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Re: Zeolite clay

On Thu, 30 Dec 1999, Doug Martin wrote:

> Hi all,
>  Was wondering if there are any concerns with using zeolite clay in a
> lter? Will zeolite adversely cause changes to the water chemistry over
> time or have a negative impact on my plants and snails?  A search of the
> Aquatic Plants digest archives did not provide an answer.

Zeolites are great ion exchangers.  If they are properly "charged" when
you use them and you replace them regularly then they will soften your
tank water and increase its sodium content.  This can be a killer for your
plants unless you are careful about just how soft the water gets; you
probably shouldn't let it drop below three degrees GH.  Plants need the
hardness, and the sodium that the zeolite puts in the water to replace the
hardness can be damaging if there's too much of it.

The snails won't like it much either.  Their shells will turn white and
get very thin if the water is kept too soft.

> Currently I am serving as an assistant principal at an elementary school
> and have setup a 2.5 gal plant tank. The aquarium has drawn lots of
> interest from the children who seem to have a natural connection with my
> little attempt to copy nature.  They have an abundances of questions and
> I like to think that I am planting seeds of interest in future aquatic
> gardeners.

Young kids seem to be attracted to any kind of well-lit aquarium.  It's
like magic.

Roger Miller