Uncapped high iron clay peat moss mix? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Uncapped high iron clay peat moss mix?

I'm looking into doing a black water Betta biotope and this seems the way to go anyone know where I can get my hands on high iron preferably red or red brown clay? And any idea how easy it will be to disturb? I'll have leaf litter on top of it btw. I just want an authentic biotope probably not adding plants though downoi have been found in bogs with Bettas . I'm going to let the water get pretty dark the light will be subdued and only aimed at the plants in the hoB planter/filter I'm going to try and build. Any help would be awesome


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 04:44 AM
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That sounds pretty cool. Ive always wanted to try a really authentic blackwater habitat. I always break down and add some incorrect plants, or a school of the wrong tetras.

Are you planning on having uncapped, bare clay as the substrate? Not capped with anything? I would think it would slowly dissolve (dissolve is the wrong word... it would form a colloid and cloud up the water and stick to everything) due to the motion of the water from the filter. You could get laterite which is already fired and is basically red clay gravel. Maybe you could spread some raw claw a cookie sheet and try to fire it in your oven, and then use this piece of basically ceramic as your bottom covering. Or crushed lava rock if you just want a red colour substrate and arent too picky. Lava rock is everywhere there are volcanos, including thailand, so its authentic.

I hear almond leaves are awesome for betta tanks. They would make good leaf litter. You can order them cheap on ebay or from some online fish dealers (I know the canadian ones, but youre probably better off with the american ones)

A little bit of peat in a nylon bag or pantyhose in the filter will be enough to turn the water a nice yellow shade. Just dont use carbon which will remove the colour.

That said, your question of where to get clay, the easiest way is to google your city name and "potters guild", and then click on the contact info part of their website. I did that when I needed some for my MTS, emailed them, got a response the next day, and picked up two pounds of free red clay the day after. I offered to pay, but they said it was reclaim and only worth about $0.50.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
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The idea of the clay is to be loose, I'll be mixing it with peat in a bucket of water there will be almost no flow, very small fountain pump that will go into a hob planter that will let out kind of like a water fall that difuses the flow. The planter is a very ambitious idea and I'm not sure if I'm capable of fabricating it. The substrate should work out though I refuse to cap it. Also I'm using the clay because clay is usually what covers the bottom of bogs you find Bettas in. Very black water and very iron rich. I may add a couple crypts if I can find a native species that likes black water. I don't want this aquarium to look like an aquarium, besides just above it where it will kind of resemble a riparium


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 05:39 AM
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I seen in natureeye.com a whole bunch of crypts tgat are found with bettas in black water I think you shoud check it out
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
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I will soon. I was worried cause from what I thought I knew crypts were a river plant


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 05:59 AM
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all right found the weebsite its actually
natureye.com
just look at this
http://natureye.com/cryptocorynes/cr...f-sarawak.html
also have you ever thought about powdered amazonia i think it would look great with that
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
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Price is too much :p but I thought about it


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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So I guess some crypts aren't off the market


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 08:40 AM
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yeah most crypts are found on black water streams
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone got a recipe for achieving a black water stream bed like substrate? I dont want to have to cap it but I also don't want a ton of floating material, I plan on ore soaking the clay for a couple weeks and then mixing in the peat and allow it to set in the tank, I kind of want to add mineralized soil to the mix incase I want a couple crypts, the flow will be super gentle if not non existent. I have a hard time believing i can keep anything but a Betta in this type of tank but I'm open to suggestions of a bottom dweller common to black water Betta streams


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimpNewbie View Post
Anyone got a recipe for achieving a black water stream bed like substrate? I dont want to have to cap it but I also don't want a ton of floating material, I plan on ore soaking the clay for a couple weeks and then mixing in the peat and allow it to set in the tank, I kind of want to add mineralized soil to the mix incase I want a couple crypts, the flow will be super gentle if not non existent. I have a hard time believing i can keep anything but a Betta in this type of tank but I'm open to suggestions of a bottom dweller common to black water Betta streams
Add enough raw clay powder and your substrate won't go anywhere - clay sticks together like, well, a lump of clay.

I've got MTS with 4 or 5 times the recommended amount of clay powder added to it, and even in my high-current tank my dirt doesn't budge when it gets exposed unless I actively disturb it.

Edited to add: there's no need to soak raw clay powder, just add it to your MTS and you're good to go.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks it won't be mts just clay and peat that's why I'm going to soak and mix the materials ahead of time thanks for the input very appreciated. I may add dirt but only to darken it a bit


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