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"Real" laterite

Jennifer Glover is worried that she may be visited by the APD Police
Department and cited for using "fake" laterite -

>Now this may be another case of beginner's confusion, but isn't Substrate
Gold also
>laterite?  It just comes from the United States and not Malaysia, where
Dupla's comes
>from?  I know that I used Substrate Gold, and it looked like laterite!  Not
>scientific, but the web page for it says it is laterite and I even heard
about it
>from this list.  It is cheaper (probably because it is local and not from
around the
>world), has some extra enriching stuff in it, and as a plus, I know it
>introduce some nasty tropical bug into my local area.  (don't laugh, I
heard an
>internet rumor about a possible US import ban on dupla laterite, due to
some microbe
>found in some of the samples.  And we all listen to internet rumors,

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and no (I don't listen to internet rumours,
well, at least not any more...). The Substrate Gold you have in your
aquarium should work just as well as "genuine" Dupla laterite. It is
probably not the exact same mineral (as Roger Miller pointed out) but it
will be close enough for our purposes. As far as the importation of "nasty
tropical bugs", the US Dept. of Agriculture is very strict about that sort
of thing - soil is _not_ allowed to cross the U.S. border. That is the main
reason all of you Americans are denied access to Tropica aquarium plants (I
knew there was another good side to living in Canada). Dupla was required to
prove to the Department of Agriculture's satisfaction that Duplarit G was
free from any nematodes or other soil borne pests before it was allowed into
the country. I believe that at least one shipment was held at the border for
that reason.

Mr. Schroeler doesn't have that same constraint, so his product can be
cheaper (read as less expensive).

>I just want to be sure that I haven't accidently used some "fake" laterite.
I am
>really trying to follow the ideas expressed by Horst and Kipper, in the
>Aquarium, but I didn't necessarly want to buy their products.  It is all
about money,
>like most things in life.

The principles outlined by Horst and Kipper in The Optimum Aquarium are not
really dependent upon your using Dupla products. It's more a methodology
than a mantra. Even George Booth (gosh George, you've been getting hit
regularly over this haven't you?) bought a lot of his Dupla equipment on
sale, when That Fish Place dropped the line a few years ago. You don't have
to use their equipment, or even their fertilizer products, in order to set
up and maintain an "Optimum Aquarium". It can be a matter of convenience, as
Karen noted. But Dupla does make quality products - if you are able and
willing to pay the prices asked. I have only bits and pieces but I'm glad I
coughed up the money for them - I like quality.

The exact same thing I'm sure applies to Aqua Design Amano products and his
style of tanks. I'm on the Nature Aquarium Imports discussion list and they
recently posted a notice about a sale on their substrate products. When I
contacted the company about shipping costs to Canada, I almost had a heart
attack - it would cost more in shipping than the actual Aqua Soil cost. Even
Amano himself admits that his tanks are more about philosophy and art than
about his line of products.

James Purchase