Cat Litter or other options for planted tank "soil" - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Devils Lake, ND
Posts: 55
Cat Litter or other options for planted tank "soil"

Hello,

Any alternative suggestions for substrate that would be available at a farm & ranch/ hardware store? No Home Depot, Lowes, or petsmart here. There is 3feet of snow here so doing a soil tank is not really an option at the moment? there used to be talk of turface? plain kitty litter, or other alternatives. I have had great success with fine sand/soil and a lowes pond substrate. But alas there is no lowes here.

Thanks,
Kirk

thanks for viewing
capn_kirkj is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 11:33 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 201
sand i like sand
decoman is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 05:23 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
bradac56's Avatar
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Blue Springs, MO
Posts: 1,157
Send a message via AIM to bradac56 Send a message via MSN to bradac56 Send a message via Yahoo to bradac56 Send a message via Skype™ to bradac56
Do you have a pool & spa store near you (almost everyone in the country has one in there home town). If so take a look at 'PFS' (pool filter sand) it works well.

Or call your local John Green outlet or Lesco (they own John Deere) and see if they have the grey Turface MVP.

Proud member of the
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and the
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


VICTOR PIMP #58 -
VTS-253A-320 x2, VTS-253D-320, VTS-253A-1993-320.
bradac56 is offline  
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 10:27 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: East Lansing, MI, USA
Posts: 2,710
Oil Dri.
Don't be in a big hurry. Like any fired clay product it will mess with the pH for a while.
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 10:47 PM
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,403
Worm castings underneath a cap of something heavier (pea gravel, PFS, whatever) can work well.

If you can find any organic potting soil (you just want to be sure that it doesn't have pesticides or any added ferts) that would work instead of Miracle Gro organic, also underneath a cap.

You could make your own mineralized topsoil (see the sticky at the top of the substrate forum).

Or you can stick with a purely inert substrate and just supplement with ferts.





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Next meeting Monday, Oct 13, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
lauraleellbp is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 11:47 PM
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (192/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,609
I have used (and still use) "Special Kitty" cat litter in various tanks. It is sold at Walmarts over here.

I like it because it seems very similar to Flourite/SMS/Turface for a fraction of the price (and grows plants well). My 135gal garage is still all KL with some peat underneath.

It's a gamble though... there is not much consistency needed to absorb kitty piss, and it is mined in different places. So you can get lucky and end up with something comparable to Flourite, or you could get something looking similar, which will turn into mud in a matter of hours, or worse, it could contain something (detergents) that will kill your fauna.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Wasserpest is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 12:40 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
mindy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 1,025
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
I have used (and still use) "Special Kitty" cat litter in various tanks. It is sold at Walmarts over here.

I like it because it seems very similar to Flourite/SMS/Turface for a fraction of the price (and grows plants well). My 135gal garage is still all KL with some peat underneath.

It's a gamble though... there is not much consistency needed to absorb kitty piss, and it is mined in different places. So you can get lucky and end up with something comparable to Flourite, or you could get something looking similar, which will turn into mud in a matter of hours, or worse, it could contain something (detergents) that will kill your fauna.
you are not using the clumping litter, right? just the regular old clay stuff? can you use this by itself or do you have to put soil underneath?

thanks!
mindy is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 05:02 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
bradac56's Avatar
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Blue Springs, MO
Posts: 1,157
Send a message via AIM to bradac56 Send a message via MSN to bradac56 Send a message via Yahoo to bradac56 Send a message via Skype™ to bradac56
Yes non-clumping, non-fragrance kitty litter. You can use it all by itself.

Oil-dri makes most of the Kitty Litter products and all of the Turface/SMS/Oil-Dri products for Lesco so it's all very similar.

- Brad

Proud member of the
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and the
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


VICTOR PIMP #58 -
VTS-253A-320 x2, VTS-253D-320, VTS-253A-1993-320.
bradac56 is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 05:26 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
mindy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 1,025
cool! thanks

i think i may have to take a trip to the store this afternoon... i can't wait to get my new tank up and running (cycling)
mindy is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 06:25 PM
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (192/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,609
Make sure you test it well before you expose your fauna to it.

Fill a glass about 1/3 with the substrate-in-training, and the rest with water. Stir well, and let it sit for a week, with daily stirring.

If everything looks good (no mush) after a week, smell it thoroughly while stirring. If any detergents made it in there it can have some sort of lemonady smell. Measure pH, kH, GH, phosphates, and compare readings with your tap water.

Finally, put some shrimpies in there, and give them a few days. If they make it, and all the readings are good... congrats. Could be a good substrate.

Personally I put some peat underneath, enriched with fert sticks. Also, if the color isn't to your liking, consider adding a bag of Flourite (for ex) on top of it. That will cover the creamy/gray color, and if it mixes a bit with the red/black Flourite it just makes it look more natural. Also, Flourite is heavier so it'll be easier to plant and keep buoyant plants anchored while they are sprouting roots.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Wasserpest is offline  
post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 06:46 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
mindy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 1,025
hmmmm, it is probably just easier to order some flourite... thanks!

what is kh and gh? (sorry if that is a stupid question. all i test for is ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.)
mindy is offline  
post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 06:55 PM
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (192/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,609
Abbrvns. for carbonate hardness, and total hardness. I think they were invented by some Germans that's why the weird letters. Here is a better explanation.

Anyhow... substrates might affect the water hardness, so it would be good to test for it. And yes, Flourite makes simplifies things, incl your wallet.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Wasserpest is offline  
post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Devils Lake, ND
Posts: 55
so in summary, when carousing the local farm & ranch supply store, such as TSC, keep an eye out for clay based granules that don't contain a scent of sorts?

thanks
kirk

thanks for viewing
capn_kirkj is offline  
post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 12:17 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
bradac56's Avatar
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Blue Springs, MO
Posts: 1,157
Send a message via AIM to bradac56 Send a message via MSN to bradac56 Send a message via Yahoo to bradac56 Send a message via Skype™ to bradac56
yep also make sure it doesn't have any type of moister additive.

- Brad

Proud member of the
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and the
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


VICTOR PIMP #58 -
VTS-253A-320 x2, VTS-253D-320, VTS-253A-1993-320.
bradac56 is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome