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Ammonia smell in substrate?

I sent this but didn't see it on the list. Maybe it wont appear twice.

I am in the process of tearing down my tank that had the problem with plants
dying. I decided that there must be something in the sand that was leaching
in the water and killing the plants. This is a sand over kitty litter tank
with Osmocote time release Fertilizer in the litter.

As I got past the sand and into the kitty litter there is a distinct smell
of ammonia. This isn't normal is it? Any ideas as to why?

Jeff <*\\><
Mt. 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me,
and I will make you fishers of men.