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Arcillite is a calcined montmorillonite clay

turface is arcillite (brand name for arcillite)
montmorillonite clay is only beat by vermiculite for high CEC

kilned it's fill of tiny holes
raw it's clumping cat litter (cheapest source i can think of)

kilned it goes by several names, 'turface' is one of them.

Arcillite vs. montmorillonite clay ...
i do not know if this affects it's CEC, i could hope not, but honestly, this is hard information to find
once people take it for granted that the clay has a high CEC, cooking it shouldn't change that right ?, ... unfortunately the bakery shop begs to differ that for some things cooking changes their chemical nature, ... and cake is tastier than raw batter to me, definitely different.

the reality of if it's CEC is affected or not, ... good question
 

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If the kiln product has a reduced surface area compared to the unadulterated soil, yes the CEC is reduced.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
then if backed or not, aside from surface area, it's still going to have the same CEC by chemical nature ?

nice :)
 

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I don't understand.

If the product you are considering has additional chemicals added to it, it will not have the same "chemical nature" as the soil as it is found in nature. Having some CEC in you aquarium substrate is likely a positive (holding nutrients close to the roots) but you have to remember as well that the aquarium is a closed system and the fertilizer nutrients are not going any where.

CEC is important in terrestrial soils because it hold nutrients so that they do not leach away with rainfall and irrigation. A sandy soil can overcome its low CEC by more frequent smaller dose fertilizations. Not sure how CEC has been introduced into the aquarium trade, my cynical side tells me this is from an overzealous marketing department somewhere.

I would just suggest a CEC product based on how easy it is to use in the aquarium instead of trying to maximize the CEC number.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
montmorillonite clay

cheap clumping cat liter with single "natural clay" ingredient.

can't get simpler then that :)

only thing with a higher CEC value is vermiculite.

i'm sure anything else is harder to get ahold of, which i think is really strange considering
 
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