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Special Kitty and Flourite Black

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by justin.sterling.scott, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. justin.sterling.scott

    justin.sterling.scott Prolific Poster

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    Hello, All.

    I am setting up a 30 gallon with a standard foot print and want to do a dry start. I would like to use Special Kitty cat litter and have a few questions regarding this.

    I’d like to know if I should mix the litter with anything first. I had planned on putting about 2” in the bottom of the tank, mixed with an appropriate amount of Osmocote and then capping it with about 1” of Flourite Black gravel.

    I could add a little peat to the litter, for that organic material requirement. I also have access to a sand and worm casting mixture that I believe has been prepared properly, as well as regular aquarium gravel and washed paving sand.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Justin,

    IMO, you may not need the peat. I think the mixture you have is fine... I think Biollante does a lot of kitty litter/osmocoat pairings and I hope will chime in......

    Worm castings if done properly may not need anything else but a nice covering layer. I know there is a thread Tom made on worm casting mixtures...
     
  3. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    What benefit does the combination of kitty litter/osmocote/flourite provide over a top soil with a gravel covering??
     
  4. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Worm Poop & Kitty Litter

    Hi Justin, All,

    I use Special Kitty all the time. Soaking it for couple of weeks is a good idea.

    I like to mix it 1:1 with boiled worm poop or rich potting soil (boiled).

    I tend to spread a thin layer of peat moss over the bottom of the tank, though as Gerry points out that is optional and arguable counters some of the benefit of the kitty litter.

    With or without the peat moss lay a layer of Osmocote Plus then the soil/clay mixture (I like 1.5-2 inches (4-5 cm)). Then cap with whatever you wish.

    The Osmocote is a slow release fertilizer, the kitty litter; soil combination improves the cation exchange capacity (CEC).

    Florite black gravel, I presume is used for the aesthetic benefit as well as to make the mud less troublesome and depending on the plants may improve planting and stability. :)

    I usually use inert materials for the cap, though I also have “mud” bottoms, initially mud can be a little troublesome but over time have done well. :cool:

    Biollante
     
  5. justin.sterling.scott

    justin.sterling.scott Prolific Poster

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    That's good information, thank you.

    You soak the litter for a couple of weeks... what can I expect when I do this? It probably gets pasty or mud like. Is it easy enough to work with in this way?
     
    #5 justin.sterling.scott, Apr 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2010
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I think it can make a mess with flourite, I'd just use osmocoat on the bottom + flourite, or go WC's and any clay or organic mix you want to put together, pre soaked good prior to use.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     

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