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RE: Terralit

Alex Pastor is wondering about Terralit

>Since Dupla laterite is history, do any of the experts have anything to say
>about terralit or any significant experience with it?  There was some info
>previously about flourite.  Does anyone know what the non-reddish bits are
>in Terralit? I assume the reddish ones are fracted clay.  The box says to
>mix it 1:3 with the base substrate, and then cover it up.  What happens if
>it's not covered up, like as in tanks that have all-fluorite?

I've used Terralit in a number of tanks over the years. It works for me.
Just what is actually in it is a mystery, Aqualine Buschke doesn't say and
they have no web site and I haven't been able to locate much information
about the company or any real details about their products. Aqualine Buschke
products are imported into North America and distriubted here by Red Sea
Fish pHarm who are also rather "shy" about answering questions concerning
them - they don't even list the complete line of AB products on their web
site. (Now, there may be a good reason for this - there could be a second
importer who handles the fertilizers).

But a little bit of web surfing will show that Aqualine Buschke is a
formidable presence, at least in Europe. I have been able to find product
listings from Eurpoean dealers which list a complete product line carrying
the Aqualine Buschke trademark. Everything from water conditioner to
computer controllers for high tech plant tanks. They seem to be very similar
to Dupla or Dennerle in that regard. So I would expect them to be of high

As far as useage, Terralit, like most substrate additives, is meant to be
mixed with the lower layer of gravel and then covered with a layer of plain
washed gravel or sand. It isn't particularly attractive, kind of "mottled"
to my eyes, but who cares, since it is under the gravel anyway? Using it
with Flourite is pointless - Flourite doesn't need the help - it is capable
of providing a good home for plant roots all by itself (in conjunction of
course with Flourish and Flourish Iron).

If you are a beginner at this, and I suspect from your comment about
laterite useage that you are, I would recomment that you try it if you wish,
but do so according to the manufacturer's instructions. Use a layer of
Terralit and gravel (mixed 1:3) on the bottom of the tank, cover it with a
2" layer of clean washed gravel (2-3 mm in grain size). For liquid
fertilizers, at least until you develop a "feel" for it, use Floreal and
Ferreal. They are Aqualine Buschke products and are part of the same "line".
You have to keep in mind that _most_ full line manufacturers will place
certain essential elements in different products and in order to get the
best results you have to use the whole line, not just pick and choose
whatever is on sale at your LFS. After a period of perhaps 6 months, if you
notice any slow down in plant growth, you could add Terra Pure cones (yet
another substrate additive from Aqualine Buschke) to the substrate. This
should "kick start" the plants and help replenish the substrate.

As I've said, I've used Terralit with good results in the past, and will
probably do so again in the future (if only I can find room for more tanks),
but whenever I use anything new I think its best to use the "line" rather
than isolated products, at least until I have seen any identifiable
problems. And at least in my tanks, the only time I ever ran into problems
was when I tried to go one better by mixing and matching and tried "hybrid"
substrates. Keep it Simple.

James Purchase