clay based substrates

Polly

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23 May 2009
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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 find that the Tesco Premium Cat litter and the other pink/brown hard cat litters (Sophisticat Pink etc.) are not messy at all, they've already been baked ! ;) I simply put some in a kitchen sieve and sprayed water through it. Afterwards there was very little clouding and the small amount that I did get cleared within hours 8) Now the water stays crystal clear :)

Do check how it works with your water tho, I've not read any other example of my own experience with Tesco Premium Cat Litter, but it's not impossible ;) soaking the cat litter for a week or so definitely helped to settle water parameters in the tank more quickly ;)

ETA. I completely forgot, I found that the Cat Litter will stick to my Algae Magnets - the back of them ! So I tried it in a bag of DRY cat litter and the same happened :crazy: very strange :crazy: The magnet didn't stick to the bag tho o_O Could it be the iron in it?
 

dsandson

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25 Jun 2008
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Nick16 said:
mineralize soil

I think what Tom means in Remineralized Soil. Its not a product, but a DIY substrate. I noticed it a while back while looking at one of the US plant sites, think it was the planted tank. Anyway, here's the link;

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...-mineralized-soil-substrate-aaron-talbot.html

It'd be a fascinating thing to try, and very cheap too.

Polly said:
I think you'll find that the Tesco Premium Cat litter and the other pink/brown hard cat litters (Sophisticat Pink etc.) are not messy at all, they've already been baked !

I believe this is the key difference between Non-clumping and clumping cat litter, as it the clumping is raw reformed clay. When it touches water it swells and looses its shape, which helps it bind.

I suppose that probably means you might be able to use a clumping cat litter, treat it with diy-TPN+ and bake it to produce a real diy Aqua Soil. Not sure it'll be worth the effort though! You'd have to note that a home oven could never reach the temps of a kiln, but as Tom says that'd probably produce a softer substrate which the plants may prefer.

Dave
 

Jack middleton

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6 Jan 2009
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do you reckon its worth pouring a watered down DIY TPN+ onto it before i cap it? im not baking it as my mother wouldnt like cat litter in her oven :rolleyes:
 

Nick16

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Jack middleton said:
do you reckon its worth pouring a watered down DIY TPN+ onto it before i cap it? im not baking it as my mother wouldnt like cat litter in her oven :rolleyes:
haha, i have had sand in my oven and everything.

only last month we had to get a new one as i was making smoke bombs (potassium nitrate, aka saltpeter) on the stove and it caught alight, !!! the whole kitchen went black :oops:
 

dsandson

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25 Jun 2008
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Jack middleton said:
do you reckon its worth pouring a watered down DIY TPN+ onto it before i cap it?

Hmm, not really. You could pre-soak it with macro-nutrients, a lot like James did in the Akadama sticky at the top of this page. Or put some Osmocote granules in the bottom which would be a slow release fertiliser

http://www.theonlinegardener.com/product.asp?prod=1014769

Jack middleton said:
im not baking it as my mother wouldnt like cat litter in her oven

It wasnt really a recommendation, more just thinking aloud, so to speak.

Nick16 said:
only last month we had to get a new one as i was making smoke bombs (potassium nitrate, aka saltpeter) on the stove and it caught alight, !!! the whole kitchen went black :oops:

:wideyed: hmm... well maybe Nick16 is brave enough to try it!! :lol:

Dave
 

aaronnorth

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19 Feb 2008
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Nick16 said:
Jack middleton said:
do you reckon its worth pouring a watered down DIY TPN+ onto it before i cap it? im not baking it as my mother wouldnt like cat litter in her oven :rolleyes:
haha, i have had sand in my oven and everything.

only last month we had to get a new one as i was making smoke bombs (potassium nitrate, aka saltpeter) on the stove and it caught alight, !!! the whole kitchen went black :oops:
:lol:

if you get a small amount in a conical flask and light it it will give out sparks like a sparkler :D best doing it ouside though ;)
 

plantbrain

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2 Aug 2007
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Unlike harder cooked clays, like flourite or Akadama, softer clays will retain and hold far more nutrients.

They are also easier to enrich with macro nutrients.

Still, a DIY Mineralized soil has been done long before APC was even a forum.
Several Brasilian showed ti worked well in higher light CO2 enriched aquarium, but they had no access to KNO3 etc.
So if that is all you have to work with(soils), that's what you go with.

http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-p ... m+castings

Some on the TPT forum suggest just plain potting soil and mix other items to it.

Still, adding KNO3, KH2PO4 etc to the water column is wise and allows better uptake and transport, offers no problems with algae control either way(we ***know*** algae is not limited by nutrients), you still dose K+, traces, so it's not saving you any work per se.......you still ahve to dose 1-2 things, adding another 1-2 will offer no savings there.
You get better health and longer time frames out of the MS this way.

Some in the "ostrich club" do not understand basic plant fertilization. They insist on not adding the macros, as it's some prevention of algae(it's not), and it's easier(you still have add nutrients to the water column), or that it slows plant growth down(use light, not nutrients t do that). I guess if you wanna do it, that's a fine reason, but there's little sense in riding a bike with a flat tire if you do not have to.

I think many from the sediment only crowd do not like to see water column methods mixed up in their little cliques :rolleyes:
Sort of hypocritical though, they do add nutrients to the water column, everyone does.

Just varying degrees, which matters not to the amount of labor added and algae.

What benefits do sediment macros offer the Wc only person with inert sands etc?
Well, you can forget to dose(who has not done that more than a few times?), and it's much less critical, you can go on vacation and not worry so much about dosing, basically, it makes it easier for you to dose the water column.

The main issue in the past was the myth about algae for MS and for the WC. So the MS folks thought they where limiting algae, but of course, they never tested their theory :rolleyes: WC folks typically had issues with sediments, so they where not interested either. So bring these two groups together is not always an easy sell.
They you have factions claiming BS on both sides. So little truth or demonstrated examples are shown.
Even less testing and a lot of BS is offered on line to argue based of their own speculation, rather than testing or reasoning through it.

Use critical thinking, plant science to wade through this, I think you'll fine at the end of the day, using both together is a really good resilient method for nutrients, no matter if you go non CO2, Excel./Easy Carbo, or CO2 enriched.

Nutrients, by and large are easy.
CO2, light, less so, but once set correctly, they are not bad either:)

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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