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Though not widely known yet, calcined clay is an excellent substrate option for habitat enclosures. Calcined clay helps facilitate a healthy habitat in the following ways:
- It provides good drainage and doesn't compact.
- It doesn't break down over time like most soils.
- Calcined clay does not affect water pH.
- It helps cultivate beneficial microfauna.
How it is used
Calcined clay is often used as a middle and/or top layer of substrate. It typically covers a base layer of larger substrate, such as pea gravel or expanded clay pellets.
It is a good base for your biodegradable top layer, leaf litter, or other top level substrate. You can also let your mosses and other plants grow directly on the calcined clay.
Calcined clay is very easy to work with to sculpt out ponds, hills, and other landscaping features in your vivarium. As you start to visualize your design, keep in mind that you will need 2-3 inches of water in the base of your enclosure for an internal pump to function. So, you will need plenty of substrate to both cover the water and sculpt your landscaping so that your plants aren't saturated.
How Much Calcined Clay Do I Need?
If you are ordering calcined clay for a 20x16x16 Living Art Vivarium, we recommend ordering 6 lbs per inch of substrate depth you want in your enclosure.
If you are ordering calcined clay for a 24x18x18 Living Art Vivarium, we recommend ordering 9 lbs per inch of substrate depth you want in your enclosure.
If you are ordering calcined clay for any other enclosure, you need approximately 0.02 lbs per cubic inch or 35 lbs per cubit ft of coverage. This isn't an exact science, so we recommend ordering a little more than you think you will need. If you need help calculating how much substrate you need, give us a call at 877-524-5979 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.