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Old 12-27-2010, 02:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hydroponic clay pellets as aquarium substrate?

When I was at the garden center recently I saw large bags of clay balls for growing orchids and other plants using Hydroponics. It seemed like they might work as aquarium substrate or at least part of it. Has anyone else come across or tried using these?
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hydroponic clay pellets as aquarium substrate?

I have never even heard of them, but you could run some tests by putting some in a bowl with water and testing the water after a few days. I suspect that they might have chemical additives that promote plant growth, but whether those additives are harmful to fish is a risk that might not be worth taking, in my opinion.
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hydroponic clay pellets as aquarium substrate?

Chunks of clay is commonly used in the bottom of planted tanks. More underneath than part of the substrate. The pro select stuff mentioned on here a lot is just clay, as is the safe-t sorb.
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hydroponic clay pellets as aquarium substrate?

They look like this:
Hydroton Clay Pellets > Hydroton Growing Media - 5 Liter Bag - 6 pounds
But the ones I saw were less expensive
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hydroponic clay pellets as aquarium substrate?

Check what kind of chemical additives (if any) they add to the clay.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hydroponic clay pellets as aquarium substrate?

I don't think they have any, the ferts etc get added to the water.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hydroponic clay pellets as aquarium substrate?

One thing to consider is the a 6 pound bag of that stuff is $26 or so.

a 50 pound bag of pc select was $8 a year ago.
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hydroponic clay pellets as aquarium substrate?

The price I saw it at was much cheaper than that. I've never seen pc select here, does it have any nutritional value for the plants like the iron content or is it just pretty?
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hydroponic clay pellets as aquarium substrate?

From the pro choice manufacturer after soilmaster select was discontunied:

Quote:
Originally Posted by pro choice manufacturer
Hi Bob,

Soilmaster Select and Pro's Choice Select is the same product, we just dropped the Soilmaster off the name.

I've attached information about the Select Charcoal and Select (red color). It's the same mineral, but the red Select has been cooked longer, which makes the particles hard and harder to break down. Good for aerating the soil, or high impact areas. If you're interested in purchasing the regular Pro's Choice Select, not the Charcoal since its been discontinued I can refer you to our distributor in AL:

...
local source
...

Most aquarium owners preferred Select Charcoal because of its color. Since this product has been discontinued, the next closest thing is Turface's Pro League Gray. Turface's clay mine is just a few miles away from ours, so they're starting with a similar if not the same clay. Their sales people would be able to tell you more about how its processed though.

Thanks, and for your compliment too.

Paula
Quote:
Originally Posted by msds pro choice select from manufacturere
Chemical Description: Si O2 74%
Al2 O3 11%
Fe2 O3 5%
All other chemicals equal less than 5% and include traces
CaO, MgO,K2O,Na2O,and TiO2
(both posted aug 10 2008 another forum)

The also gave me a local source which was a landscaping firm that did golf courses and so on. The firm had to order it and I got 4 50 pound bags for $8 per bag.

So I guess it does have some iron in it but that can be dosed very inexpensively. like $5 for a 10 year supply or so.

Looks like no added nutrients. So any nutrient type action in my tanks must come from the peat moss (no much) or organics in the play sand.



my .02
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hydroponic clay pellets as aquarium substrate?

I just ask because for example in mineralized top soil you are supposed to add some clay. I guess it's a question of if the plants are able to access the iron, minerals etc that are locked in the stuff. Other than looks do you notice any difference between pro choice and plain gravel?
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hydroponic clay pellets as aquarium substrate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by snail View Post
I just ask because for example in mineralized top soil you are supposed to add some clay. I guess it's a question of if the plants are able to access the iron, minerals etc that are locked in the stuff. Other than looks do you notice any difference between pro choice and plain gravel?
no.

I did test soilmaster select (and peat moss) in a test 1g jar and it did have an ability to "cloud" the water. It required I kill the lights for a week to clear up.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hydroponic clay pellets as aquarium substrate?

How does light affect particles in the water? Isn't it just loose particles from the initial intro to the tank?
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hydroponic clay pellets as aquarium substrate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrman83 View Post
How does light affect particles in the water? Isn't it just loose particles from the initial intro to the tank?
perhaps.

But in my experience with most normal aquarium things, cloudiness is actually kinda like a "smog" in the air. Where light reacts with things like phosphates in the water causing cyano or algae to cloud the water.

By killing the lights those die off and the water clears.

Plus any fish kinda go to "sleep" so don't stir thing up as much.

The result is the "crud" 1) dies off, or 2) settles to the bottom

And the water clears.


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