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Re: Do substrates get any respect?-- Do they all deserve it?

Scott H. replied
> BTW, as I recall, Walstad suggests getting some dirt from
> the backyard to use under the gravel.  That won't cost

Thanks much, Scott!

hhmm.. If one lives in an urban area I'd be reluctant. You just
don't know where that dirt has been or what it was doing there..
btw, I'm getting a copy of her book at the end of the month.
Looking forward to reading it.

> are depleted in about a year, your should replace the
> substrate.  NO kidding, that was what the manufacturer
> said.  Later realizing how silly that was, it changed to
> saying you should add supplements (fertilizers) to

heh..  That's still on the packaging as far as I know. The sales
clerk at the lfs got fairly flummoxed when I asked about it.  Only
one store here carries it and I don't think they sell much. But I
was sold on the fact that it was 'clean' dirt and had some
attractive properties. But that is also why I put in as much
Flourite as Florabase.

> Florabase is new.  Please keep us posted on how it performs
> over the short and long term.

Well, with the Flourite in there, I don't think I'll be able to base
anything just on the Florabase. But I really like the way it 'melts'
and blends with the Flourite. It has a beautiful look of a natural
bottom after its in there a few months. Color and texture is
excellent in that regard, imho.

I can also say it is surprisingly well behaved in terms of
turbidity. I started to worry that it would be a big mess vacuuming
or pulling up plants, etc.  But not at all as long as you're not too
violent with it.  Even the corys dig around without sending up
plumes of particles.  It also appears nanochromis like it for
'digging' their caves for breeding. Watched what I could of a female
making one behind a rock. Every few seconds she'd come out from
behind and spit out a piece of flourite, then back, a little plume
of dust, a few seconds later out she comes with another piece...

The one big problem I do have though are plants that send out
runners.  I had to remove every sword/wendt I had because they
literally took over the whole tank, sending roots and shoots out all
over the place. One Amazon sword grew out of the tank and had roots
over 5' long..  That was a mess getting it out.