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Re: long term subtrate experience

> Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 10:56:55 -0400
> From: Michael Eckardt <mike at odg_com>
> What are your long term (i.e. > 2 years) experiences with your substrate? 
90 gallon tank; Dupla 250w heating coils; gravel plus laterite:

  Set up for 4.5 years, no problems, still as good as new when it was
  torn down for remodeling.

100 gallon tank; no heating cables; gravel plus laterite:

  Crapped out after 18 months.  Plants became sluggish, algae became
  a problem.
85 gallon tank; UGF; gravel only:

  Ran great until we had to tear it down for remodeling but it took
  more maintenance to keep it "fresh" (lot's of gravel vacuuming
  when plants were removed for trimming).

> Should the Dupla style of substrate be recommended for anticipated 
> long-term setups? 

IMHO, definitely.  You gotta use heating coils, though.

> Are the "rich" substrates more appropriate for shorter 
> term setups, experimental tanks, or plant propagation tanks?

I've never wanted to risk trying one because I keep expensive fish, so
I really can't comment on this.