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Re: Vermiculite+Soil+Sand (Jim Kelly/TheKrib method)

"Vermiculite+Soil+Sand (Jim Kelly/TheKrib method)..."
"But this guy is a serious salesman, and of course
the solution was to spend $150+ on his fluorite and onyx.  So now I'm
confused.  Is the Jim Kelly method okay?..."

There are MANY "methods". Some are more simple than others, which might get
complex. If you are a beginner, simple is good, complex can get you confused
very easily.

Pick ONE method, learn all you can about it, and STICK with that ONE method
until you've mastered it. Don't try, as a beginner, to "pick and choose", a
bit from this, a bit from that - it rarely works. If you like the
"cheapness" of soil, go to Steve Pushak's website
(http://home.infinet.net/teban/index.html) and read the material there.
Also, spend the money and buy Diana Walstad's book, "Ecology of the Planted

I've got to tell you though, that you might be economizing in the wrong
place at the wrong time. (like you really wanted to hear that.....). As a
beginner, simpler is definately better and you just cannot get any
"simpler", nor any "better" than a substrate consisting of either Flourite
or Onyx. If you set up a tank correctly the first time, it can and will last
for years. The amortized cost of a Flourite substrate is nothing compared to
the benefits it brings with it. The stuff lasts forever - it won't wear out.

I've had (and continue to have) tanks with soil substrates - they work, if
you know what you are doing. But I don't consider them "beginner" territory,
especially when compared to Flourite or Onyx. Learn to walk before you try
to fly.

James Purchase