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Dupla Cables & New Tank Setup Advice?

> For the Dupla Cables, they're quoting me either 550.00 that includes
Delta controller, or 750.00 that includes the Alpha controller. This
VERY expensive! Are there any sites where I can "comparison shop" this
I can't seem to find them! If that's what I gotta pay, then I'll have to
just go for it, but I don't wanna be a dumb consumer. 

Tom Barr is the guy to speak to on this one.  After years of owning
Dupla cables he ditched them, claiming they didn't add anything positive
to his setup.  Some time ago there was a lot of discussion on this list
on just this very issue - probably worth looking into the archives for
it before shelling out that kind of dough!

>For the Flourite (I'm assuming the 7kg bags), I see them on bigals for
12.99 per bag, but my LFS is listing higher on that (I believe 20bux a
so I suspect the rest of the bid may be inflated.
It's been awhile since I've bought any Fluorite, but the last time I
needed some I traded a large stand of Riccia for a bag.  My LFS was more
than happy to compete with the best price I could find on the internet,
especially in large quantities, and even more so with proper notice.  He
wound up ordering a barrel that time, and sold me Fluorite in bulk at a
very competitive price.  Interestingly, it was cleaner then the bagged
stuff, with fewer organics (sticks, leaves, etc.) than the bags (same
amount of dust, but then I don't believe in  washing out all of the

>1 - Which do you think is better for a long-term tank setup; First
Laterite as first inch, or Seachem's Flourite? How many inches SHOULD a
substrate be for a tank of 135gallons (18 fronttoback x 72 wide x 24

I've had 4" substrate in my 50g and it looked too deep, so I've terraced
it back from 3" in front to whatever in the rear.  Larger tanks look
fine with more than 3", but IMO 3" is optimum from both aesthetic and
functional points of view: I've never had unhappy plants with that
depth.  A few years ago I took the advice of Roger Miller and Steve
Dixon and covered a 1-inch "core" of mulm-rich quartzite gravel taken
from a tank that I was stripping down.  I pulled this material 4" back
from the fron and sides of the tank, then filled the troughs and covered
with an additional 2" min. of Fluorite - no Laterite or peat.  The tank
cycled very quickly - less than a week, if I remember, has the
attractive appearance of 100% Fluorite (when in fact it's something like
75% - a money-saver), and the plants thrived on the mulm-rich gravel
core.  It's been over 2 years and I'd do it again just exactly the same
>Do I appear to be missing any elements if I want to achieve an
setup for a planted discus tank? I wanna do this right the FIRST time!

With the exception of the cables, it all sounds right to me, but we've
got at least two experts on the list who have set up dozens of tanks:
Tom Barr and Karen Randall.  Additionally, Karen has allowed my local
group, the San Francisco Bay Area Aquatic Plant Society (SFBAAPS), to
publish an article she wrote on setting up a new tank on our website.
It's worth a quick read:
Michael Rubin in San Francisco
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