Laterite

mfbonfante

Junior Poster
Apr 29, 2005
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Italy
Tom:

In the northestern states of my country, we have a tropical rain forest. The soil is read, reach in laterite. So it is quite simple to find ourself with lots of this stuff.

Locally, we build substrate with a mix of laterite and river sand, and the cove this with and inch of fine rive gravel.

Let me ask you, is it really necessary to use this enriching clay, or using EI in the water column is enough?. How is the response of a laterite substrate, vs fluorite or other commercial substrates? Does it worth the investment?

Regards,


Mariano
 

TexasRock

Prolific Poster
May 31, 2006
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Re: Laterite

Many people get great results from just using the EI method with flourite only substrate...
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
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Jan 23, 2005
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Re: Laterite

TexasRock's comments mirrors my own thoughts and experiences.
I've questioned the utility of laterite myself in our tanks.

I can see a difference with plain sand and no iron and flourite or Flourite vs the laterite set ups.

I think you need some iron in the substrate, slighly anaerobic for the plant's roots. I think plants look and do better with some there although they will do well without it, I just wonder is a layered sand/laterite mix is the best method for that, it does not seem to be nearly as good as flourite etc.




Regards,
Tom Barr
 

mfbonfante

Junior Poster
Apr 29, 2005
27
0
1
Italy
Re: Laterite

Thanks for the fast response. The other point I would like to discuss here, is the eventual benefit of colonizing the aquarium, with melanoids. These snails are said to be a source of renewal of the substrate, since they daily buried themselves into the gravel, to get out every night. This process would prevent the substrate to became totally anaerobic.

Apparently these snails have asexual reproduction, so in the short term they can be counted by hundreds.

Let me ask you, if these daily migration in and out from the substrate doesn’t work as uprooting a plant, thus sending NH4 to the water column. If this happens, algae bloom would be a permanent risk.

What is your opinion of having these substrate snails?

Regards,


Mariano