Friday, June 28, 2013

What's cat litter for?


What's cat litter for?

Hey all, continuing my quest on the anoxic filtration and just read a terrific articel by Syd Mitchell. The best article I have read so far. But it'll leaves me still with the burning question "what is the cat litter for". The only reason I can see is to hold the Laterite in place. So pleas if anyone has the answer I would love to know. And if you haven't read the artic by Syd I suggest you do.

What is cat litter for?
       Well, it's just not to hold the Laterite in place, in fact anything that can be use that would be as good as Laterite could replace it, but I don’t know of any substitution for it that I would classify as safe.
       When testing substrates for the attraction on ions out of the water body many were use and failed. Cat litter has crystalline structures that have these little negatively charged pockets or sites in it that will attract positive ions out of the water. The crystallinity of cat litter has a big influence on the diffusion of ions; densities, meaning its porewater and permeability, and hardness, like will it hold up over time without breaking down into a paste or hardening up like a rock.

        The cat litter itself produces some important carbon dioxide that then become a factor in creating Anoxic zones or conditions in the substrates itself. As you probably know, many substrates have crystalline structures in them like example, Vermiculite, pea gravels, sand, small gravel and so on. However, when testing these substrates the clogging and then the proliferation of cyanobacteria from not using or even producing more orthophosphates became the problem. Cat litter even beat out plain old dirt or potting soil. Dirt or potting soil like sand compacted too much and change the density of the soil that then turned the substrate anaerobic.
     After numerous tests cat litter was the cheapest and most rewarding of all mediums that were tested and Laterite gave it it’s needed micronutrients in the form of adding iron and Manganese.

Anoxic Filtration Book... Still free on Apple's iBook store

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