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Old 01-18-2014, 07:21 PM   #1
johnboygonebad
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laterite?


Just starting a 55g. I'm going with flourite for the substrate. I also have a box of API first layer laterite sitting around. Would I gain anything mixing the 2?
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:16 PM   #2
Raymond S.
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I have those almost equally mixed in a tank. Some plants like to grow in clay. Have not investigated why though. And on this
forum one seller has root tabs which contain it so there is a reason for having it. But if you intend to use rooted plants like
swords or crypts you will need root tabs. Stemmed plants will need ferts from the water. They CAN get them from the root
tabs but why force it when they are designed to get ferts from the water. Flourite can absorb ferts well so it holds the ferts
till they are low in the water and then releases them. But don't expect that you don't need to fertilize/w those substrates.
But really one large box of Laterite is what I mixed/w half a bag of Flourite(regular original) for my ten g tank and still needed
to add a little of the other half to have enough sub for the tank. In a 55 that is not even noticeable and probably why it's
not used that much for the cost of it.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:59 PM   #3
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I used a tiny bit of the stuff in my 2.5 and the DHG is growing great already and it's only been set up for 2 weeks. FYI you don't need a lot to do a 55 gal. The directions read:

1. Rinse FIRST LAYER PURE LATERITE.
2. Distribute evenly on the bottom of the aquarium, using at least 1 oz. (28 g) of FIRST LAYER PURE LATERITE for every U.S. gallon (3.8 L) of aquarium water
3. Add about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of gravel on top of FIRST LAYER & mix together
4. Add the remaining gravel to the aquarium
5. Gently fill the aquarium with water

Item #: For use in Freshwater aquariums:
578C 20oz. Up to 20 U.S. gallons
578E 55oz. Up to 55 U.S. gallons

The 55oz box is the about the size of 20oz soda bottle. If you put more than the recommended amount it's not only a waist of money but can create water quality problems and "burn" the roots of your plants.

If you have some already I would say use it. It will really only help.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:16 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=NanoDave

The 55oz box is the about the size of 20oz soda bottle. If you put more than the recommended amount it's not only a waist of money but can create water quality problems and "burn" the roots of your plants.

I would like to know the source of this info so that I can read it. It may explain a problem I have in my tank. If you could supply
me with a link to where it says it will burn the roots of plants if too much is used I would appreciate that link.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:18 PM   #5
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Laterite is not a fertilizer. It is a clay. It will not burn the roots of your plants. Laterite came into use at a time when aquarium substrates were lacking in iron, and people did little, if any fertilizing, so their plants tended to be short on iron. Today we have several choices for getting iron to the plants, mostly by using a chelated iron. Chelated iron is bioavailable, where iron oxides are only slightly available to the plants. You can use laterite if you wish, and know it isn't going to do any harm, but if you follow a "modern" fertilizer dosing scheme you don't need laterite.
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:03 PM   #6
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Personally don't think you gain because it may not negate the need for ferts, if that is what you referring to. I also have never used any type of root tab and have never had a problem with heavier root plants like Swords or Crypts. If you are adequately dosing the water column I don't see where it is needed and in my opinion is excessive.
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrman83 View Post
Personally don't think you gain because it may not negate the need for ferts, if that is what you referring to. I also have never used any type of root tab and have never had a problem with heavier root plants like Swords or Crypts. If you are adequately dosing the water column I don't see where it is needed and in my opinion is excessive.
Heavy rooted plants tend to be those that live in an environment where the seasonal variation in water availability makes them have to grow as terrestrial or swamp plants for much of the time. For that, they need the roots. But, all plants, both aquatic and terrestrial, can feed through their leaves as well as their roots. Having nutrients available both in the water and in the substrate just gives them twice the opportunity to feed themselves. So, it is true that having fertilizer available in the substrate is excessive, but, with ADA Aquasoil, it is also excessive to have fertilizer available in the water. Excessive doesn't do any harm.

The last time I had sword plants I had an inert substrate, no substrate fertilizing, but EI fertilizing of the water. The swords quickly outgrew the tank. And, I have had crypts in both fertile and inert substrate. They grew well in both.
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:37 AM   #8
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Raymond S.:

Too much iron= algae
"Iron:
Too much Iron can cause a soft beard-like algae or thread algae to grow on your plants. The beard algae is very light green and is particularly enjoyed by SAEs. The SAEs will also eat the thread algae. The thread algae may be the early stages of the light green (beard-like) algae mentioned above.
Another type of algae that may be brought on by excess Fe levels is a short furry green algae that grows on brightly lit leaves. You'll need to cut the affected leaf away and/or cut back on the iron."
Source:http://www.theokaa.org/articles/Nutrient.php

Root rot: I've grown terrestrial plants and have always know excess of clay type material can "burn" roots. I would only imagine the same applies if you had a vastly large amount of clay in your tank as well [quote] "I have those almost equally mixed in a tank"

"Pythium typically thrives in oxygen-poor (anaerobic), warm (75-85 F), and poorly circulated nutrient solutions. Heavy clay soils with poor drainage are high-risk soil planting sites.

