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Lighting suggestion and Substrate Confusion and a Thank You

Dennis (Dennis8425 at aol_com) was wondering about lighting for a 60 Gal Hex
tank - this sounds like it would be perfect for a suspended Metal Halide
fixture, with the tank being maintained in the "open top" concept - plants
could grow right out of the tank.

Also from the last issue, Bob Dixon was wondering about a product which he
called Amano "Substrate Gold".

There 'ain't no such thing! Substrate Gold is a trade name for a form of
laterite sold by an American firm, Schoeler Enterprises. Running a search on
the APD archives will bring up his snail mail address and e-mail address. I
don't think that there is any peat in the product but I'm sure that Karl
Schoeler would be happy to give Bob any information he requires.

The Amano products which Bob might be referring to could be either Power
Sand or Aqua Soil. Power Sand is supposedly pumice based and it is anybody's
guess what is in Aqua Soil, but again, by going to the website of the
American distributor (http://www.natureaquarium.com/) anyone curious enough
can order a small bag of each (the current pricing indicates that a 3 L bag
of the Aqua Soil is $10.00 and the Power Sand is $18.00 for a 2 L bag). It
should be quite easy to at least get a "feel" for the base materials by
actually handling the product.

Also, thanks to all of those who responded to my last query on the
"scientific" worth of a real world test of various substrate-fertilizer
products. You've given me lots to think about and I agree on the
impossibility of drawing any hard and fast rules from anything with as many
variables involved. But hopefully, it will prove illuminating anyway to see
how the individual tanks develop over the course of a year.

An aside - I've recently been made aware that the City of Toronto is
considering a bylaw which would make it illegal for anyone to own tropic
fish which have been collected from the wild:

"Animals not indigenous to Canada that have been taken from the wild at any
stage of development including eggs or embryos."

Looks like I better hide my Cardinal Tetras because as I understand it a lot
of them are still wild caught!

It's a crazy world.

James Purchase
Toronto, Ontario