Laterite/vermiculite mix

Subject: Laterite/vermiculite mix

	After over a year of dreaming, planning, and building I 
> am ready to fill a 50G (36" x 18" x 18") with water, some fish a
> of plants.  This is a show tank for the living room so doing it 
> very important.  First off, in reading the instructions that cam
> the 500g of Duplarit G I am confused about what to do with the 1
> Duplaplant tablets.  Do I push them into the gravel? Dissolve th
> aquarium water itself or are they anti-anxiety pills that I shou
> to calm myself?

Break the rooting tablets up and spread them around in the 
substrate. The Duplaplant tablets can just be spread around the 
surface.  A glass of wine will do more for your nerves ;-)

> 	Secondly, After reading Jim Kelly's soil and  vermiculite 
> and more recently  his article in the last TAG on  soil characte
> I am thinking of mixing the laterite I have with vermiculite.  M
> is that this mixture will have an increased cation exchange capa
> laterite alone.  What are peoples thoughts?  

Vermiculite can't hurt anything (unless you count the unsightly 
look of floating particles, or sparkling pieces on top of the 
substrate<g>) but IMO, it's overkill.  Most plants will do fine 
with the laterite alone.  Those that don't would benefit more from 
soil at their roots than vermiculite.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA