Sunday, September 13, 2009

AquaClay

English:
Part of the puzzle for my new aquarium setting is completed. I've acquired australian AquaClay substrate which is very popular in the world. AquaClay in Europe is mainly imported from Germany, where it's produced under a license.

First thing a good substrate absolutely must provide is a good water flow (e.g. must not be too dense) and good oxigenation. Second thing, it has to be rich in micro and macro elements if you plan to be succesfull in plant keeping, which in turn will provide more natural and healthier environment for your fish. AquaClay seems to acomplish all of this tasks pretty effectively.

If we look at the main chemical composition of AquaClay, at a first glance we can see that there is no some special "component X" in this substrate.


AquaClay Ground chemical composition:
- SiO2 (Silicon dioxide) .............. 56 %
- Al2O3 (Aliminum oxide) ........... 19 %
- Fe2O3 (Iron (III) oxide) ............ 14 %
- CaO (Calcium oxide) ................ 2 %
- Chloride ......................... < 0.05 %
- Soluble Acid Sulphate .......... < 0.20 %
- Total Sulphur ................... < 0.40 %

SiO2 (silicon dioxide) is well known to all aquarists, it is basically sand or fine gravel, and is the main component of glass. Other components such as aluminum, calcium and iron oxides are there as supplements to alter structure and melting point of SiO2. Iron, for example, is an extremely important element for plants, and it's supplied in a form that isn't freely available to algae. What makes AquaClay so special is a production process that achieves a high
CEC (CEC = Cation Exchange Capacity), parameter that shows us how a substrate can bind to itself other molecules or simply "nutrients" in translation to average Joe. Common clay, such as JBL Florapol, has a micro and macro elements, but has a relatively low CEC compared to AquaClay. High porosity, which is achieved by optimal grain size and baking at 1200° Celsius enables the smooth circulation of water through the substrate, free exchange of nutrients (and toxins), development of beneficial bacteria in the surface (for filtration and decomposition of ammonia and other harmful substances), prevents the decay of plant roots, etc.

However, AquaClay inherently possesses one trait that is a direct consequence of its physical structure (high porosity), which means that AquaClay substrate can float in water, at least in first couple of weeks in aquarium. This means that if you have some lively fish in aquarium that like to dig your substrate, AquaClay could easily surface. The solution to this problem is very simple: when you put AquaClay substrate (usually as a base substrate), put a fine plastic net over that layer, next you should put some clay and peat or other substrate, then again fine net as a security precaution, and finally few inches of some nice decorative pebbles. Another trick to try in order to AquaClay more quickly absorb water is to put it in a very hot water and immidiatelly afterwards place it in cold water.

This would be the story about AquaClay, my new substrate for aquarium. In the next few days I will prepare the other ingredients and proceed to the next stage...


Srpski:
Deo slagalice za novu-staru postavku je popunjen. Nabavio sam australijsku podlogu AquaClay koja je u svetu, a i kod nas koji znaju, izuzetno popularna. AquaClay se na našim prostorima uglavnom uvozi iz Nemačke, gde se proizvodi po licenci.

Prva stvar koju dobra podloga mora apsolutno ispuniti je dobra cirkulacija vode (drugim rečima, ne sme biti previše nabijena) i dobro snabdevanje kiseonikom. Dalje, mora biti bogata mikro i makro elementima ukoliko želimo biti uspešni u gajenju podvodnog bilja, koje će nam za uzvrat stvoriti prirodniji i zdraviji ambijent za ribice. AquaClay izgleda ispunjava sve ove zahteve prilično efikasno.
Ukoliko pogledamo osnovni sastav AquaClay-a, na prvi pogled videćemo da ova podloga i nije ništa specijalno.

AquaClay Ground hemijski sastav:
- SiO2 (Silicon dioxide) .............. 56 %
- Al2O3 (Aliminum oxide) ........... 19 %
- Fe2O3 (Iron (III) oxide) ............ 14 %
- CaO (Calcium oxide) ................ 2 %
- Chloride ......................... < 0.05 %
- Soluble Acid Sulphate ......... < 0.20 %
- Total Sulphur .................. < 0.40 %

Nema tajne hemijske komponente "X" koja je ključ njenog uspeha na tržištu. SiO2 (Silicijum dioksid) je dobro poznat svim akvaristima, predstavlja u osnovi pesak ili fini šljunak, a i osnovna je komponenta stakla. Ostale komponente poput aluminijum, kalcijum i gvožde oksida su tu kao dopunske komponente koje menjaju strukturu i tačku topljenja SiO2. Gvožđe je, na primer, izuzetno važan element za prehranu bilja, a nalazi se u formi koja nije slobodno dostupna algama. Ono što AquaClay čini tako posebnim jeste proces proizvodnje kojim se postiže visok CEC (CEC = Cation Exchange Capacity), parametar koji nam pokazuje koliko neka podloga može za sebe vezivati ili otpuštati druge molekule tj. "hranljive materije" u prevodu za nas obične smrtnike. Obična glina, kao što je JBL Florapol, poseduje hranljive mikro i makro elemente, ali ima relativno nizak CEC u poređenju sa AquaClay-om. Tu ova podloga upravo stupa na snagu. Visoka poroznost zrna koja se postiže optimalnom veličinom i pečenjem na 1200° C omogućava neometanu cirkulaciju vode kroz podlogu, razmenu hranljivih materija (i otrova) kroz čitav ekosistem u akvarijumu što doprinosi napredovanju bilja, razvoj korisnih bakterija u podlozi (koje obavljaju filtraciju i razgradnju amonijaka i drugih štetnih materija), sprečava truljenje korenja kod bilja itd.
Ipak, AquaClay inherentno poseduje jednu osobinu koja je direktno posledica njegove fizičke građe (visoka poroznost), a to je činjenica da je zrno AquaClay-a pozitivno plovno. To znači da vam se lako može desiti da ukoliko imate neke živahnije ribe u akvarijumu koje vole da rovare po dnu, iskopaju sloj šljunka i deo AquaClay-a ispliva na površinu. Naravno, vremenom AquaClay će se "napiti" vode i ostati prizemljen, ali u početku to mnogima može zadavati glavobolje, posebno kod sadnje bilja sa plitkim korenom ili bez korena. Rešenje ovog problema je vrlo prosto: kada ređamo AquaClay, preko njega stavimo plastičnu mrežu za komarce, preko toga slojeve gline, treseta ili neke druge podloge, a nakon toga opet novu mrežu i preko toga sloj ukrasnog šljunka. Još jedan trik da AquaClay brže upije vodu je da ga pre postavljanja u akvarijum isperemo vrelom vodom, a potom odmah postavimo i naspemo hladnu vodu.

AquaClay Substrate
AquaClay Substrate

To bi bila pričica o AquaClay-u. Narednih dana ću pripremiti i ostale komponente i krećem sa novom postavkom...

1 comment:

  1. kindly send the price list for use in north east states of India

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