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Re: Necessity of Laterite?

> Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 23:17:13 -0400
> From: elam AKA WebServices <webservices at elam-software_com>

This is not a personal dump on you, Elam, but this comes up so often I
thought it worthy of discussion.
> In my continuing "pouring" through past posts to the digest, I have
> come to question the necessity of laterite, as well as some questions
> concerning fertilizers (liquid and substrate):
> - - Many previous posters claim great results with "simple
> substrate" (either sand or gravel)... What is everyone's opinion?

The way you worded your question leads me to believe you are
considering the various methods (high tech, low tech, etc) presented
here as a Chinese Menu -- one from column A, one from column B, etc.
This is incorrect.  Most of the methods described here are more or
less systems in that substrate, filtration, fertilization, fish load, 
maintenance regimens, etc are all geared to work together.  Using
Dupla "this", Tetra "that", Sera "something" and who knows what else
may not produce good results.  

Laterite by itself is not a necessity.  A Simple Substrate works in
some cases.  Many people have many success stories.  You cannot simply
read all the posts and combine the info into a success formula or pick
and choose the things you like the most.  Find someone or a group of
people doing similar things that have somehow proven their success to
you and mimic them.  Be cautious of the phrase "My plants grow great"
-- you would be better off trusting actual photos.

> - - I'm debating between DuplaPlant 24 and Flourish. In my review of
> past postings, I've heard nothing but good stuff about both products.
> Both products are very inexpensive, considering the potency (250 ml of
> flourish could treat my tank for many years; 100 mL of DuplaPlant 24
> could treat my tank for 1+ years). Which way should I go? Perhaps a
> little bit of both!?

Why do you think a little bit of both would be better than either one?
Do you think that Dupla has forgotten something that Sera has somehow
remembered?  Why not buy all the fertilizers you can find and mix them
all together "just in case"?   

Excessive levels of trace elements or trace element imbalances are
just as bad or worse than deficiencies.  Pick a brand you trust for
whatever reason and stick with it.

> - - I have also heard plenty of good stuff about Flourish tablets.
> These aren't "drop in" tablets, rather they are tablets that are
> buried in the substrate. Perhaps if I use these instead of laterite?

Perhaps you should do some more research on why laterite is used.  It
isn't just to get "stuff" in the substrate -- it is more complex than
that.  Check out <http://www.frii.com/~booth/AquaticConcepts.htm> for
for more info.