Clay pellets as substrate

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by Pheesh, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. PheeshNew MemberMember

    Can clay pellets be used as a nutritious substrate for aquariums? I need a cheap substrate which would supply nutrients. Clay pellets are cheap and affordable and I don't want to add some useless gravel to my tank and find out it does not support plants :;fru
  2. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning Pheesh and Welcome to Fish Lore!

    :animal0068:I've moved your thread to the Freshwater Substrates section of the forum to help you to receive more responses.
    Thanks! I hope you enjoy the site.
  3. upgradeValued MemberMember

    I have live plants in my angel tank and these have been living for the 6 months iv had them so far, my tank has gravel, i think its more about the lighting, if you have algae then I'm sure your plants will live good.

    But please wait for someone to give you a 2nd word of advice before you jump right in!
  4. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    So long as you have good lighting & a deep enough layer of gravel, you shouldn't need to worry about a nutrient rich substrate.

    Given that you only have 15w of light to work with you wouldn't be growing heavy feeding plants so gravel will do you just fine. With your lighting you could grow Java Moss, Java Fern, Bolbitus Fern, Water Sprite, Water Wisteria, most Cryptocoryne species, most Anubius species, Elodea & probably Marimo Balls without any drama. You certainly wouldn't need to resort to nutrient rich substrates given the low light intensity. If you really want to fertilise the substrate then I recommend you just use substrate fertiliser tablets. Flourish ones are really good & only need replacing every 3-4 months. API ones are pretty good but need replacing every month. they are similar in price so I would choose the Flourish Tabs.

    I would not use the clay ball in a planted tank. Over time they will turn to mush & make one heck of a mess.
  5. PheeshNew MemberMember

    Thanks guys, I'm lovin this site :;thx

    Btw what kind of gravel is good? I have petco colored gravel and there are many people who say it is horrible and doesn't do your plants any good since it is artificial and a little edgy.

    OOh, and thanks a lot aquarist48 for taking your time to move my post i'm such a newbie
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2010
  6. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    Any quartz based gravel with a diameter of up to 1/4" is good. Quartz gravels don't alter any of the water parameters (PH, GH & KH). I'm not a fan of the coated gravels but that's just because I don't like the way they look. They will do fine for growing plants in if you like the look of them. The diameter is the important part. If it is too coarse the plants can't root in the gravel properly. If it is too fine water & nutrients can't pass through it to the plants roots. I find 3mm (about 1/8" I think) is perfect for most planted tanks. Rounded gravels are generally a bit better than sharper gravels but so long as you don't disturb it too much then there won't really be any difference.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  7. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    I buy pea pebbles from Lowes. It's a pain to clean because it's dirty but the edges are rounded. Some I have gotten were natural shades of brown but the last ones I got were white, gray and kind of bluish color. My plants grow fine in them.