clay based substrates

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by Jack middleton, 12 Aug 2009.

  1. Jack middleton

    Jack middleton Member

    Messages:
    172
    does anybody know of any clay based cat litters that are safe? i cant get hold of any tropica or JBL...so this must be the next best thing.

    thanks

    jack
     
  2. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    use akadama!!! make sure its the double red line stuff!!!!
     
  3. Jack middleton

    Jack middleton Member

    Messages:
    172
    where can i find it? and how much does it cost?
     
  4. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    have a look on ebay mate, its not that expensive, a 14L bag will cost you about a tenner.
     
  5. Polly

    Polly Member

    Messages:
    158
    I too wanted to use AKADAMA, but couldn't find it anywhere within 60 miles :( and to have it delivered would have cost the same as Fluorite or EcoComplete :( So I've used Cat Litter - Tesco's Premium LIghtweight - the PINK one. But it does need preparing first - at least in my very soft water area - very little in the way of buffers ;)

    Discussions on it's use here

    Tesco Cat Litter as a Substrate

    and my report on what happened when I used it here, it seems to be slightly different to the stuff available abroad

    Tesco Cat litter - Cheap but be careful!

    Have 3 tanks with a Cat litter Substrate and tho it's early days they seem to be doing very well and the GH has settled down. I've written about the biggest one here

    http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=7173

    don't know if this helps but hope it does
     
  6. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
  7. Stu Worrall

    Stu Worrall Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,987
    Location:
    Flintshire, North Wales
    im thinking of taking it (akadama) out of my 60cm shrimp tank. its just too crumbly and dusty for my liking, growth of rooted stuff isnt as good as with my tank with aquasoil in but that may be down to other things like lighting etc

    on another side for those using cat litter ive just found a supplier of baked clay which is used for cleaning up oil spills on the floor. £8 for 30 litres and Ive bought 2 bags for my bonsai soils so may try this out on something in the future. It doesnt have a fragrance like the cat litter either which is handy and the particles are a lot smaller than akadama, more AS size. It can be bought from Intertruck depots
     
  8. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    try kaizen bonsai for akadama, £18 posted for 14litres. They also sell half bags too.
     
  9. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Messages:
    1,949
    Cat litter works very well, it was suggested here in the USA many years ago, but many just laughed at many folks suggesting it. Akadama and Turface etc Flourite, are all clay fired products, cat litter is softer, like ADA' aqua soil(Think cat litter with macro nutrients/peat), plants seem to like it much more that hard grain clays.
    Greensand is another similar product.

    Trade off between hard and no nutrients(no mess also), and soft and lots of nutrients(potential for mess).

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Jack middleton

    Jack middleton Member

    Messages:
    172
    hi all

    i bought 5 litres of clay cat litter for £1.69 its got to be the cheapest fertiliser substrate.

    it was from pets at home
     
  11. Polly

    Polly Member

    Messages:
    158
    Jack, you need to be careful, some cat litters are very soft and turn into mud when in water, they can prevent water movement in the substrate. They never settle and cloud the water continually ;) The one which is being used in most people's tanks is a hard clay granule which doesn't crumble or 'emulsify' and is very similar to AKADAMA. If you've bought the non-clumping, Sophisticat type then you should be ok with it ;)

    The one I've used in my Tanks is not topped by any gravel, in fact it is used on top of soil in the largest tank and I've had no problems at all with it :D

    If it stays hard after being in a jar of water overnight then it should be ok :) (roll it between your fingertips)

    I did once experiment with the 'clumping' cat litter in a tank, I planted into a tray of the stuff and topped it with gravel. The plants weren't very happy and when I removed it the smell of rotten eggs was awful :?

    Hope this helps :D
     
  12. dsandson

    dsandson Member

    Messages:
    99
    Location:
    Belfast, NI
    Hi Polly

    I was inspired by Tom's post about cat litter in the USA, so tried to search for something suitable here... and guess what came up when I did some googling? One of your posts! Brilliant.

    Anyway, did some more research and came across a few bonsai sites talking about cat litter. The following is the best I've found so far to give a reasonable background and analysis;

    http://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basicscatlitter.htm

    Seems the Tesco Premium Lightweight Cat Litter is the best stuff. Nice small grain size and very durable. No perfume, just Bi-carb of Soda. I'm no chemist but that shouldnt cause any harm.

    Must say I do like the freezer test for the hardness and durability. It also gives the actual reason not to use clumping litters.

    I'll have to give it a test, but it looks a good contender to replace the bulk of the Akadama in my 180l at the end of the year.

    Dave
     
  13. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    i always reccomend Tesco litter, i think i did to you too Jack ;)
     
  14. Jack middleton

    Jack middleton Member

    Messages:
    172
    yeah you did aaron...i ended up buy the P@H stuff it was sooo cheap...im just going to run a test on it...the granules are quite hard though
     
  15. Jack middleton

    Jack middleton Member

    Messages:
    172
    it sinks and settles :D

    im guessing its safe to use then? its 100% clay granules
     
  16. Nelson

    Nelson Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Location:
    Norfolk
    hi jack,
    what colour is it.
     
  17. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Messages:
    1,949
    While I personally have not done this, some have suggested partial cooking of the cat litter to make it less messy.
    I think you'll see a significant difference between harder sediment types.

    It can be enriched also, with KNO3 pre soaking, KH2PO4, etc, Osmocoat added on the bottom for longer term nutrients(Cat litter is not the with any nutrient content itself), mineralize soil(Good for cheaper DIY ADA As options)

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. Jack middleton

    Jack middleton Member

    Messages:
    172
    a browny colour...the same colour as tropica plant substrate
     
  19. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    hi tom. what do you mean by mineralize soil? what is it and where can it be found, thanks
     
  20. Nelson

    Nelson Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Location:
    Norfolk
    thanks.
     

Share This Page

Facebook Page
Twitter Page
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice