[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Any one heard of Pro Clay3

Steve Andrews wrote:
> Please excuse me if this has been asked before but
> has any one heard of a product called Pro Clay3. The
> label says:

It sounds familiar.

> "A natural source of mono and ortho sillicic acid"

Few if any of our aquatic plants need it.
> "100% natural no additives"

> "Food for beneficial bacteria plus a source of rare minerals your
> plants may need"

Beneficial bacteria eat dirt?

> Typical Mineral analysis of ProClay3

[long list snipped]

It looks mostly like clay to me.  I have to wonder about the sulfur,
though - clay minerals don't usually contain significant amounts of
sulfur, so this implies there may be a small quantity of some other sort
of mineral (gypsum, for instance) mixed in.  Also, the mix seems a little
high in rare earth elements and phosphorus, leaving me to suspect that
there are some iron oxyhydroxides in the mix as well.

When you read a clay analysis there is something to keep in mind; only a
few of the elements in a clay are likely to be in forms available to
plants.  Usually *only* calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium are
available; plants don't need sodium and only part of the magnesium is
likely to be available.  Many of the remaining elements are bound tightly
into the crystal structure of the mineral and aren't available until and
unless the mineral breaks down. Clays don't break down very quickly under
conditions they're likely to see in an aquarium.

Iron, phosphorus and a few other elements are probably contained in
oxyhydroxide coatings on the clay minerals.  Some of these may be
available to plants.

There are 16 elements on the list of elements essential to plant growth,
and many of the elements listed in the Pro Clay3 analysis aren't on the
list. The great article by Marianne Ames and Wayne S. Johnson at


lists the essential elements and their concentrations in higher plant
tissue. I reproduced the list below, along with the values from the Pro
Clay3 analysis:

		% in plant	% in Pro Clay3		Comments

Hydrogen	6		present			from water and air
Carbon		45		not listed		from air
Oxygen		45		present			from water and air
Nitrogen	1.5		not listed	
Potassium	1.0		2.5
Calcium		0.5		2.2
Magnesium	0.2		2.5
Phosphorus	0.2		0.1
Sulfur		0.1		2.0			usually abundant
Chlorine	0.01		0.004           	usually abundant
Boron		0.002		0.001
Iron		0.01		4.7
Manganese	0.005		0.019
Zinc		0.002		0.0078
Copper		0.0006		0.0327
Molybdenum	0.00001		0.0013

> I've never seen so much stuff on a label!

Ignore most of it.

> I think its just very fertile clay powder in a tub. Cosmic!

I think it's just dirt.  In a tub.  Cosmic?

> I am considering putting a quantity (yet to be determined) in a clay
> substrate. I've got some London Clay which I was going to convert into
> a soup. To the soup I was going to add some vermiculite, to reduce the
> richness and some of this pro clay stuff.
> What do you all think!

You didn't pay too much for it.  Also, you might want to check the pH of
the product before you use it.

I doubt that it will hurt anything, and a small amount of clay in an
otherwise bare substrate is probably good for plants.  I can't comment
much on your planned mix, other than that it looks pretty complicated.
Kitty litter provides a good, low-mess alternative for getting a nicely
controlled amount of clay into a substrate.

Roger Miller