Author Topic: Natural Cat Litter as Alternative to Akadama?  (Read 15274 times)

Sorce

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Re: Natural Cat Litter as Alternative to Akadama?
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2014, 05:25 AM »
Everything causes cancer in california.
 

reefed419

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Re: Natural Cat Litter as Alternative to Akadama?
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2014, 11:20 AM »
Have people tried growing in hydroton? Its the marble sized clay pebbles that are used in Hydroponics. Might require more watering, but gives lots of air to the roots...
 

SHIMA1

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Re: Natural Cat Litter as Alternative to Akadama?
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2014, 04:33 PM »
I do not know if you guys have it but in Eastern OZ we a product called Diatomite that we are using with great success.
There is Much discussion about it on our Local Forum (AusBonsai.com.au) but many of us here use it and swear by it.
A few of us have done tests and comparisons using many different soil components and mixes and getting great results.

I started using it about 7 years ago, and still are reusing the product from my original purchases. Just wash it to rinse out dirt and leaves then dry and sift it. I use a Mix of 2/3 Diatomite and 1/3 Zeolite myself but there are many variations used in search of the magic ratios. I started out trying to source the ingredients for a Boons' Mix here to no avail but after trying diatomite I gave up on anything else. Also tried Akadama ( at great cost) but find my own local product Much better and lasts indefinitely.

It is a Calcined clay and mined in Northern NSW, and southern Queensland. It is used in Several different Kitty litter brands here, but the problem with that source is that sometimes they use different products in batches that are not diatomite. Several people have lost trees due to that issue.

See this thread on Ausbonsai for a discussion of Diatomite v boons mix ( local variation) http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=11324&p=119530&hilit=diatomite#p119530

And this one about testing of various soil mixes here by Grant at the National Arboretum in Canberra
http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5138&hilit=diatomite

Ken
At last! A komrade from down undah with some info about diatomite as opposed to diatomes. I found a bag from Australia at a nursery supply that had been languishing about for years so I snapped it up for practically nothing. I'd stay out of "discussions" about this because of the common thought that diomaceous earth and diatomes were interchangeable.  Even on the all-knowing internet. ;D
The size of this OZ version was +- 1/2 " so it was fine for my purposes. It didn't break down at all in this wet rainforest climate. It's gone now and I'm fine with clean pumice and milled sphagnum. "Boon mix" is ideal and I used it in my old REBS days but even the hardest akadama breaks down too quickly here, sad to say.