Once more on Laterite

Hi everyone,

I spoke today (actually, by the time everyone sees this it will have
been yesterday) with John Burleson. I had called him on another matter
but mentioned the rumour regarding the impending unavailability of

According to Mr. Burleson, and I suppose as he is the official
distributor in the U.S. for Dupla he is the horse's mouth, this rumour
surfaces every once and a while and is not true.

It would seem, and I don't think that I am breaking any confidences in
sharing this with the list, that laterite is considered by the U.S.
Dept. of Agriculture as soil, and as a result is considered as a
possible source of infection for American agriculture through soil-born
contagion. Mr. Burleson told me that all of his importations of laterite
are examined by the authorities and he has never had a problem with
them. If he ever does, he will consider either irradiating it to
sterilize it or look for an American source as Dupla does in Australia.

Duplarit is still and will continue to be available, according to Mr.
Burleson. Regarding the Pet Warehouse situation, I have an order in
there for 3 500g boxes, placed a couple of weeks ago. In response to my
on-line order status query with Pet Warehouse, I received the following
e-mail message:

> James, 
> Your order is waiting on the Duplarit G 500 grams to come in stock.  We do have
> 2 of them in stock and could ship the order if you would like for me to cancell
> one of them off the order.  The Dupla products are due in around the first part
> of next week.

> Thanks for shopping Pet Warehouse.

> Sincerely,

> Mark Anthony
> CompuServe Coordinator
> Pet Warehouse
> (800) 443-1160
> 76660,1124

They are out of stock, nothing more, nothing less.

I also spoke today with my personal source (Canadian) of this rumour. I
get the strong feeling that this rumour, an least in the Canadian case,
is smoke and mirrors designed to set this particular store's clientel up
buy a product that the store obviously receives a higher profit margin
on. This store has been making a very big deal over a new liquid plant
fertilizer by Hagen and I was even approached by a Hagen sales rep while
I was looking at some Aqualine Terralit. The Hagen salesman did
everything but stand on his head to have me put down the box of Terralit
and buy his product. When I asked him what was in this new product I got
the usual "magic ingredients" spiel. I worked in retail long enough to
know when someone is giving me a line. No sale.

Before I sign off, I have seen several queries concerning Terralit and
just what IT contains. As J.P. Burleson is also the U.S. importer for
Aqualine Buschke, I asked him when we spoke today. Aqualine, like so
many other manufacturers, likes to keep tight lipped about the exact
composition of their products. This I understand, to a point, as
research costs them money and they deserve to get a return on their
investment. I only really care that the product work as advertized.
According to Mr. Burleson, Terralit is NOT laterite. He doesn't know
it's exact composition but was told by Aqualine that it is a complete,
substrate based plant fertilizer. It does contain natural zeolites (I
guess that would be the white bits). Apparently, Terralit is charged
with a non-water soluable fertilizer that is only released to plant
roots and not into the general water column (would cut down on algae).
Sounds interesting, so I piced up a box and am going to set up a 20G
tank using it to see if it works.

As an aside, John told me that Terralit is also excellent for growing
orchids. Just what I needed, another hobby.

James Purchase
Toronto, Ontario
jpp at inforamp_net