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>Petrified Wood - Inert Rock
Tom Wood wrote:

>The Kevin Osborne series of articles on a planted tank now appearing in FAMA
>contradicts some of the conventional wisdom I've read here and in other
>sources.  For example, I thought it odd that Osborne would so easily discard
>the notion of "any" substrate additives, given that the use of laterite has
>such a well established success rate, regardless of whether anybody really
>understands why.  

Kevin Osborne has long marched to the beat of a different drummer.  I've
never seen his tanks, only the photos in FAMA and his little booklet.  But
I suspect that although he's found a system that works for him, that it is
not reapeatable under a number of different sets of conditions.  Another
person like that is my good friend, and the grower of _beautiful_ plants,
Dorothy Reimer.  She uses so little light over her tanks that most of us
couldn't keep Java moss alive.  She uses soil to grow all her plants, but
contrary to most of the soil advocates on the list, she uses nothing but
super market potting soil.  But still her plants grow beautifully.<g>

Sometimes, a person has found a method that works very well with their
particular water supply.  They can consisitently repeat that success.  But
you can't always duplicate their methods elsewhere and achieve the same
success.  One thing I've noticed about Dorothy is that she seems to work
with many of the "old favorites", and has less success with some of the
light hungry stem plants that we have available now.  I suspect that to
some extent Kevin does the same.  There are certainly plants that depend
very little on the substrate for nutrients, and these plants will work fine
in a younger tank with a plain gravel substrate.  As the tank matures, the
mulm in the substrate can serve many of the same functions as our additives.

>But I was most surprised at his recommendation to use
>petrified wood in a planted tank.  Is petrified wood always non-calcerous?
>it always inert?  What other rocks are tank safe?