Re: bricks/clay pots = laterite?

> From: Erik Olson <olson at phys_washington.edu>
> I've read somewhere that bricks and earthenware pots are basically laterite.
> Could one "produce" aquarium laterite by smashing up some red clay pots?  

This idea was mentioned in the past, and was even published in TAG 
(during 1991), so it can't be that stupid :)

The TAG article was by a Ph.D. soil or horticulture scientist. If it 
works, then the clay is not attracting stuff because of its small size, 
but instead because it is providing something (like iron?). If the latter 
is true, then why smash it up into small bits -- to provide more surface 
for contact with the water?

While searching for interesting aquarium substrates at sand and gravel 
places,  I recently came across a huge mound of what looked and felt like 
laterite.  It was crushed red brick.  Since all I wanted was 25 pounds, 
they did not know how to change me.  I have used it in several tanks, but 
like other "experiments" the results are not very revealing. The plants 
are doing good, but this is the case in all my tanks :)

I also had the stuff tested by the dept of AGriculture.  It does not have 
the same chemical makeup of the red clay here; one surprise was that it 
does not have pH < 7.  I do not have the results handy; I will try to 
remember to post them another time. (but I may need to be reminded)