So why use ADA or any other substrate product when cat litter or sand would suffice ??? Do these commercially designed products offer better plant health and growth ???
There's no doubt that ADA and other Gucci soils are excellent substrates - nice to work with, easy to reuse, nutritious with a high CEC - but there are plenty of people also getting excellent results for a fraction of the cost with cat litter, garden soil and plain old inert sand /gravel, which should instantly demonstrate that they're not essential.