MTS and use of hydroton vs. clay - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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MTS and use of hydroton vs. clay

I have loads of Hyrdroton on hand that I use for my terrariums. Since this is fired clay can it simply be crushed and used in place of soft clay?

Thanks,
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 09:39 PM
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Hydroton is roughly the same as Flourite, just a bit bigger particles, and more hollow. I think I would just use it uncrushed.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the quick reply. Ive noticed that in the past when I washed them to remove dust the bulk of the balls would float. My concern was that they would work their way to the surface and I'd have buoys floating around my tank. Ill soak some for awhile and see what happens.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by sirhc76 View Post
Thank you for the quick reply. Ive noticed that in the past when I washed them to remove dust the bulk of the balls would float. My concern was that they would work their way to the surface and I'd have buoys floating around my tank. Ill soak some for awhile and see what happens.
Most likely because they have a lot of trapped air in them, I would imagine if soaked they would sink without any problems.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 10:50 PM
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The nice part about most soft red clays is they are high in iron. Hydrotron won't offer any noticable iron. It is really just a high cec clay ball. I would bet that the hydrotron would be more prone to coming to the surface, too, since it is soooo light.

It sinks eventually, but it takes some time.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by over_stocked View Post
The nice part about most soft red clays is they are high in iron. Hydrotron won't offer any noticable iron. It is really just a high cec clay ball. I would bet that the hydrotron would be more prone to coming to the surface, too, since it is soooo light.

It sinks eventually, but it takes some time.

Which was my reason for asking, if its not going to offer iron like actual clay It wouldn't be a good substitute. Thanks for the info on why it floats I have a good understanding of that part. I'm unsure if prolonged soaking will change that although crushing it would. This leads me back to my concern. Is hydroton a suitable substitute which will offer the iron that clay would provide, it appears it won't. I have a local clay source lined up and should have confirmation tomorrow.

Thanks again.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 01:29 AM
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Put the hydrotron in water, inside a decent thickness plastic bag. Hook up a vacuum cleaner and suck the air out of the bag. Seal bag and turn off vacuum.
When bag "relaxes" unseal bag and suck the air out again. Repeat a few times.
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 01:35 AM
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Hydroton is not a high iron clay. It isn't used for nutritional value, but for its high CEC and water holding properties.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 03:02 AM
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I use hydroton as filter media, but I agree that its tendency to float (some of it anyway) would make it a troublesome aquarium substrate. It has an awfully large particle size to use whole IMO.
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