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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #577
>From: Miles Morrissey <mmorriss at sophia_smith.edu>
>Date: Thu, 13 Mar 1997 15:55:16 -0500 (EST)
>Subject: cat litter clay
> I want to prod, cajole, plead with our resident intelligencia
>sp? :-) to make comments on the assertion in the last FAMA that cat
>litter clay is a good aquarium substrate for plants. It is possible to
>find the stuff with no additives and perfumes and I was wondering what
>people like Jim Kelley and Neil Frank thought about it's use. Any
>comments would be appreciated.
Below is part of a conversation I had with the author of the articles
mentions in FAMA above.
His homepage is: www.malloftheworld.com/aquarium
:> 1. Aren't you the one who suggested using cat litter as a substrate?
:> does this raise the ph of the water over time? I guess clay wouldn't
necessarily make a difference.
I don't think it affects pH, but keep in mind it's buried under 1 1/2
inches of sand. Clay makes a big difference to many plants.
:> 3. Finally, when terracing a tank, if you build up a lot of gravel (like 10"
:> in the back), will this cause problems with dead spots and anerobic(sp,
the non-oxygen kind)
:> bacteria? If so, what do you suggest to build up the background area?
No. but I would put clay on top of the build up, then more sand.
One of many misconceptions is that substrates need to be aerobic. Most
plants live in mud. (very anerobic) Even aquarium gravel is pretty
anerobic under the top 1/8" of surface. Plants push minute amounts of
oxygen through the (hair) roots. Aerobic bacteria then grows on the
roots (not the substrate). By the way, it is rare for hair roots to grow
in gravel or sand. Hair roots grow like crazy in the soft, very fine
confines of clay (kitty litter).