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Steve Pushak soil methodology

I was just reading over your "substrates for aquarium plants" and
remembered the discussion that was going on a while back about combining
methods which lead to disaster.  

My interperation of your text it that the presence of organic material
helps keep iron avaible for plants over the long term.  Why is is bad to
use peat with laterite?  You state and others have also said that laterite
only supplies iron for a short time.  Also use of the subsoil and peat is
OK, and laterite is really just a soil so it should be OK.

Am I missing something here or would peat help keep the iron in the
laterite aviable for much longer times than just laterite alone?

One last question.  If you use peat could you use less laterite as you say
that laterite has 300 mg/g or iron and most other sediment is at 40 mg/g.
THus by using peat one may be able to use less laterite in place of a

Part of the reason I ask is that living in Tucson, AZ means I am in the
middle of a desert and there is no suitable soil for your method within
several hundred miles.  Also all the mountains are inhabited by pines,
making their soil unsuitable as well.

Thanks alot,
o    Mike Nielsen                                                        u 
m    Department of Geography         THE OPTIMIST BELIEVES WE LIVE IN    ? 
a    Harvill Bldg Box #2             THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS;    w
r    Tucson, AZ 85721                THE PESSIMIST FEARS THIS IS SO      h 
e    mnielsen at u_arizona.edu