re: plant tank info

>From: jesmith at sonnet_com (Jeanie E. Smith)
>Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1997 16:08:54 -0800
>Subject: plant tank info

... Please feel
>free to give me any sugestions/comments/advice about the setup.

> Substrate--(need comments here) a 2" layer of a mix of garden topsoil (from
>outside), Hyponex potting soil, vermiculite, and Canadian Sphagnum Peat.  On
>top of that would be a 1" layer of #16 sandblasting sand.  Also I would add
>Tetra Initial D sticks and the Tetra Crypto tablets.  I don't know if the
>peat will acidify the water or not.  I am trying to follow the rich
>substrate plan of Vinny Kutty, but I read a post by Jim Kelly saying peat
>and potting soil would decay under water.  Is this true?  I also might just
>add laterite if I feel like spending the money.  Would a regular red pottery
>clay be rich in Fe like laterite?

My feelings on the substrate are: stick with gravel enhanced with laterite
for good results and ease of operation. Avoid vermiculite and soil. I say
this with no expertise whatsoever (freely admitted). I know one can grow
great plants in these substrates but I also know that vermiculite is a real
pain if the substrate gets disturbed. Ditto soil. No one ever seems to
mention that with soil substrates one has difficulty pulling up and
replanting plants without making a mess in the tank. Re-aquascaping and
moving plants is half the fun! :)  <Oh boy, I'll probably get flamed by the
soil advocates. -- It's just my opinion guys.> As for what is in the
pottery clay -- well, who knows. If you can't get an analysis there is no
way to know for sure. Get laterite.

> Fertilizer--Kent FW supplement and the Tetra fertilizers mentioned earlier

Forget the commercial fertilizers and make up some PMDD from the recipe
available on this digest. It is MUCH cheaper and better with the plus that
you can easily adjust it for your specific needs.

Your other points I will let others comment on.

in Vancouver -- sunny & mild but they say rain is coming.