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I've had good success with Karl Schoeler's laterite-type substrate
additive, but I thought I'd try Duplarit on the tank I'm setting up now, to
see what many rave about. My mistake. Nearly a month ago I set it up.
I've gone over the setup, etc., I've even checked with George. I honestly
don't believe I made any mistakes.
Anyway, after much filtering, and numerous ~100% water changes the tank is
still a red, cloudy mess. With lights blazing from above it sort of looks
like a cross between a bad sunset simulation and a lava lamp gone awry.
If I do a water change, it looks alot better for about 8-12 hours, then
clouds up again. Visibility is better than it was a month ago--you can
just make out an object through about 6 inches of the stuff.
I have been emailing with another person who has had very similar problems
with Duplarit at roughly the same time. Curiously, we both are using very
soft water (mine is about 1/2 dGH).
Diana Walstad suggested an experiment (even before she knew about my soft
water). Take samples of the water/slurry and add MgSO4, CaCO3, or CaCl2,
and keep a control sample. The thinking was that the Mg or Ca would reduce
the turbidity of the laterite. To make a long story short, I have found
that adding somewhere between 1.5 and 3 tsp. (I haven't pinned it down yet)
per gallon of MgSO4 causes the laterite to precipitate out of the water.
1. Reading George and others on clay, laterite, kitty litter, CECs, etc.
makes me wonder whether adding this much MgSO4 is going to reduce the
effectiveness of the laterite.
2. Has anyone successfully used Duplarit in a softwater setup?