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The recent PAM2 article by Jamie Johnson was great!  Thanks for removing
the mystery around substrate material contents.  But, of course, good data
fosters more questions from the curious...

I am very confused about the high pH measurements given for Onyx.  I
understand from the methods that the substrate was mixed with deionized
water, shaken, allowed to settle, and then the water pH'd.  I was pretty
surprised that the Onyx leached enough buffering capacity to get the pH so
high...9, I believe.  So if you started with neutral 7 pH water in a tank,
added a few inches of Onyx, will your pH skyrocket up to 9?   Seems the
substrate would only be suited for freshwater use with African cichlids or
would require alot of pH tinkering to get it down to neutral.  Is my
understanding of what's going on lacking in sophistication?  Please help me
see the light!!

Also, has anybody set up an Onyx-only substrate for their planted tank?  I
want a black substrate, so I'm intrigued.  Someone months ago queried the
list about this substrate, but noone has said anything practical about it.
I guess there's Turface dark and Fluorite dark as options...but please,
share what you know about Onyx!

Carmen C. Robinett      Berkeley, CA   (510) 642-5971