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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #578

> ------------------------------
> From: krandall at world_std.com
> Date: Fri, 14 Mar 1997 10:50:45 -0500
> Subject: Kitty Litter and the pH of laterite
> Subject: cat litter clay
> >            
> >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
> My personal opinion (admittedly not having tried it, and having no
> intention to do so) is that it is probably better than putting nothing in
> your substrate.  It probably has a better CEC than gravel, and will
> eventually pick up trace elements from the water.  BUT, I think there are
> many substrate amendments that are much better, and some are much cheaper.
> If I _really_ felt that the cost of good laterite would break the budget
> when spending all the money needed to set up a new tank, my preference
> would be for either potting soil or top soil (or possibly earth worm
> castings)  All of these have a good CEC _and_ provide excellent nutrition
> to the substrate as well, something that kitty litter is very unlikely to do.
> >
> >                               Miles Morrissey
> >                               mmorriss at sophia_smith.edu
> This is in reply to Karen Randalls dubious endorsement of my use of kitty litter. Following her path of wisdom and spirt of adventure I can honestly say the same about laterite, "admittedly not having tried it, and no intention to do so", because I just don't like to get ripped off. 
> Based on the many comments within this newsgroup, I might suggest that kitty litter is a form of laterite.  It seems the whole laterite issue is very muddled. One thing that intrigues me about the logic of laterite 
prophets is there belief that it contains a lot of plant nutrition. If
this is the case, then why are they still using all sorts of fertilizer?
I belief the magic of laterite is simply because it's clay (as is kitty
litter)but kitty litter is only $2.00 for 25 lbs. 
Contrary to what Karen says, I don't consider kitty litter as a
substrate amendment. It is my substrate, covered by sand. The amendment
is the fertilizer I add to it. I might also add, that when I pull up a
plant out of my kitty litter, the little puff of clay dust I get seems
like a better alternative that a cloud of worm poop. 
Dan Quackenbush