'Burnt' root tips (browning tips may also be a result of light exposure, or over fertilization)"
Source:https://www.icmag.com/modules/Tutori...ouble/1289.htm

*Please not this is Iron Phosphate*
"Symptoms:
Production of the Iron Phosphate causes the leaves to turn Black or Brown and to die. In addition if there is an excess of Nitrates your tank will experience an Algae bloom."
Source:http://badmanstropicalfish.com/plant_problems.html

According to Tom Barr it is hard to have too much Fe. On the other hand I've never heard of anyone doing almost half and half with laterite. I would love to see some pics of the tanks and how long it's been set up and how the roots are doing. It also depends a lot on the type of plant which again can lead to "waist" if you have too much laterite which isn't necessarily needed as Hoppy very well explained.
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:55 AM   #9
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Heavy clay soils don't drain well, but the substrate in an aquarium never, ever drains anyway. I doubt that the effects of clay in terrestrial gardening are the same in aquatic gardening.
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:00 AM   #10
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Thanks Hoppy. What about anaerobic problems with excess clay? That would be my first and greatest concern with too much clay (laterite).
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:21 AM   #11
johnboygonebad
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Thank's everyone. It is the 55 oz box from API. It will be mixed in with 60 lbs of. Flourite. This will be my first planted tank so I appreciate the input.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnboygonebad View Post
Thank's everyone. It is the 55 oz box from API. It will be mixed in with 60 lbs of. Flourite. This will be my first planted tank so I appreciate the input.
Since you already have it, unless you see any other use for it down the road, might as well use it then.
I am getting great results with a tank planted with two 20oz boxes under one bag of Eco-Complete in a ten G. tank.
I only use a very light level of a list of ferts taken from the EI list and changed just a bit and then dose like 1/4th
the amount suggested on one part of the fert calculator. I started using Flourish Comprehensive, Leaf Zone and
Tetra Pride but it was incomplete and the plants were not doing near as well as since I've switched to what I now use.
It would be nice if you can put some pictures up when you get the tank going.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:34 PM   #13
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Will do. Going to be a while though. Have a limited budget so. Takes a while to get stuff.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NanoDave View Post
Thanks Hoppy. What about anaerobic problems with excess clay? That would be my first and greatest concern with too much clay (laterite).
If you have real good plant growth, the plant roots take care of any potential anaerobic problems, pumping oxygen into the substrate. I have never tried a substrate with much clay in it, so I'm not sure if that, or any other problems exist.

Laterite or lateritic soils are not actually clay, as I understand the meaning of the terms. As I understand it laterite is very old type of clay, which has weathered from rocks, and been enriched with iron and aluminum minerals, and is very lacking in any nutrients for plants. Ordinary clay is also derived from rocks, so I'm not totally clear on what the differences are.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:32 AM   #15
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I have a 10 gallon tank with about 15% laterite. The plants consisting of mostly stems are doing great. I have 1 anubias that is growing slowly but is very healthy. I have many Bocopa growing incredibly well. Some needle leaf also growing well. Microsoriums are struggling a little & the pearl grass looks great. I have about 75 % Flourite 15% uncoated gravel on the very bottom but mostly Flourite with about 10-15% Laterite in the upper layer. I was thinking of adding more API laterite to this tank since it is doing well . I allow a heavy biomass.
There are No fish or livestock in this tank. I did have a BBA problem but allowing the tank to go wild killed off 99% of the stuff! I allow most of the plants to grow emergent & I do run pressurized & dose a modified EI.
I have to say this tank is really beating my other pressurized set up, plus it contains more laterite. I have run the stuff in the past & I always liked it. It does not alter the ph & should increase the CEC of the tank as well.
I like the Flourite / laterite combination a lot.
I did have 1 problem but I do not blame it on the laterite. I had some & still get a little needle leaf black rot at the stem area. I blame that on a root tab experiment gone bad! This takes us back to what we were just talking about. Clay. The clay I used could have been a problem since it had intifungal agents in it & yes it could have stagnated the substrate where the tabs were located, it also could have been fertilizer burn as well. I will never know. The condition is getting better after many water changes so that would indicate a root tab problem more so than the laterite.
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