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Re: Substrates (Turface/Profile)

Dave, thanks for the reply; I should have asked you on-list to begin with,
but since I was already writing you, I figured I'd limit myself to pestering
you in one place at a time. :-)

So on your pots, are you then placing them in/on a plain gravel substrate,
or are you using Turface as a substrate as well?  One thing I'll say about
Turface as a substrate -- I understand why you've been looking for plant
weights :-)

I think you're right on the issue of it being relatively nutrient free
(although high CEC), and I'm just not putting in enough nutrients yet.  I've
just recently started using PMDD on another tank that has a rich substrate
but is nitrate-limited, and I've been stunned by the increased growth rate,
even though I've still not gotten it tuned to provide enough nitrate.  As
soon as I get my formula down for this one, I'll start trying to find a
mixture and dosage for the Turface tank. This should allow me enough time to
add some laterite and re-work the CO2 before I start as well; I'm hoping
that the laterite will help establish some iron availability within the
substrate itself, and not just be too much of a good thing...

- Chuck Lawson
  Dallas, TX (more or less :-)

Dave Gomberg writes:
>Subject: Substrates
>A friend asked me off list:
>On another note, you mentioned using Turface on APD yesterday; how have
>experiences been with it?  I've been using it for about 3 months in a new
>tank, and haven't been terribly happy with how well it has performed; in
>fact, I've been thinking about adding some Laterite (Schoeler's Substrate
>Gold) to it to see if it would help.  Any thoughts on such a combination?
>My reaction to this is that the function of a substrate is to sequester
>nutrients.  Any nutrients that might exist in the initial substrate will
>sooner or later be exhausted, so new nutrients arriving via the water
>column and further sedimentation must be the key in natural environments.
>For that reason, high CEC is about all we can ask of a substrate.   Another
>desideratum (IMHO) is low density.  Using a product like Turface/Profile
>means that the substrate is not as dense as sand and so the roots can
>penetrate it more easily (just like the debris/muck/ooze in nature).  I
>have had very good results using Fern Jobes in clear plastic pots filled
>with Profile and topped with gravel (for looks as much as anything).   If I
>get some Fluorite some day I may experiment with it.   The clear pots have
>been a raving success.  Easy to re-landscape without setting back the