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Re: Trying new substrate method


Please take the following as helpful advice, even though it sounds like I'm 
making fun of what you're doing. I think you've misinterpreted some of the 
information you've read. 

> Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 20:59:39 -0500
> From: "Kevin Reavis" <kevinreavis at email_msn.com>

> I am about to set up a new tank using "Steve's fertile 3 layer substrate"
> for the first time.  
> Substrate: (thanks Steve)
> Bottom layer - 2 bags flourite + 2 large boxes dupla laterite
> Middle layer - topsoil+peat+vermiculite+perlite+well aged compost
> Top layer - 3 inches of medium grade sand blast sand (silica)

I think you should be thanking a few more people than Steve <g>.  I hate to be 
critical, but aren't you combining advice from quite a few techniques here?  The 
only thing you're missing is kitty litter! Hopefully, Steve can tell you what 
you should really use (in 100 words or less <g>).  Myself, I would stick with 
just the 2 large boxes of Duplarit (1000 grams) mixed in the lower 1/3 of the 
gravel. I love dem sterile substrates!

> I will transfer my 8 discus to this tank when it has aged so the temp will
> have to be 82-83F

I would wait for a *lot* of aging before adding discus.  If I remember right 
from Steve's postings, a "fertile" substrate will generate a lot of nasties for 
a few months; discus might not do well in such an environment. 

> Plan to do small daily water changes with straight tap water & PMDD (thanks
> George)

Nope, that wasn't from me.  I do large (50%) water changes twice monthly and use 
Dupla fertilizers.  Oh, yeah, I *do* use straight tap water. If you do, make 
sure your chlorine/chloramine levels are very low.  

> Finally, I found Karen,
> George, Steve, Paul, Erik and all the others posting to this list and
> writing articles that have convinced me that less is better.  So I am going
> for medium tech - minimized everywhere possible. 

One can't help but wonder what you would have done if you thought "more was 
better".  <g>

Hopefully, you will minimize your substrate plans a bit more before implementing 

> My questions are:
> 1.  Which layer do I put the additive into?
> I have the following (to use sparingly):
> fritted trace elements
> micronized iron
> aquaterra (potassium, magnesium, iron)
> flourite tables
> & the dupla tablets that came with the laterite

YOW! HOLY COW! Way too much, dude! Steve, help this guy! 

> 2.  Is there any benefit to mixing "aged" gravel into the bottom & middle
> layers to give the bacteria a boost?  If so, into both layers or just the
> middle organic?

All layers.  An inch of clean gravel on the top might be good to prevent undue