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  1. LancsRick

    plant substrate that dose not need caping

    Moler clay is the main part of cat litter, it's the physical grains that you see. Cat litter usually has various additives and perfumes in it too, so you can't use any old cat litter (the Tesco one that Michael mentioned doesn't have additives in it). If you want it in bulk, you can buy sacks...
  2. LancsRick

    Can I Cap Moler Clay with gravel?

    You can, but what you'll find over time is that the gravel will migrate under the clay since it's denser. If you don't mind that, go for it (or put in a divider).
  3. LancsRick

    Cleaning substrate

    Any particular reason? If you're breaking down the tank and are going to store the substrate, then yes, it would be a good idea. If you're just thinking of doing this for a clean, then I probably wouldn't bother - just go over it with a gravel cleaner, it's what they're for. Be aware that if...
  4. LancsRick

    Salvaging a soil substrate tank

    Cheers Anti (as always :)) I've used the cat litter in my other tank and didn't have too many problems. That said, I did want to try the Akadama this time, but getting hold of the hard stuff is impossible locally really, and it's 3x the price of cat litter to get it off eBay. All I know is that...
  5. LancsRick

    Salvaging a soil substrate tank

    I've got an inch or so of gravel cap, the problem I've found is that once the shrimp find a bit of soil, they dig, and once any bit of the gravel tidy is exposed, more soil gets pulled up. Pretty sure I'm going to rip the tank down in the Christmas break to be honest and redo with Tesco cat litter.
  6. LancsRick

    Salvaging a soil substrate tank

    The gravel tidy is a plastic mesh, but it's a right nuisance I'm finding. I've got cat litter in another tank and found it's pretty good really - once rinsed thoroughly, it seems to clear in 24 hours and has been zero bother since, so I'm quite taken with it.
  7. LancsRick

    Salvaging a soil substrate tank

    I set up a Rio 180 a few months ago using a soil substrate and gravel cap, and I'm really not happy with it. I've used aquatic soil, with gravel tidy on top, and capped with black gravel. Not only do I STILL have tannins present, despite numerous water changes, chemical filtration, etc etc...
  8. LancsRick

    Need advice on choosing a substrate!

    If you're not using mature filter media, then personally I'd just fill the filter with wool and run it for a day, agitate the top of your substrate, leave for a day, etc. After a few iterations you'll have done a fair bit to eliminate the dust that can be kicked up when disturbing cat litter...
  9. LancsRick

    calculating amount of needed substrate

    You do like your Matrix references ;) Cheers Clive. Definitely over-depthed my current tank then! I'm not sure any depth of cat litter will ever hold a plant though :p. Thanks.
  10. LancsRick

    calculating amount of needed substrate

    My understanding was that you need a certain amount in there to allow the substrate to buffer the water column if not dosing EI? Or have I just made that up?
  11. LancsRick

    calculating amount of needed substrate

    Would it be worth mentioning in here what depth you should aim for with various substrates? I've got 3inches with my cat litter, but would this be the same with soil? What about the specialist substrates? etc
  12. LancsRick

    Cat litter

    What I've found from my 2 months of using cat litter is that if you've got the luxury of prepping it in advance, you could definitely reduce the mess it makes! - Rinse it through thoroughly in a sieve on day 1, until the water runs clear - Leave soaking for weeks - Agitate and change water (I...