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Re: Kitty Litter

James and Michael were discussing the merit of CEC in kitty litter (KL).

In my never ending question for information about all things substrate,
I tried to find out what kind of clay KL was made of. Not much luck
except that they use lots of different kinds of things. 

I did find the chemical composition of vermiculite (which is a type of
"clay" mineral). It has iron in it and I wouldn't be surprised if some
kinds of KL also contain iron. I believe that Dan Q did several
experiments with different types of KL before he found the type which
produced the best results. I presume that it produced the best result
because it had available iron (and possibly other nutrients). I don't
think the CEC is that important. Some types of KL do have high CEC but
aren't so good at growing plants. It must be a lack of certain nutrients
(iron) or possibly something toxic (Cu, Zn, Mn, Mo, B, or other metals)
in those KLs. Mined minerals are different from soils in that soils do
undergo leaching of soluble minerals. In this case, soil is the stuff
found on top of the ground with the trees and grass growing in it! ;-)

Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!