NANFA-- The deal with kitty litter

D. Martin Moore (
Sun, 13 May 2001 21:50:23 -0500

To address a couple of issues here, the clay-as-substrate craze
got started with the publication of _The Optimum Aquarium_, in
which the authors extolled the virtues of tropical laterite, which is
very rich in iron (kind of like Georgia clay). Somewhere along the
line, some aquatic plant enthusiasts who were more
knowledgeable than average about chemistry, decided that you
didn't necessarily need laterite, as the main benefit of the clay was
to bind the iron ions in the water column (as someone also
mentioned on the list) and make them available to the plant's roots.
It was Dan Quackenbush who publicised the use of kitty litter
(plain, unscented) as a cheap, readily available source of clay in a
convenient form. This idea has spread like wildfire since then and
as far as I know the notion has never been discounted. It certainly
seems an improvement over the ultra-high-priced products offered
by Dupla (a company which was started by one of the authors of
the above-mentioned book).


Jackson, MS

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