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Substrate ThatíLl Hold Its Shape?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 pseudechisbutleri

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 04:26 PM

Ive started identical threads on a couple other forums with this question but I just want to get as much input as I can. I want to do a mangrove biotope, and I need a substrate that'll allow mudskippers to dig burrows. With regular sand, this wouldn't work, since it won't hold its shape, so what substrate could I use instead? Ive been suggested lime sand or miracle mud, but Ive received conflicting answers regarding these two.

#2 pseudechisbutleri

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 12:37 AM

Anyone know?



#3 malawiman85

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 06:13 PM

Can’t imagine anything working terribly well other than thick clay.
Would they adopt a fabricated burrow?
I used to use PVC pipe in the sub for gobies.

#4 pseudechisbutleri

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 06:28 PM

I read that theyll use PVC pipes but wont breed unless they dig their own burrows.

Any specific kind of clay I can use?

#5 malawiman85

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:16 AM

Dunno mate
Laterite is used in aquascaping soils... expensive especially considering you will have to moosh it up. Just be mindful with these soils that they leach ammonia for a bit.

#6 pseudechisbutleri

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 07:51 PM

What about the stuff from Bunnings, like plastering sand?



#7 malawiman85

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 08:55 AM

It’s just sand with a slightly higher clay content than other sands. In an aquarium that additional clay would probably just make a cloudy mess without making much of a difference to cohesiveness... speculating a bit but easy enough to buy some, chuck in a bucket, poke some holes in it to test it.

#8 malawiman85

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 09:02 AM

For clay too you could consider getting a bag of kitty litter... the clumping clay variety is a bentonite clay from memory... I have used this in the past too and it caused no harm to fish.
It will be a bit cloudy when added or disturbed but settles quickly... a bag is cheap and would be worth experimenting with... if I was going to do a mudskipper tank, this is what I’d try.

#9 pseudechisbutleri

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 09:50 AM

sounds interesting, the stuff looks cheap from woolies, so Ill get a bag of cat litter and test out the cohesiveness and see if it works.

#10 Leichardti

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 02:54 PM

Yes bentonite clay used as kitty litter could be an idea if you go down that very, very difficult path. I’ve looked into this snd it id a very very difficult thing to achieve successfully and close to permanently. Another idea is to build up the substrate with bags of scoria and lay a few inches of sand down on top of that although they wont burrow, presuming you want the whole part terrestrial look.
Another option is to make a DIY foam “floor” which replicates the shape of the rising riverbed. There’s a special substance which you can then layer onto it and cover in sand. End product is a solid sand riverbed which you can put more sand on top of which looks pretty natural. Again, wont allow for burrowing. Can however incorporate burrows etc into the foam.

#11 malawiman85

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 09:08 AM

Lei is right about the difficulty / PITA factor.

I like his idea of foam floor... could stick a few holes in it, fill with sand or clay... might work. If it does, it will be much easier to manage.

Edited by malawiman85, 29 April 2019 - 09:09 AM.


#12 pseudechisbutleri

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 05:50 PM

I agree, it's a difficult task that very few people attempt.

 

Reckon I've got it tho  ;)

 

Attached File  IMG_4084.jpg   72.08KB   2 downloads

 

It's a little harder than just clay, so idk if mudskipper will be able to dig into it (maybe I'll try to mush it up even more), but I'm glad it at least holds its shape. Clouds up the water real good tho.

 

Could I soften it at least temporarily if I pour hot or boiling water onto the bentonite

 

The foam floor is an idea that I've heard before, but I think I prefer the extremely-difficult-but-accomplishable-with-the-appropriate-materials route.

 
Also, do you reckon if mangroves will grow in bentonite?

Edited by pseudechisbutleri, 29 April 2019 - 08:32 PM.

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#13 Leichardti

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 04:13 PM

Looks like it’ll work, nicely done. I’m not sure about the mangroves thing though.
Would be mighty cool if you manage to breed the mudskippers, I’ve heard it’s possible

#14 pseudechisbutleri

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 04:43 PM

It's been done a few times, and the use of a tidal system, in conjunction with a substrate that is able to sustain its form, was always used, so looks like I'm going in the right direction.



#15 malawiman85

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 07:54 PM

If you want to make the clay a bit less clay like add a bit of play sand till you get the consistency you’re after... good luck, looks like a fun project... keep the updates coming.




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