Who here likes laterite? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-08-2003, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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I use laterite on all my tanks. i was going through the forums and read about how a lot of people criticize it. i personally think its pretty good stuff. it DOES cloud the water... but it goes away fairly quickly. The best way i think to do it is to fill the tank up all the way, getting cloudy water. then drain the tank about 4/5 of it, and fill it up again. the water should be only slightly cloudy. by the next day the water should be clear. i was on the internet when i found a guide about how to clear the laterite cloudiness, bit it was using a water hose or a python where u drain some and fill some until the water is clear. wel... i used the old bucket method. when you are clearing the water... make sure not to disturb the gravel. its best to clear the water the first time you fill up your tank because it can take weeks for it to clear. Anyways...ive been using Aquarium Pharmaceuticals first layer laterite. its pretty good, and i haven't had any algae problems at all or water cloudiness.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-09-2003, 12:03 AM
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Laterite gets a bum rap because of the cloudiness issue. Cloudiness goes away. Flourite clouds the water too... Flourite is nothing more than baked laterite. Laterite is good stuff. The right way to put it into the tank is with the tank empty. Put the laterite in at the bottom then cover it wth gravel or sand. Like you said Evan the cloudiness eventually goes away, people in our society are severely lacking in patience. :lol:

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-09-2003, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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actually... you don't have to put the kind of laterite i use on the bottom. you can just mix it in with gravel without water in your tank. fill the water to the top. then do a 75% water change about and then you have no cloudiness. just make sure to have a plate where you are adding the water.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-09-2003, 11:28 AM
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Somewhere (I honestly don't remember where, if someone knows let's give some due credit) I read about another way to circumvent the cloudyness issue.

When setting up a new tank, glue a little piece (like 0.75 in diameter, 4 in long) of plastic pipe to the bottom glass, making sure it is not glued all around, so the water can actually circulate through it.

Then fill in the substrates, for example loam or laterite or Kitty Piss Absorbent and/or gravel/flourite or whatever you fancy. Fill in some water, and plant the plants.

Then remove as much water as possible, using the previously glued in piece of plastic to get most of the floating debris out of the tank. Afterwards remove the pipe :roll: and fill in water very slowly.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2003, 11:23 PM
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we used laterite...rinsed it at least 5 times before putting it in. We'd also purchased a piece of slate, poured the water in slowly on top of it, and it really helped to not disturb the gravel too much.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2003, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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First Layer Laterite is the best! 8)
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 05:45 AM
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The trick to laterite and flourite, is to let it dry after rinsing before adding it to the tank and adding water very slowly into a tub sitting on the gravel.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 06:03 AM
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In my experiences with flourite and just yesterday with laterite if you have a magnum filter around just put the micron filter in and in a couple of hours the tank will be good. Overnight and it will be crystal clear...

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 01:48 PM
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I guess I didn't know I was supposed to have a cloudiness issue with laterite. I always rinsed it fairly well (in a strainer in a bowl) and then add the water as slowly as I can. Then the filters usually clear up the rest in a couple of hours. The plants sure seem to love it.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-02-2003, 08:59 AM
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Never had a problem with laterite, did not rinse it just put it on the bottom third of the substrate then put the rest of the substrate on top and no cloudiness or other problems.

Good stuff and I will continue to use it.

Paul
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-03-2003, 05:14 AM
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I used florite and laterite. Here is another way to avoid clouds:

Wash 1/2 (maybe less) of the florite but none of the laterite (dust/dirt is good for plants, no?). Put in the unwashed stuff first and mix it up a bit. Put the washed stuff on top.

To fill, take your hose and a long (20 inches or so) piece of plastic wrap and wrap one end of it around the hose so it sticks to itself. lay the rest of it out across the gravel to catch the water, it will be in a fan shape. It is best to have it run up the opposite side of the tank. Turn on the water slowly.

Worked really well for me.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2003, 08:54 PM
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Yes, laterite does have a bad rap. I sometimes think that because something is expensive, some people like to think its better(I know, because I was one of them...lol).

My substrate used to be an all gravel 75 gallon tank, and then , I wanted to add crypts, and other rooted plants and read they liked laterite. Well, the tank was pretty established(running about 4 1/2 months) and I didnt want to catch and move all my fishes to the spare 100 gallon. I bought First Layer laterite(I don't like dupla, and thier approach,no offence, for me, just way overpriced..lol) and I took all the plants out. I added the laterite with the fish in there, and mixed them together...it was cloudy, I know, but I did rinse it numerous times using a shirt(can you imagine what the white shirt looked like after?). I did'nt add the plants until about 6 hours later and saw the tank was quite clear. So I added the plants, and everything was back to normal in about 8 hours(mostly waiting). No casualties. I didnt add a second layer of gravel until a week ago, and the fishes are still growing strong. Also, I added 4 more tiger barbs after a day I added the laetrite, and a pictus cat a week later, and it just shows it doesnt harm them in anyway, aside from porr vision, and getting startled while I was mixing the laterite.


Btw, how long does the laterite last until I need to add more?

And I'm new to the forums, and i'm mostly interested in what is called a "natural" tank,or in other words, Low tech/low cost/low maintennace tank. I wanna go filterless someday and I'am currently using indirect bright sunlight to supplement my 2.3 watt per gallon lighthing. I've been only doing this for a month now(the planted part) and i just got the most of my plants a week ago, and its amazing how much the water wisteria can gorw in 5 days(4 new leaves on each stalk for me!)
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2003, 08:03 AM
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True laterite comes from the tropics. Its lateric soil or rock that has been weathered by centuries of tropical rains and heat, stripping it of all minerals and organics accept aluminum oxide and iron It has very high concentrations of iron and is dark red in appearance. It is a little different than most types of clay.

Cloudiness is not much of an issue if you only use a very small amount at the bottom of your tank mixed with some gravel or sand, and then cover it with 2" or more of gravel or sand. It is inert and basicaly lasts forever.

Clay gravel that is fired in an oven can be used by itself without being mixed with anything else. The dust from flourite is from the granules rubbing together in the bag. Once it is in your tank and you get rid of the initial dust, it should not continue to cloud the water. The iron and mineral content in clay can vary greatly. There are many types of clay and it depends on where it was mined from. The other benefit of clay or laterite is it's CEC capability. Cation Exchange capacity is the ability of the medium to attract positive ions and hold them. In simple terms, its porus enough to abosorb nutrients like a sponge from the water and hold them for the plants. So it can feed plants minerals it absorbs from the water that it may not have had in the first place....know what I mean?

Robert Paul Hudson

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2003, 02:49 AM
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I have a 10 gallon planted aquarium with 6 african dwarf frogs and 6 plants, I mixed a whole 55oz box of first layer laterite (5 oz/gallon) vs the directions of 1 oz/gallon. Is this going to be a problem for my frogs (i.e. toxic)? I am not to concerned about algae blooms, my oto can handle that.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-12-2003, 10:44 PM
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i was wopndering too if you can have too much laterite.,..can you?
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