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diatomacous earth/clay???

Hi everyone...
in search of alternative substrate material--other
than the 2-3mm gravel which seems to have disappeared
off the face of the planet!--I ran accross something
interesting at the LAPS (local auto parts store)
yesterday.  They material is used for absorbing oil
off of the ground and the package says that it can
absorb oil/moisture equal to its own wait...the
packaging also says that the stuff is "diatomacous"
earth???  I believe this might be similar? different?
in some ways to the kitty litter stuff which says
"ground clay"...I looked this up in the archives and
it seems that diatomacous earth is posted for being
used in the pool? as diatom filter?  but this can't be
right--can it?--since the stuff sells for $4 for a
50lb bag???  could I have misspelled it????
I am interested in how this stuff differs from the
ground caly?  is it possibly useful for the substrate?
 if not...how about as diatom powder (how)???

please shed some light on this for me!

samm, Los Angeles
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