Have Kitty Litter as a Substrate? I do! *Pics - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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Have Kitty Litter as a Substrate? I do! *Pics

I've been missing in action for a while, but i came back to read on substrates and noticed nobody having interest in kitty litter. Am I the only one?


For those on a tight budget and want to grow simple plants, I think this woulddo the trick. The cat litter is called Special Kitty and its from Walmart. The price for 20lbs is only $2.22, so that shouldnt break anybody's bank and it wouldnt even hurt to try out.

Here's a picture of my trimmed plants because they grow 1ft out of the tank.






and a video for those interested. These jungle vals or whatever grow crazy in this substrate.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvBgbqD-dwg


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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 08:20 AM
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looks good. Been waiting to see someone with it in theirs. did it have a weird chem kinda smell to it?


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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 08:34 AM
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Wow! Your tank looks amazing =) Its nice to see someone else that likes guppy's!
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Blacksunshine View Post
did it have a weird chem kinda smell to it?
I use Special Kitty for my cat... it's an unscented nonclumping clay litter for about $2.26/25lb bag (the price went up a little a few months ago, at least in my area :P). I think they also have a scented one, but if you're getting it for an aquarium, I'd say the unscented is better It's a red bag. I've wondered about using it, but was afraid to try.
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 03:53 PM
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A lot of people in our fish club use kitty litter. The one in the red bag as it has no additives to it. Its basically the same as using latrite. as it comes from the same source.
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 05:06 PM
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Question

That is truly amazing. I was going to experiment with the Special Kitty Wal-Mart brand, but I noticed that it had Diatomaceous earth added to it(at least the bag that my local Wal-Mart sells). DE is sometimes used as a natural insecticide to kill things such as bed bugs. It is also know to cut up and kill fauna like shrimp, so I decided against using it as I was going to be keeping shrimp in the tank. Are there brands of Special Kitty Brand Litter that don't contain DE?? I also heard that Kitty litter breaks down too quickly over time and will create issues. I have found far too often that there is no conistency in experiences and sometimes what people say does not always translate to reality, so I like to experiment.


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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Its been in my tank for 16 months now and it honestly looks the same and feels the same as the day i got it. It doesnt seem to break down into mush, if thats what you were afraid of. Although i've only had it for a year and a half, it seems that it could last much longer.

As for DE, i havent tried to keep any shrimp so I cant tell you much. I do have snails that do very well.

The downside is that I want a different color substrate ... the upside is that i'm only out 12 bucks if i get something new because the litter is so cheap


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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 01:09 PM
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I used Special Kitty from Walmart in my outdoor planting baskets for my summer water gardens. It seemed to never rinse clear. However I went ahead and used it. Plants grew just fine. But when I re-arranged plantings I would have some silt in the water column until it settled or was filtered out. So, it may work okay in a low tech tank where you don't do much replanting, but I think I'd be annoyed with it in a high tech tank. Also, no shrimp in my ponds, but tons of snails and all fish okay.
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 02:43 PM
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Been using that for years in my tanks. It is baked clay, just like SMS or Schultz Aquatic Soil or Flourite... just really cheap. This was discussed a few times, and the risk is that it could be mined in different areas, and some bags might contain other things than other bags. Always a good idea to test pH and hardness and PO4 and stuff before committing to it as a tank substrate.

I like to use a layer of peat, then the Kitty litter, and cover that up with a little bit of Flourite. The heavier Flourite on top makes for easier planting.

Good looking tank, but the plant choice could use some improvement... I think.


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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-01-2007, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
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yea, i'm not liking my plant choices at all. I bought 1 val over a year ago to test whether kitty litter would work. It worked well as all those are offspring of that single one. After that, i got lazy anddidnt buy anymore. So, here i am today, showing my 1 species tank. It will change soon, right after finals!
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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-18-2007, 01:29 AM
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As far as the DE being poisonous to shrimp I don't believe it would be, after all, that is what Diatom Filters use as the media...

Anyway, if you want a different color you can always put a layer of gravel over it to suite your desired hue. Just remember when you are cleaning it not to dig down too deep and cause a rukus of kitty litter particles flying around...

Kevin

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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008, 02:17 AM
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Special Kitty

I bought some special Kitty in the red bags. I think they are $2+ for 25lbs. What I am not getting is that the material is a mix of powder, small granules, and some flourite-sized pebbles. Wetting the stuff resulted in mush. How am I supposed to rinse this stuff into useable substrate. Did I get the right stuff? The yellow bag of "premium" Special kitty advertises "99% dust free" but that stuff is scented. Any hints appreciated.
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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008, 06:42 AM
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Do you guys/girls soak it in anything for extra fertilization, or is it just like laterite out of the bag, doing nothing else to it?


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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishmosh View Post
I bought some special Kitty in the red bags. I think they are $2+ for 25lbs. What I am not getting is that the material is a mix of powder, small granules, and some flourite-sized pebbles. Wetting the stuff resulted in mush. How am I supposed to rinse this stuff into useable substrate. Did I get the right stuff? The yellow bag of "premium" Special kitty advertises "99% dust free" but that stuff is scented. Any hints appreciated.
You did not get the right stuff. That's the problem with Kitty litter... you can not be sure where it is produced and how it reacts to water. Even if you got the right brand, it could be/will be very different in an Ohio store and a California store.

Key is non-clumping, non-scented. You could try other brands, the cheaper, the more likely it is to work. But you would be better off testing its effect on water quality, and there is no guarantee that it will not turn to mush over time anyway.


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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old 03-06-2008, 02:29 PM
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Do you guys/girls soak it in anything for extra fertilization, or is it just like laterite out of the bag, doing nothing else to it?
I would treat it the same as SMS/Schultz/Flourite etc. Do you soak it in anything? Probably not.

I add quite a few Jobs as the first thing when setting up tank. So they are on the bottom glass, and then covered by whatever peat kitty litter flourite substrate goes on top.


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