Some questions before I set up a tank


(This is my inaugural post on this list.)

I looked for files available from the list processor, but there were none.
I'm about to set up a tank at work, and have a few questions I thought I
would submit to all of you careful, patient readers.  :)

Tank Description:
	55 gal
	H.O.T. Magnum filter
	auxillary powerhead for circulation and venturi aeration
	traditional heater
	2 40W fluourescent tubes running on electronic ballast
	1 9W actinic Mini Might fluourescent, unless I am dissuaded here

Tank Contents: (at least at this stage of planning)
	a school of tetras, one or maybe two varieties
	a few bottom-feeders to keep things clean

1) In one of the FAQs a company by the name of Stanblast (504) 341-0451 is
mentioned as a source for a naturally dark substrate.  I called them up
and found out that their product is actually coal slag.  This does not
chemically inert.  Is it?  Does anyone know of another source for dark
substrate, if it is not?

2) The Dupla laterite (DuplaRit G) is recommended in another FAQ.  Are 
there significant differences in composition between it and the Aqualine 
Buschke terralit product?  Is the DuplaRit G really worth four times as 
much?  Is 1/2 kg really enough for 50 gallons?  Should I do something 
completely different with respect to substrate additives?

3) I want plant varieties that fit with the pH and temperature range of 
tetra habitat.  One variety I am definitely interested in would be 
something short, like a ground cover, such as micro saggitaria.  I don't 
have anything else in mind, except that vallisneria is RIGHT OUT.  I have 
200 gallons of it at home, and am sick of looking at it.  So can someone 
list some hardy plants that fit these criteria, and where could I find 
out more about them?

Thanks for any replies I get.


ddrum at mail_coin.missouri.edu