Cat litter changing water values
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:47 PM   #1
Jnad
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Cat litter changing water values


Hello!

I have started a tank with Cat Litter as substrate that is safe to use, but the cat litter is changing my water parameters in i way i did not expect.
My water measurments is:

PH - 8
GH - 7
KH - 1,6

First i thought that the cat litter was stripping KH out of the water, but i did just test my tap water, and my tap water KH = 1,6 and the GH = 4

That means that the cat litter actually is raising the PH and GH, my tap water GH is 4,0 . I have not measured my tap water PH, but i now it is lower than 8.

Is it normal that cat litter or other similar substrates raising PH and KH, or is it something wrong with my cat litter?

I started doing water changes to make the KH higher, but if the at litter is raising the PH and KH water changes is not probably going to help.

Need some suggestions/help

Jnad
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:01 PM   #2
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Did some water tests today with the same results as beafore. GH of 7 is not terrible high, but the litter is raising the value and my 8 Mosquito Rasboras is not thriving so i beginning to think that the cat litter also doing something else to the water.

Do you think i should give it some more time and water changes or should i Get rid of the cat litter? I dont know if water changes help when the substrate is raising the values?

Any thoughts?

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Old 03-18-2013, 03:39 AM   #3
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Sounds like something in the kitty litter aside from carbonate is breaking down and entering the water column. I suspect that with enough water changes, this behavior will stop... or the kitty litter will dissolve.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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The cat litter "situation" got worse, it actually killing fish. I did a rescue yesterday moving my Mosquito Rasboras to another tank with dirt soil. Those fishes is thriving and is very energetic today, two Rasboras that i did not manage to catch yesterday died today.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:57 PM   #5
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So the take home message is: Use kitty litter for cats and aquarium substrate for fish.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jnad View Post
The cat litter "situation" got worse, it actually killing fish. I did a rescue yesterday moving my Mosquito Rasboras to another tank with dirt soil. Those fishes is thriving and is very energetic today, two Rasboras that i did not manage to catch yesterday died today.
How long has this tank been established? Have you tested Ammonia or nitrites? I have a hard time believing the substrate could be the only culprit unless your fish are so sensitive to raises in PH or GH they would just die from that. Do you use CO2?

I have had a litter/sand tank now for months and no problems. Also did you test the litter before you added it to the tank?
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:09 PM   #7
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It is difficult to say exactly what the problems was, i did measure ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, that was not the problem. Maybe PH fluctations, i dont know. I did find cat litter dust/sediment on the plants leaves, maybe something disolves.

Anyway, the fishes gave clear sign of not thriving, they are now happy in another tank, it is easy to see that it was something wrong in the cat litter tank.

The cat litter tank is now under rebuilding to a dirt tank.

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Old 03-19-2013, 10:31 PM   #8
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I too find it hard to believe its the cat litter. Did you buy plain cat litter? No clumping, no odor control, nothing added?
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:03 PM   #9
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Only burned clay
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:25 PM   #10
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If it's anything like the stuff I use for oil spills, it will break down under water fairly quickly.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:45 PM   #11
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Problem with Kitty Litter is that there is no quality control specific to usage for aquariums. This is obvious, but what it means is that there could be impurities, deodorants and such that will not harm our Kitty's behind, but will kill fish that are exposed to a solution of that. While the bag might state "no additives", you can't be sure until you do some testing.

I have used Special Kitty with great results 10 years ago. Then 3 years ago I bought another batch of it and while testing, I noticed some strange lemonade smell. Not sure what it was, but I had to use those bags for soil improvements, and go with expensive Flourite instead.

Key is... test this stuff with some Cherry shrimp or such to make sure it is inert. Raising the GH might be the least of all problems.
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