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  1. #1
    What you give SMinNC's Avatar
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    Clay from the Backyard...

    Would clay out of my backyard be any good for a planted tank?

    Mainly because of life throwing lemons at me for the past few years. I'm constantly looking for the cheapest way to go about things.

    My first thoughts(plans) for trying it out...
    10g
    somewhere around 1/2 to 1" of clay on bottom.
    Topped by 2" of play sand.

    The clay source...
    I know it hasn't had any chemicals, pesticides, fertilizer, nothing put on the ground, where I'd get this, for at least the last 20 years.
    It doesn't get much of any run off in this area. And any that it would get, would be from the neighbors back yard. And I'm pretty sure they don't fertilize their grass either. And being a high ground where I'd get it. I have serious doubts that any of their drain off has every been there.

    I'm thinking I would get a 5g bucket.
    Put a gallon or 2 of this dirt/clay in it.
    Spend a couple of weeks rinsing and draining, to hopefully end up with mostly Clay.

    Then... put it in the tank.

    Is this a good idea?
    or
    Just a waste of time?

    Thanks!
    55g Planted - no longer exists.

    40g Planted





  2. #2
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    Waste of time is a relative term. Seems to me that two weeks of cleaning and rinsing is a lot of time and effort to save $5.00



  3. #3
    Hiding from my children THE V's Avatar
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    You can use clay from your backyard for the plants but rinsing will get you relatively nowhere. If you want to use the clay you'll need to look at sterilizing the soil. The best way to do this is to bake the clay for 2-3 hours at around 400 degrees. You'll want to have the clay wrapped in foil and moist (not wet). This will convert the water to steam and sterilize the soil for most organisms.

    After than you can feel free to use it in your tank.

    You can also just purchase a back of playsand from a local hardware place for $2-3 and use that for the substrate.



  4. #4
    What you give SMinNC's Avatar
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    Thanks V
    55g Planted - no longer exists.

    40g Planted



  5. #5
    Global Moderator Dangerdoll's Avatar
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    I would be more inclined to follow V's route as being pretty sure there is no fertilizer kinda out-trumps being positively sure.... and there's a lot less work involved..... and I have to wonder what baking soil smells like if cooking it at 400 for 2 hours....
    Quote Originally Posted by Reefscape View Post
    Completly agree, DD......and yes, that hurt me too say



  6. #6
    Hiding from my children THE V's Avatar
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    My wife won't let me find out for some reason..... Mean little woman. I just conned my way into tossing it into a larger autoclave at the research facilities that they use to sterilize soil and plant material for disposal. The smell of the Streptomyces genera is just more pronounced when I opened up the autoclave.



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