Kitty litter? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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Talking Kitty litter?

I'm planning on giving kitty litter a try, because I've read good reviews about it. Can you guys share your experiences with me and what kind of kitty litter brands to use? Thanks BTW, I tried dirt and I don't really like it:/
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 03:42 AM
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Re: Kitty litter?

I've had the exact opposite experience with kitty litter. I've found that it harbors anaerobic pockets and releases poisonous gasses.

Don't let my experience turn you from kitty litter though. I know plenty of people that have used kitty litter with amazing success rates.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 03:54 AM
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Go to walmart and get the cheapest kitty litter that you can find. The stuff I got is called special kitty, it was like $3 for a 25lb bag. Make sure that it says on the bag that it's natural. The more expensive stuff has fragrances and other chemicals in it.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 04:18 AM Thread Starter
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ok Thanks guys
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 04:44 AM
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Special Kitty is the way to go. I have heard many success stories with Kitty Litter, but i feel like it would be lacking in some nutrients. If i were you i would mix it with 50% dirt, 50% Kitty Litter. If 50% dirt worries you, then you could probably pull off 25% dirt. The only reason why i say this is because Kitty Litter is almost the exact same as Laterite. And as you know, Laterite is more commonly used as an additive to dirt substrates, although it can be used separately with success.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 04:48 AM
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by dirt you mean...?
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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I have organic choice miracle gro left if that's what your referring to Or is it something like fluorite?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 06:18 PM
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Kitty litter is often a montmorillonite clay. As such it has high CEC, but has no nutrients until you add them. When you add fertilizers it can hold the fertilizers in a way that plants can get them.

There are other montmorillonite clay products available that look a lot nicer in the aquarium.
The 2 product lines to look into are:
Oil Dry types of materials, of which Safe-T-Sorb is one of the best, available at Tractor Supply,
and
the greens (golf, ball fields) industry which has several changing materials.
Soil Master Select was a great one for color. No longer available.
Turface used to have some nice colors, but is now somewhat garish.
These products can be purchased at irrigation stores like Ewing, John Deere and others.

I do not like the pale (often white) substrate, either sand or kitty litter. Safe-T-Sorb is a blend of soft browns, tans and greys. Much nicer looking!
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 06:48 PM
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I absolutely hate the stuff, got the Walmart brand everyone advises but personally I find that it is too light, so keeping new plants in position until they root is problematic, and when vaccuming it just gets sucked up, just my two cents most will disagree.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-03-2013, 09:28 PM
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Back in the '90s I did a small planted tank with kitty litter. I think I used Hartz pH 5.5 or something similar. I don't even know if that's still on the market now.

I plan on using SafeTsorb for my next set up, it seems to have a pretty good record (especially considering the cost). I'm probably going to end up trying to get it through Grainger's, as that looks to be the only nearby location I could find that carries it.

OilDri seems to have a more mixed record, but I have seen that in Smart&Final, so it may be easier to get a hold of.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 04:39 AM
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Heard of good things about Special Kitty, I spent $4 and got a bag from Walmart. I put some in DI water for over night and tested the water. The pH raised from 6.0 to 7.6, KH from 1.0 to 3 and GH from 1.0 to 5. About 60% of the particles dissolved or ready to dissolve on the touch. The material is definitely not stable and will change your water chemistry. As someone pointed out, this is directly mined clay and probably have no QC/QA except for gradation. Some batch may be very good, some maybe bad. For the tank I will set up, I can't use it. Someone needs higher PH may find it usable.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 01:01 PM
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We are going to be trying Organic Miracle grow potting mix (again, we love it doing well in all tanks) with a cap of Safe T Sorb or Black Diamond Blasting sand from Tractor Supply. I am undecided on whether I want black or brown but leaning towards brown right now.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 01:35 PM
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+1 oil-dri

I had a successful tank for well over a year using this material. Cycle the tank before putting in live stock - plant heavy, dose water column and substrate.

Regards,
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 05:01 PM
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I'm using the Turface (the standard MVP I believe) and like it quite a bit, but I did have a big diatom outbreak at first that was likely related to the silica content. It's been great for the plants to root in and the color seems more natural that the kitty litter and oil-dry products I've seen.

Wheeling, since you're local I could give you some to test if you want.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 07:37 PM
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Syzygy9,

Yes, I indeed steel collecting substrate materails for my 75 g. It a slow process. If you tell me where to get it, I'll get some and see if it is good to use.

Thanks.
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