How to make clay balls for substrate

Discussion in 'D.I.Y.' started by daniel, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. daniel
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    daniel Noob

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    Hi all,

    Not sure where to post this topic?

    From information gathered on this site i understand that clay balls would be a good thing to have in my substrate because of the Iron content of the clay.

    My question is a very practical one: How do i bake these balls so that they don't disintegrate as soon as they come in contact with the water in the tank? I used some clay i found in a stream near my house and baked it in my oven at 180 degrees for two hours. i wanted to use these balls to enrich my already existing sand substrate - but i'm not going to put something in my tank that will cloud the water?

    Is it better to use pottery clay? Is pottery clay not full of preservatives and stuff?

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

    D
     
  2. Andre
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    Andre Green fingers

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    Some threads to go through:

    viewtopic.php?t=4.

    Pottery clay works - just research it a bit before doing it.

    The clay might cloud the water of your tank, but if you keep it in the substrate it should clear up before too long
     
  3. GDJ
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    GDJ Algae harvester

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    Hi Daniel

    Here's some more.

    http://www.apsa.co.za/board/index.php?topic=342.15

    http://www.apsa.co.za/board/index.php?topic=266.45

    Quote:
    Silikube: This is what I did. I dont think this is an exact science just yet so you will have to adjust accordingly.

    I took the clay that I had crushed it to a powder then added normal pottery clay to the mix. I added clay until it reached a consisitency where I could make balls that kept their shape.

    I am guessing here but this is where you can add fertilizer . I did not add any fertilizer because I mixed in other enriched substrates like DAZ and Flourite if I had known I would 've added some crushed coral or shells to the mix because my water pH is 6 to 6.4 out the tap the coral or shells would have helped a lot. (Well as they say: Hindsight is always 20/20)

    Take some foil and cover a baking tray with it. Put the clay balls on the covered tray and bake in the oven for 25 to 45 min at 200 to 250 degrees, depending on the size of the clay balls.

    Thats what i did and it seems to be working very well, my swords, Anubius and Crypts are doing very well without any CO2.

    end Qoute.

    Daniel it works very well if you cap the substrate with a layer of sand (about 1to 2 cm thick) .Normally does not cloud the water unless you keep fish that like to dig.
     
  4. Andre
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    Andre Green fingers

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    PS. Daniel - you can use the "search" button at the top of the page and search for "Clay Balls". There is quite a lot of useful information there.
     
  5. daniel
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    daniel Noob

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    thanks all for the Excellent info! this really is a great forum.
     

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