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CaribSea Laterite Gravel

I noticed a few weeks ago that CaribSea, the company which sells a lot of
substrates for marine and reef tanks, now also carries a range of gravels
and rocks suitable for freshwater tanks. One of the more interesting ones,
from a "plant person's" perspective is called "laterite".

Knowing the liberties most people seem to take with the term, I was curious
to know if this was indeed a laterite (in the "Dupla" sense of the term) or
if it was a mere marketing ploy on CaribSea's part. This is the text of the
message I received from CaribSea in response to my question:

"    A laterite is a depleted soil meaning that it is the end product of the
heavy weathering of rocks and soils.  It is usually associated with humid
tropical environments such as rainforests.  Laterite soils are typically
in clays, iron and aluminum as these materials are the most immobile ie.
least easiest to dissolve and wash away.  That is what gives many laterites
their characteristic red color and why rivers in the tropics near deforested
areas are often stained red.  As calcium carbonate is a fairly mobile
you will not find it in laterites.  Our laterite is fused to form a very
porous grain. This is important because, as I mentioned, laterites are
clay.   You can always call me at 888-461-1113 if you have any other
questions about the mineralogy of our products.  Thank You."

So, it looks like they know what it is, and they have what we want - yet
another source for planted tank substrates.

James Purchase

P.S. - if anyone out there actually HAS some of this stuff, why not consider
sending a small sample to Jamie Johnson [jjohnson at davisfloyd_com] so that he
can include it in with his tests of substrate materials.