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Re: Substrate poll

"What is your preferred substrate for a general planted tank?  IE, if you
were setting up a tank today, what material(s) would you use to construct
the substrate?"

There is no one _right_ answer to this question. And just because some
people use and/or recommend a particular substrate, that doesn't mean that
it is the right one for your particular conditions. Popularity doesn't
necessarily equate with quality.

Having said that, I'll now proceed to shoot myself in the foot...

For "general", no muss, no fuss, results practically guaranteed for an
aquarist of any experience level, kind of use, you can't beat Seachem's
Flourite. It works well and it looks _great_ in a planted tank. Some people
complain that it costs a lot (_relatively_ speaking) and it can be a pain to
get all of the dust out of it (don't bother, just a few quick rinses and
then use your filter with some floss in it to pull out the last of the

For those who insist on a separate "substrate additive", I still prefer
genuine Duplarit G under plain gravel. It has proven its worth thousands of
times all over the world for over 10 years. If Dupla products aren't
available to you, try Karl Schoeler's Substrate Gold. A local chap who is
really good with plants claims that AP Pure Laterite is a poor substitute
for the Dupla product, but I've never felt the need to try it.

I've also had excellent results with Terralit from Aqualine Buschke which is
used in a manner similar to laterite (but which is _not_ laterite - it is a
zeolite based product with added nutrients).

There are probably loads more.....

James Purchase