NANFA-- kitty litter

Nicholas J. Zarlinga (
Tue, 10 Apr 2001 13:31:21 -0400

Where do you buy onyx and pror(f)ile? Another substrate that is supposed
to be good it to use red art clay. I picked some up a while ago and mixed
it with two different layers of gravel. The bottom layer is a fine silica
gravel and the top layer is a larger river gravel. I had plans on
conquering the world with this tank (180 gallons) but I just haven't had
the time to get it set up with plants. The aquarium has been running for
some time but I haven't put any plants in it.....yet! The red art clay is
very cheap, I think that I paid about $5 for a 30 or 50# bag.

Nick Zarlinga
Aquarium Biologist
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
216-661-6500 ex 4485

"Fish worship... is it wrong??" (Ray Troll)

Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 09:28:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: Al G Eaton <>
Subject: Re: NANFA-- Re: Kitty Litter...

Kitty litter, the clay kind without odorizers or other
chemicals, can have a high CEC (cation exchange
capacity) All these substrates are used to grow
plants. Thats what you are looking for in things like
laterite, fluorite, onyx and prorile (fracted clay
mostly Fullers earth. CEC is a measure of how well
the substrate makes available the micronutrients like
iron, magnesium, boron etc without having them oxidize
and become unavailable to plants as nutrients. The
higher the CEC the better the substrate is. I just
got rid of my three kitty litter tanks and I have
switched them to fluorite and profile, both of which
work great for me. Profile is by far the least
expensive. I bought 40 pounds for about $12. It has
excellent CEC and looks pleasing to the eye. Fluorite
is the best looking of the bunch, and after some
initial clouding of the water, is the easiest to
maintain. Profile is pretty light and moves around
easily until the plants have taken hold. With
fluorite you have to supplement with both macro and
micronutrients right away as the clay is fairly micro
and macro nutrient poor as is kitty litter. Fluorite
has a good deal of iron in it that the plants appear
to be able to utilize. If you want a higher pH tank
then I would use Onyx.

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