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Kenny Song's problem tank

Ken mentioned using a layer of laterite covered with gravel and since
he's from Malaysia, I'm wondering if this is lateritic soil which he
collected himself? Ken, have you used this substrate material
successfully in other planted tanks?

Sometimes a particular mineral soil might contain some soluble minerals,
especially alkaline ones, which we need to think about when collecting
The laterite soil I used was by JBL which produces a wide range of products
for keeping aquarium plants. They come in bags ready for immediate use and
the gravel I use are in 2-3 mm grain size, also packed and sold for
aquarium purposes. The gravel was thoroughly washed before use.

I have a feeling it was the oxygen level and pH swing that started it all.
Too late now but hopefully never again.

Kenny Song
Penang, Malaysia 
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