[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Flourite's best deal around

Chuck wrote:
"...I say perhaps because it's my understanding that laterite (at
least First Layer brand) also contains other minerals in addition to iron."

Yes, they (Flourite, Profile, First Layer Pure Laterite, Duplarit G) _all_
contain minerals other than iron, but the question is how available are
those minerals to the plants?

Dupla, in all of their literature, only cite laterite as a source of Iron
and its use as a binding agent for water-born nutrient ions (in conjunction
with substrate heating...but that's another whole story...). The archived
information on true laterites leads me to suspect that it doesn't have
enough other bioavailable minerals left in it to worry about them (laterites
are highly weathered soils, most of the water soluable minerals have long
since been leached out). The proper technique (at least according to Dupla)
for using laterite is to supplement the water column with nutrients
(Duplaplant and Duplaplant 24). Some nutrients are absorbed by the leaves of
the plants, others migrate into the substrate where they become electrically
bound to the particles of laterite and held there until they can be absorbed
by the roots of the plants. By the way, First Layer Pure Laterite has more
Iron in it than Duplarit G, but then you are back to the "how much is enough
question" - either one should work just fine.

With a fired clay product, such as Flourite and Profile, most of the
minerals native to the clay from which is was made are probably locked in
place by the heat used during processing and manufacturing. Most, but not
all, because Profile will affect the water parameters in tanks where it is
used (some of the Ca and Mg dissolve out of the Profile). The base clay used
in Flourite is much lower in Ca and Mg than that used for Profile and
Flourite doesn't noticeably affect water quality parameters. Over time, some
of those locked in minerals might become available to the plants, but
probably not many. I would prefer to think of both Flourite and Profile as
potential long term sources of very low levels of nutrients - both probably
need supplementation (water borne nutrients) in tanks with heavy plant

If someone wants to limit the quantity of nutrients in the water column,
perhaps the use of something like Aqualine Buschke Terrapure Cones,
Seachem's Flourish Tabs, or even clay balls mixed with a very small amount
of Osmocote or Jobes Fern & Palm Spikes might do the trick. I have used all
of these strategies over the years (with vaying levels of success, love
Jobes but hate Osmocote).

There are other considerations - Profile is a very low density material and
tends to move around quite a bit, so its not really suitable in any tank
that has a lot of water current or fish that like to dig unless it is mixed
with a heavier material. Flourite happens to be dense enough and attractive
enough to be perfect all on its own.You only have to buy it once.....it will
last for many years and can be used again and again. One possible scenario
might be to use 50% Flourite and 50% Profile - you'd get the benefits of

James Purchase