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Re: Sand in substrate

George Booth writes:
> Laterite and plain gravel has always worked well for us. Why complicate
> things? 

For years I resisted the laterite or other gravel additive route. The tank
had been set up for a long time (3+ years) and I was reluctant to disturb
the plants or fish as they were apparently happy with their surroundings. I
also wasn't happy about the amount of work it would entail.

When I moved in Sept 99 I was only able to take a fraction of the gravel
with me, about enough for 1.5" in the 75G. For a variety of reasons I never
got to add additional gravel until recently. I also figured that it would be
time to try this newfangled thing called laterite ;D

So I got a box for a 55G tank. My theory is that the gravel which was there
was already "mature" so a quantity for a 75 would probably be overkill. Five
hours, 100 pounds of #1 gravel and a box of laterite later, I was ready to

It's been about a month since the tank has been redone.

I wish I'd done it sooner. The Rotalla rotundafolia <sp?> leaves have
changed _dramatically_ in both shape and color. My mystery sword plant has
thrown up not one but two shoots with babies on it. It also flowered. The
plant had once before thrown one shoot but never flowers. The hygro is in
fantastic shape. The Ambulia has nice short internode spacing and the color
has perked up. The green spot algae is in retreat. Growth rate for the
above, plus the other species has tripled. True, the increase to 4" of the
substrate helped. But I'm convinced that's not all that's at work here.
Before the move, the depth of the gravel was about the same depth.

What was the change? Laterite. Need I say more? <G>