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Re: surface area of clay and crushed fired clay

> I made a typo in my last posting; I meant to ask Greg about the possible
> organic content of Fluorite not laterite! OOPS! :%)

I was wondering about that ;-) There should be no organic content in 
Flourite... all components are inorganic. Iron is the main nutrient 
provided, there may be a few others in lower levels, but like I said 
in my previous message we haven't tested for any others so I can't 
guarantee their presence either way.

> My speculation (guess) at the composition of Fluorite is based solely on
> the premise that a "good" substrate -might- contain all macro and micro
> nutrients in appropriate dosages. As for calcium, you might be reasoning
> that it should not be present because it would necessarily be in the
> form of a carbonate salt which would raise the pH. It could also be in
> the form of a sulphate which has lower solubility (I think) which won't
> have much effect on pH. I'm not at all sure that one could depend upon
> the substrate for adequate long term supplies of K, Ca and Mg.

Exactly. Even if we did add all of these components they would not 
last very long... i.e. after your initial level of calcium, potassium 
or organic nutrients were used up you'd have to (a) add more 
substrate (which gets to be pretty silly after a while) or (b) use a 
supplement. Well, since everyone already uses supplements why go 
through all the hassle of adding all of these components to a 
substrate when they are just going to be used up completely in a 
month or two at the most. The iron in Flourite is different, it's 
already in the material and in such high levels one really could do 
away with iron supplementation (for some species) and be just fine... 
i.e. the plants extract the iron directly from the Flourite through 
their roots, none is released into the water column.

> On the
> other hand, adding those minerals to a prepared substrate material would
> be easy

not as easy as you might think ;-)

> and might have benefits especially if they were not supplied
> adequately in the water as is often the case with potassium.

But the benefit would be transitory at best. We wouldn't want to add 
these type of components unless we could guarantee how long they 
would be released and at what levels... and right now we can't do 
that... the iron is the only component we make guaranteed claims 

-Greg Morin

Gregory Morin, Ph.D.  ~~~~~~~Research Director~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Seachem Laboratories, Inc.      www.seachem.com     888-SEACHEM