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Discussion Starter #1
I went to home depot last night to get a couple bags of aquasoil for my 29 gallon last night and they apparently don't sell it anymore(the people there couldn't tell me if it was seasonal or not) I've read in the past that you can use kitty litter as soil(I really can't afford the flourite types, and to have turface shipped to me it'd only cost a few dollars less than the flourite.) but I can't find the source anymore, and don't want to use the wrong kind and need to muck it all out to start over. The substrate sticky here said that you can use special kitty, but it'll cloud your water. Does that mean it'd become mush in the bottom of the tank, or that it'd just do like flourite and let the dust fly everywhere until it settles and then be fine?
 

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You can find a local Lesco or John Deere supply and get Turface Game Saver or SMS.

Kitty litter breaks down rather rapidly but it can be used. You just need to check the ingredients to make sure there is nothing added to it other than the granulated fullers earth.

You can even do sandblasting sand as an alternative

Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We don't have either of those anywhere close by. How big is the sandblasting sand? I've looked at the playsand from home depot and lowe's and they are both tiny grain, and the sandblasting bags are opaque. I don't want something fine grained(rather go with something around the same size as the aqua soil) since I'm not a fan of sand in my tanks.
 

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If you choose a type of sand it won't give you any benefit other then something for the roots to take better hold of, no nutrients or anything.

I'm in the same situation as you, can't afford flourite so I looked into the cheap substitutes and went with a product called Oil Dri from wal-mart (in the automotive section). It's just like kitty litter and it's meant to soak up oil from the driveway and it's very cheap. It's supposed to be from the same company that makes SMS.

With that being said I have to warn you that I've had tons of problems with it. When I added it to the tank it was so cloudy and dropped my PH so fast that it killed my rummy nose instantly and after that I've been loosing a fish every now and then due perhaps to the low ph (possibly due to aggression though).

So I'm pulling all of it out and soaking it in a baking soda mixture to remove all of the acidic properties of the substrate then I'll be redoing it. The effects of it clouding the water lasts about a day and it isn't any worse the the flourite I used in a 20 long for clouding.

I've had nothing but problems from this product since I first used it however I feel as if it can still be usefull, I just wish someone would have told me about the extremely low PH conditions it would cause before I lost all those fish.
 

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I have unscented kitty litter in my tank as a base layer to provide iron. I can only speak for myself when I say that I have not had any pH issues using, but I will say that it is not pleasing to the eye. You could use it for a base layer and "cap it" with something that looks better. I wouldn't put too much of it...maybe 1" depth or so.
 

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If you have any pool supply places around, you may be able to find a "T" sized colorquartz. It's bigger grained so it wouldn't look like sand.

After reading your comment on sand, you probably would not like the sand blasting sand.

What state are you in?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Closest that mentions is in Denver. I don't know where any pool stores are in town, but if I get a spare minute at work I'll look in the phone book and see if I can find one(I'm sure there has to be one someplace) and see if any of them could get it for me.
 

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wow, thanks for that red flint link! i grew up using that stuff in MN and have never seen it anywhere else besides the hole-in-the-wall fish store i used to go to/work at.
i love the color of it, its cheap, its available in tons of diff grades and it wont affect water chemistry. cant beat that.

-nick
 

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I wouldn't use sandblasting sand. I used it once with discus, and other fish, and none of them did well. They were constantly stressed. Sandblasting sand comes from coal slag so I am sure the toxicity varies in toxicity depending on the batch. It was definitely not made for aquatic use.

I'd go with pool filter gravel like other people have suggested. Its cheap, looks good, and isn't toxic.
 

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Not sure if you have any gravel pits near you but if you do check them out as a cheap source of gravel. One that is sold near me is called Well Gravel (guess what they use it for??) and is a perfect size for a tank :)

Steve
 
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