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ok to use soil instead of laterite?
In APD V# #367, Sherri asks about soil substrates:
> Hi! I was wondering if anyone knew of any soils that are safe to use
> in an aquarium as a substrate for plants?? I am unable to purchase
> any laterite in my area. If anyone could
> tell me a brand name available at stores like Wal-mart, Canadian Tire,
> etc... ? Would it be okay
> to mix the soil into the gravel??
The short answer is "yes but..." (see other comments on the APD)
I'm not going to go into histrionics about soil vs laterite here. It
might be entertaining but unfortunately I don't have the time to spare.
I discourage people from using any commercially packaged horticultural
soil as these are too labile and fertile to be used in large amounts.
Pottery clay, subsoil or garden dirt are better choices. Please read my
web pages if you are interested. Also checkout Paul Krombholz's soil
soup method in the Krib and APD archives.
Experimentation with soils without knowing what you're doing is an
recipe for green water but with a little knowledge, I consider it a
reasonable alternative. YMMV.
Steve Pushak Vancouver, BC, CANADA
Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page" http://home.infinet.net/teban/
for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!