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improving laterite (oh no, not again!)

>(OK, I'll pass the soap box back to James at this time<g>)

> Karen Randall
> Aquatic Gardeners Association

Thank you Karen, just in the nick of time too...

Andy Moore is wondering about the abilities of laterite:

> Just about to tear down my tank & set it up along using the full Dupla
> method.

Gosh, I hope that all of that expensive Dupla equipment is not snapped up
before my order to Burleson gets filled <g>!

> Not wishing to mess about with different methologies, can the Duplarit G
> substrate be improved upon ? Maybe, if it could George would have already
> done it !

> Does anyone know if George has ever modified his Laterite substrate for
> better perfomance using eg.the addition of Peat or some other concoction ?

I don't really know what George does with his laterite, but as he seems to
have a much greener thumb than I do (in addition to more of that expensive
Dupla hardware), I'll let him field that part.

But George 'ain't the only person using Duplarit G around here.

I'm actually quite surprised to see this question posted at this point in
time - I mean, was I not on this same soap box just a few days ago??? Andy,
don't you READ the APD when it drops into your mailbox???

A couple of years ago I thought that I could "improve" upon the Dupla
strategy by adding other materials to the substrate of my big tank. I used
several other quality substrate additives in addition to the Duplarit G. All
of what I used had proven successeful for me on their own in past tanks. I
was expecting to see explosive growth. I ended up with a huge disaster which
taught me that too much or too many of a good thing is not necessarily
better. It has taken approximately two years for the substrate to "cool
down" to the point where certain plants will grow rather than just rot off
at the crown. The only reason the tank has not been broken down and re-set
is the fact that it will take me almost a week to wash the mess out of that
much gravel.

Bottom line, when used as directed, in combination with proper supplemental
fertilization, Duplarit G (or any other laterite) will work fine with just
plain gravel. No need for exotic combinations. The same could also be said
of Terralit, Flourite, or any of a number of other possible substrate
additives. Notice that I am saying use ONE, not multiple additives.

The second bottom line, and the reason for the soap box, is that I have told
this little story at least twice in the past month. Pay attention! <g><g><g>

Gee, maybe we should have an escalator installed on this soap box??? <g>

James Purchase