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A bit off-topic here, but:

Had tanks as a teenager but been absent since then until early 2012. I'm lease locked to 10 g or less so I cheat on it
a little. They didn't mention a limit on the number of tanks now did they ?
it might be worth requesting (in writing) permission from your landlord to have a bigger tank. -Put in something about your prior experience with fishkeeping, and if you plan on making some sort of leak containment basin or something, add that too. My lease also had a 10-gallon fish tank limit, but I got permission (in writing) to go bigger. I think it's part of a standard form-letter all-purpose lease that a lot of landlords/agencies adopt, when they may not care about the issue at all (or they may, who knows...)

All depends on how your landlord is though...
 

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What does the cat litter do?

It's just a cheap, readily available, inert clay-based substrate, and it has a high CEC (cation exchange capacity), this enables the substrate to temporarily 'hold' nutrients and such, and the plants can then 'take' the nutrients from the substrate.

Just make sure you get a basic, natural type, with no scents/colors/etc. Some types hold up okay, others turn to mush after being wet for a bit. Still good for plants, but can make a mess when disturbed.
 
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