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Mystical Laterite?

Hi from Canada:

Being a new subscriber I have been reviewing the subject of laterite
with great interest.

There is a lot of data here, however, it seems to me that laterite is
perhaps being treated as something more than it really is. There is a
lot of talk about its' apparently mystical properties, who sells it and
which far off and exotic land it calls home.

Am I wrong in my assessment that laterite is merely a generic term for
clay? Perhaps not requiring even a "high" iron content to hold the title
of ""LATERITE""?

My home is located in Southern Ontario. The country side in this area is
strewn with pockets of "rust red" clay. Only pockets remain as the
glaciers of the ice age scoured most of the surface away.

Is it possible that this is the very same substance as the much touted

If so, and I dig some up to put in my tank, does it have to be treated
in any manner ie. drying, disinfecting etc.?

Any feedback on these questions will be appreciated.

Martyn Mitchell
Milton, Ontario