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RE: Melissa's questions, continued...

Melissa wrote...

>  I was thinking of either going with Profile (like flourite) or
> just going
> with the flourite, although very expensive for the amount I need.
>  If I go
> the profile route, I might (dont know yet) layer it with a sm.
> layer of fine
> gravel..   And that substrate gold product sounds good too..

I've already said that I've found Flourite to be an absolute wonder as an
aquarium substrate - I have had very good experience with it. Profile (and
Turface) are _apparently_ similar (a fired clay product sold in granular
form) but I've not used them so I can't recommend them. You _can_ mix
Flourite up to 50% with plain gravel, according to Seachem - but to gain the
maximum "wow" effect from the "look" of Flourite this would require you to
use a gravel which matches it in color and size. This could end up costing
as much to buy as using 100% Flourite.

I have _no_ experience in using laterite under Flourite (and wouldn't
recommend it - the Flourite works well all by itself).

On Substrate Gold, Melissa asks...

>  Hmm.. that doesnt sound too bad.. have you had any experience withthis
> product?

Personally, no, I haven't (I had used Duplarit G for a number of years and
then bought lots of it when I heard that Dupla was leaving the North
American market. Unfortunately, my supply is down to one single box...) As
you don't have Web access, I searched the archives of the APD for "Substrate
Gold", and here are some comments from people who have -

"I have used Substrate Gold and have been very pleased with the results.
It appears to be one of the least expensive laterite products currently
available.  Similarly, Liquid Gold works well for me as an iron

Bob Hoffman
Huntington Beach, CA

"I can't tell you what's best, but I can tell you that my last laterite tank
was set up with Substrate Gold.  About a third of the recommended dosage
(that's all I had left, and I was being impatient)."

"The growth was quite strong (mostly bunch plants), and my corkscrew val
reproducing rapidly and growing out across the top of the water."

Alysoun McLaughlin

"I have used it and it is just as good as Dupla, but at a much reduced

Bob Hoffman
Huntington Beach, CA

My point is - chose ONE approach to your substrate and go with it. Learn how
it responds in your particular circumstances and then move on from there.
Don't get caught up in trying to mix and match at this point in time - the
dangers of messing things up are too great and you might not know enough yet
to understand exactly why something didn't work as you expected it to.

Plain gravel + laterite (Duplarit G or Substrate Gold) should work well.
Flourite alone should work well.

Both are simple, easy to set up and have a history of being "safe choices".

> How long have
> you been keeping fish?  Ten years here..   just the plants are a
> new thing to
> me..  :)

I'm 46 now, and I got my first "real" aquarium when I was around 13, so that
is over 30 years in the hobby for me. That tank turned into a Crypt jungle
and I've had plants in every tank since.

James Purchase