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Thread: Living Clay background test

  1. #9
    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Ever considered using your home made clay as an ingredient in soil mixtures for CPs?

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

  2. #10
    James H's Avatar
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    how long have you had a setup like this going? My only concern with the clay is how long it will stay looking like that if it stays wet a lot of the time. Get looking tank none the less, thanks for shareing.

  3. #11
    blokeman's Avatar
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    I'm going to replace the crappy exoterra foam background with this sometime in the short future. Going to stick a bunch of ping pullings and hope for the best. I'm curious to try adding cotton strips behind the wall of goop, from top to bottom, to aid in the wicking.

    Great work, once again, your bag of tricks ever increases in depth. How deep do those sleeves go? There must be more hidden..
    Grow list...
    http://terraforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=114907

    “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” C.S. Lewis

  4. #12
    swords's Avatar
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    I'm curious to try adding cotton strips behind the wall of goop, from top to bottom, to aid in the wicking.
    I don't think you will want to put anything into the structure that will wick water into the background, if it gets too wet it will slide down the wall. You'll know if you have the mix right because it won't slide off the clear glass when you stand the tank up, think of the thickness and gooeyness of Spackle, I actually think the stuff seems like horse manure, clay with fibers in it - thankfully it doesn't smell like it!

    how long have you had a setup like this going?
    As I said in the introduction, I'm just trying this now as a test/experiment. It's a relatively new technique being explored in the dart frog world which is showing lots of promise. Several keepers have had these clay backgrounds going over a year. Some are even using plain old Red Art earth clay as a background material but that's very expensive compared to Calcium Bentonite or kitty litter. Their backgrounds which have been setup for longer look much better than what you see just planted in mine. They have thick moss growth, climbing plants apparently love rooting in it and crawl all over. But it's all theory until I try it out for myself and see. So far I'm loving the ease of mixing the recipe, application and planting. Just poke a cutting into the mud and you're done, no figuring out how to hold it in place until it takes root. The mud also holds moisture well compared to the spray foam and silicone which dries out very fast.

  5. #13
    swords's Avatar
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    Well here's a little update on this tank approximately 2 weeks later:




    The java moss is establishing itself pretty rapidly on the background, Begonia boliviensis "Bonfire" is still blooming like crazy. The singl leaf section of sensitive fern has had it but it has spores on it so hopefully they will inoculate the wall.



    English babies tears has gotten a good foothold making lots of roots. I'll be trimming it to keep it as a semi trained spreading mound.


    I put one of my female Geosesarma sp. "Red" into this tank last night because she was pale colored and being chased by other crabs. I'd never seen that happen before but I wanted to put a stop on it asap. When she colored back up today I see she most definitely has PURPLE legs and not black so I think she might not be the same species as the red and black which is the bulk of the ones I have. I saw a paler colored one earlier today too so I may take that one out and see if it turns purple as well. These crabs are somewhat communal but not with ones not of their own kind so any pale ones I see might be under stress because they are a different species and mixed with the others. I have red and black females as well.


  6. #14
    jimmy uphwiz's Avatar
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    this crab doesn't even look real , Swords , you have the coolest thingy's all about you, more pics please,
    how do you feed these. what do they eat, and have you ever thought about doing a whole room in a full scale enclosed , (I dont know the name) rain forest / jungle?
    bet you could make a very nice one, with your mad skills man.

  7. #15
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    You do have a flair for the artistic!

  8. #16
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Very cool!!!

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