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Discussion in 'AquaScaping World Magazine Discussions' started by John N., Apr 10, 2008.
A very interesting thread now full of information.
Great thread well worth a read
Know I understand why many use ADA - High CEC -OFC
Was thinking about cat litter at work all day but no time to google it and everything I thought about a 'good buffer cache' and why it should work is High CEC
So ADA AS is basically Cat litter with all the right ingredients baked into it. - Acts as a 'good Buffer cache' mops up the excess dissolved minerals/ions until in equilibrium with the water column and releases them back into water column when concentration gradient swings other way and the equilibrium is maintained. The minerals that are baked into the 'nuggets' the roots get out via 'active transport'
So much for a 'noob' to work out before tank arrives
Our episode on substrate talks a bit about this.
Cat Litter if you are going to use it find out what type you require as there are many types on the market today,
Common Types of Cat Litter
Clumping clay. This type of litter is typically made from bentonite, which is a highly absorbent clay that forms into solid clumps when your cat urinates. Clumping clay makes litterbox scooping and cleaning easy. Drawbacks are that this type of litter is dusty, non-biodegradable, and heavy to cart around.
Non-clumping clay. This type of litter is made from clays other than bentonite. It absorbs urine but doesn't form clumps, so it's easy to leave bits of moist litter behind when you scoop the box. This means it will start to get smelly sooner rather than later, and may require more frequent changing than clumping clay. However, non-clumping litter is often cheaper than clumping, and some cats prefer it.
Silica gel crystals. The crystals are made of tiny silica gel beads similar to the desiccant found in the tiny pouches packaged as a preservative with foods, medications, and other products that can be damaged by excess moisture. Crystal litter is highly absorbent, controls odor well, and is almost dust-free. Some people even say it tracks less than other types of litter. Crystal litters are usually more expensive, but they tend to last longer. Downsides are that some cats don't like getting the crystals on their paws, and they can be dangerous if ingested in large amounts or over a long period of time, which happens when cats clean their feet.
Recycled paper. This is litter made from recycled paper that is turned into pellets or granules. Paper is dust-free, highly absorbent, and biodegradable. In pellet form, the paper doesn't form urine clumps, but the granule form does.
Pine. Pine litter is also recycled and is typically made from lumber scraps that are heat-treated to remove toxins, oils, and allergens from the wood. This type of litter comes in pellets, granules, or roughly crushed pine. It has a pine scent, which helps control odor. The granules and cobble (roughly crushed pine) are somewhat clumping, but in pellet form, the pine turns to sawdust that must be regularly replaced.
Corn. Corn-based litter is biodegradable, absorbent, and provides odor control. However, since most kitties ingest a bit of litter each day during grooming, and since corn is a problem ingredient for pets, I recommend avoiding this type of litter.
Wheat. Wheat litter is made from ground wheat. It clumps and provides odor control, is biodegradable, and is low on dust and tracking. Wheat can be another problem ingredient for cats, so I also suggest avoiding wheat-based litters as well.
Walnut shells. This litter is made from crushed walnut shells and is dark brown in color. Walnut shell litters have clumping ability, offer excellent odor control, are highly absorbent, and biodegradable.
Grass. Grass litter is new on the scene. One brand, Smart Cat, is a fine-grained litter made from USA-sourced grass fibers that is biodegradable, controls odor, and has good clumping ability. Another brand, The Touch of Outdoors by Dr. Elsey, uses USA-grown prairie grass.
You'll want the non clumping clay
sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
Thank you for that Shawn we only use cat litter for one purpose only.
Follows on nicely from what I have pick up from reading around. Don't think if I had just listen to it before reading around I would have understood it as well. I need to work the differences in a low energy tank, hybrid and High tech tank. But what clinch it was a read a thread of yours (ShadowMac) a bit back and it mentioned Cat Litter and CEC and it didn't mean much at the time. Then after thinking about using the Hybrid technique was think about the Cat Litter and its potential buffering capacity. Then reading this thread and 'CLICK' it all made sense .
Aqua soil isnt soil 'per se' well not as would would classically class a soil ( well not in my eyes anyway) Its a High tech Granules that has a high buffer capacity to store nutrients. Which you can know purchase them that have been pre baked into the Granules probably using the same/similar techniques which the aquascapers of old did in this thread.
(Bit like overclocking a PC in the 'Thoroughbred' cpu period it was an art form which took time and getting an decent overclock stable with prime95 for 24hrs gave much kudos. Now you just stick in the hardware and press overclock and its done)
Now all the work of minerlising the soil has been done for you ready in a bag. Just stick it in the tank.
So it makes sense (if your pocket allows ) to stick in as much of the High CEC as possible. Whether you use all ADA AS or a base of at cat Litter (Non-clumping clay), where the tank substrate will be deep and cover it with ADA AS for the roots to use intermediately . The net result will be the same - a greater buffering capacity of the substrate so you will get away with dosing the ferts as much once the substrate has reached equilibrium with your dosing requiem. As the CEC granules will be holding and ionic cache of it releasing it when the water column gets low in it.
So for high tech or low tech tank using a substrate with a High CEC makes sense. More room for error due to the Buffering capacity of the substrate
Don't throw away your old ADA aqua soil wash it out and recharge it. Bit like charcoal filtration granules ( if you use them) dont buy more and throw old away. wash them and recharge the carbon with heat in oven.
Suppose using the fine granules isnt that good either as it will clog up quicker and water flow within the substrate will decrease and then buffering capacity will be reduced as the ionic transfer will be 'bottle necked' due the reduced flow in the substrate, reliant on diffusion only which we both know is very very very very slow in water ( hence the x10 rule in flow/turnover )
So when J Finnley uses those plastic sheets to enable him to get better slops with his substrate, hes reducing the buffering capacity of the CEC substrate as the water flow in the substrate will be decrease. You get away with it as if the dosing regime is spot on (as I'm sure his is). But you would be better off with sheets that hold the substrate in place and allow the water flow as the buffer is going to work better.
Sorry for the long post guys and thanks for the patience its not that I doubted it when you said use ADA AS is the best route, I just need to understand why thats all
please correct me if anything what I've posted is BS - I have think skin
I would agree. It is relatively low in organic matter. Baked clay with lots of nutrients.
No apologies needed. I appreciate your desire to understand the underlying mechanisms. I am very much the same way. I often don't jump into it all because most folks don't care to know much more than "what works".
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