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Re: Response to Sparrow from Dan

Hi Sparrow, I have had a long standing policy to help little birds in
> Hi, Dan,
> I have decided to go with the ol' kitty litterite idea of yours, so I > bought a sack. I put some in a glass to do a pH change test and it 
> dissolved leaving a fine stuff at the bottom and a large  amount of 
> material in suspension. This surprised me as I had anticipated the 
> litter staying in it's porous lump state thereby facilitating aerobic > conditions in the substrate.
>My Q's:
> Is this supposed to happen]
   I think it's possible that the article I wrote in english didn't get
translated properly in what ever language it is you speak in London.
I've tried the same experiment and got the same results, so yes this is
what is suppose to happen. You lost me in the "..facilitating aerobic
conditions". I suspect most substrates are anaerobic, and this would not
be an exception.   

> Am I using the right stuff (I am n UK BTW)
   I think I'm more concerned if it's in the right hands.

> If this is the right stuff, does not the suspension get in to the 
> column at vacuum/planting times? 
  It's minimal if you remember to cover it with an 1 1/2" (7 cm) of
> If so, how is it removed.
  With a siphon or filter.

> Do you "wash" it to remove the finest, suspensible (is that a real 
> word or did I just make it up?) material?
  As in suspense?
> If so, how?
   I tried washing it once , even used Ivory soap, but nothing I've
found yet, seems to work. I would suggest you don't even get it wet
until it's covered with sand.

> On another, related subject, how do you go about washing sand?
 I use water, pH is not important and no soap.

> I have just put some in 1/2 of my "experimental" tank, a 24", and it 
> took about four hours, and heaven knows how much water to wash this 
> tiny quantity so that no "dust" was in suspension. Is there a n easy 
> way? 
   Yes, rinse once and then let your filter and gravity clear up your
water. If your forced to use beach sand, you might just try lighting a
match to it. 

> I have a 40 gallon which i need to set-up, and doing it this way will > take about a month sand will drain London dry. I am considering 
> cannibalising a scrap washing machine to make a centrifuge, but surely > not EVERYONE who uses sand goes to such lengths?
  Sand drying was not in anything I've written. I'm not sure how they do
things in the mother country. However, if you want to go the extra mile,
I might suggest a product we use all the time in this country. It's
called Bounce, and I believe it's made by Procter & Gamble. This won't
speed the drying time, but it should fluff up the sand and give it a
"frescura natural" (outdoor fresh) smell. ;-}
BTW- You can down load my article from my web page, but I warn you, it's
all written in english.