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Re: Substrate idea and water quality questions

James writes:

> > But one of the things that is not leached out of laterite, as I understand
>  > it, is the aluminum.
>  True, and as I'm not a Geologist I may be going out on a limb here (and if 
>  do, I'm sure that someone will come forward with a saw to cut me free...) -
>  on the website they stress the weak bonding of this type of clay - when wet
>  it just falls apart. My fear is that the aluminium might be released from
>  the clay matrix and be absorbed by the roots of the plants in sufficient
>  amounts to cause problems. I don't know if this would happen, but it might.

I'm not a geologist either, but I'm willing to bet that the primary ingedient 
in both laterite and pyrophillite is aluminum silicate.  It's the primary 
base for most clays, and so the aluminum content in the pyropyllite is not 
going to worry me.  This is a test in one tank.  If problems develop and 
persist, I can just rip it down and do something else.  The pumice and peat 
that will go into the rest of the substrate are cheap enough around here to 
toss out.  Remember, before Amano used Power Sand, he had something called 
Super Soil. I'm betting that this Super Soil is along the lines of 
pyrophyllite, and that it is the third ingredient in Power Sand (pumice, 
peat, and a nutrient-rich clay).  This is only a test.  I'm having fun, and 
hey, that's my spirit of adventure.

Isn't it great that these discussions can run back and forth on this list 
without turning into a flame-fest?  I appreciate your input, and am waiting 
for others to join us after the holiday weekend.