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Dosing levels for Substrate Gold

>Michael Nielson wrote:
>> I have read in the past posts from persons who thought that a little Dupla
>> laterite is good, then alot must be better.  They reported problems with
>> excessive algae (I think).

Karl wrote:

>Michael,I believe that using Dupla laterite in the same manner as Substrate 
>laterite would yield very good results.  I also believe that using Substrate 
>laterite in the same manner as Dupla laterite would yield results of a similar
>nature.  IMHO, excessive algae cannot be attributed to the use or "abuse" of 
>product.  I would attribute the problem to one or more of the factors 
>relating to
>water column imbalance such as lack of plants,
>excessive duration of lighting, over-feeding, and so forth, especially 
>during the
>first year.

Michael wrote:

>> Karen Randall reported using Substrate Gold at the Dupla dosage and
>> achieving good results.  Others have used the recommended amounts with
>> good growth as well.

I'd like to address this question too, Karl.  Let me explain that the first
time I received Substrate Gold from Karl, he was out of lables or
something, (I can't remember the details) and when we corresponded via
E-mail, he told me that it was coming without a label, and said, "but you
know what to do with it." <g>

I agree with Karl that I don't think the amount used is critical in either
direction.  I use Dupla-like amounts because I know it works, and I'm
setting up dozens of tanks for schools.  We need to conserve monet
everywhere we can!<g>  But I don't measure either.  I dampen the gravel in
a bucket.  I dump in some Substrate Gold and mix it around with my hand. (I
use rubber gloves because otherwise my fingernails are red for several
days<g>) When it's a color and consistency I like, I put it in the tank.
It's no more complicated than that.  

Someone else talked about this sort of thing the other day.  I like to
cook, and I season be "feel".  I can't tell you the exact amounts of what I
put in because I don't measure.  If you're experienced enough to have this
"feel" you know it.  If not, follow the recipe when you're cooking, and
follow the directions on the laterite package.<g>

I think the point where too much laterite might be a bad thing is if you
put in enough that they substrate actually became "clay-y", thick, and
inpenetrable.  You _want_ roots and water to be able to move through the
substrate.  You don't want to be able to mold it into pots.<g>  The
substrate should be quite red, but still move and feel like dampened fine
gravel when you move your hand through it.  It should not feel stiff or sticky.

OK there's my "scientific" explanation of what works for me.<g>

BTW, I have never had cloudy water beyond 24 hours after setting up a
planted tank with either Dupla or Substrate Gold laterite, and I have never
had any kind of algae problem in a properly maintained tank using either
product.  This includes all my totally novice teachers at school too.  Neil
has seen these tanks, and can attest to how good they looked 6-9 months
after set up, without any involvement from me.  The tanks were set up
correctly, the teachers maintain them as directed, they are appropriately
stocked, and they do fine.