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Re: APD V4 #352 - Two Points on KL (2nd Post)

I'm uncertain as to why this didn't show in the PM edition. If it shows
twice for the AM, my apologies...

> From: Bob Dixon

> There was aposting on the list a few months back where someone
> had tested several clays that were purported to be effective in aquarium
> substrates.  If I recall, there was actually more iron in the kitty litter
> than the laterite.
> Perhaps the iron you add is not needed.

That could well be true. And as if that weren't enough, it's been suggested
that the amount I use probably wouldn't run short for about 1500 years ;-)

I started because of the Cabomba furcata - wanted to make sure plants like
that had "enough". One day I'll sit down and actually determine a more
proper dosage, or even if it's necessary...

>> From: "Roger S. Miller"
>> I've worked with the stuff too. The first batch of kitty litter I used
>> broke down into a sticky paste very soon after contact with water.
>>  The paste was not at all gritty...In a substrate that would be
>> sufficient to block water circulation.
>> Clumping cat litter is worse, as it hydrates rather quickly, expands
>> and forms thick gels very easily.

I have to concede that point well enough - as well as the fact that this
could be a *potential* problem were it an intermediate layer. As a -bottom-
layer, especially at the depth I've been working, it seems to work fine as a
rooting medium however.

The difference in root development becomes more readily apparent as the
depth of the covering sand becomes thicker. The sand above produces a
noticeably thicker, stockier root system than that which develops within the
silt of the litter. When I first began to notice so much of a difference, I
thought perhaps it was more easily explained by the presence of the
nutrients within the litter itself. But then, as I said, trials with
differing grades of sand alone were leading to the same results for me - the
finer the substrate, the more well-developed the roots. The silt layer at
the bottom produces root systems with a *huge* amount of surface area within
a very fine webbing.

The next trick was in learning how to uproot a plant without bringing the
litter with it. This is another time where the covering sand comes in very