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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #822

I honestly find that regular clay from the hills of W.Va. works as well or
better than all that fancy laterite stuff. I dig it out of a silt deposit at
the out let of a small stream that only flows part of the year. I dig up the
silt (sand, rock, and clay) I sieve it through several grades of screen as I
clean out the silt, after I get down to the size that goes through regular
window screening I clean by washing the muddy sand until it is as clean as it
will get, kinda like when you try to clean aragonite gravel there is always a
small amount of silt no matter how long you clean. I have looked at the what
is left under a microscope and is hard bits of clay, small sand stones, and
small bits of what looks like shale. If you stir it up it will raise a silt
cloud but it will settle quickly. I have used larger bits over an undergravel
filter and them covered that with the "clay sand" and had phenomenal plant
growth over long periods of time. I have used just the "clay sand" with the
same results. There is some work involved in getting it but the results more
than make up for the labor.