypts) to help prove if this stuff works. Any suggestions?
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 11:47 PM
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If you want to create a better experiment, put a plastic divider in the middle of the tank bottom and use something else for substrate on the other side.


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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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another great idea! thanks!
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 11:48 PM
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Do you plan to split the tank in the middle or have 2 separate tanks?
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