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Re: New to list, substrate question

> Date: Sun, 8 Dec 2002 20:21:27 -0600
> From: "Jay Reeves" <jreeves1 at mn_rr.com>
> Subject: Re: New to list, substrate question
> Tom gave you a nice answer regarding the gravel - keep it
> simple.  In my 75 I am using quartz gravel with Laterite in
> the bottom layer.  If I were to change the setup today I
> would be tempted to wash the gravel clean (remove laterite)
> and use just the gravel.  If you have high light you will be
> pulling plants and the laterite *will* cloud the water.  Of
> course careful and wise choices of plants and layout would
> reduce the problem.

Careful and wise choice of laterite will also reduce the problem. We use
Dupla laterite (Duplarit G) and any laterite that comes up when plants are
removed settles out within minutes. We have never had a problem with
laterite clouding the water.

Except for the time we tore down a tank, attempted to wash the laterite out
of the gravel then reused the gravel without "sealing" it with a layer of
fresh, clean gravel. The tank water was red for weeks.  Hint: it is *really*
difficult to get the laterite out of the gravel once it has settled in or on
the gravel chunks. And I suspect that all the "washing" only removed the big
chunks and made the small chunks even smaller. Given the moderate CEC of
laterite, one has to wonder if it partially attaches to the gravel at the
molecular level.

George Booth in Ft. Collins, CO (gbooth at frii dot com)
  The website for Aquatic Gardeners by Aquatic Gardeners
      http://aquaticconcepts.thekrib.com (mirror)