Laterite? I'm a little confused. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Laterite? I'm a little confused.

I'm a little confused. Laterite will catch and hold nutrients right? It will also catch and hold medications or just about anything you add to the water that can be absorbed correct?

What I'm more confused about is when you gravel vac. a tank aren't you supposed to gravel vac. to the glass bottom to get out all the gunk? I always vac. to the glass at the bottom. If I had laterite I wouldn't be able to do this so wouldn't a large amount of gunk and such slowly add up and start to pollute the water? Doesn't it cause high nitrites if the gunk is allowed to gather?

From time to time I see areas normally next to the glass where I don't vac. as often start to fill up with gunk. I vac it and of course it looks better but is that what I'm supposed to do?

When the plants are to be moved/re-planted or even planted for the first time (new plants) how would one keep from disturbing this layer?

So far the gravel I have is working just fine but with all the information out their about adding laterite it just seams like I'm missing something.

I feel as though I could have a much larger plant selection if I added laterite and wouldn't loose as many new plants as I have. I have Goldfish and as much as I love them I'm just at a loss right now. If anyone has any suggestions I'm open. Links to other information is also welcome.

James

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 03:55 AM
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Laterite is a good source of iron, and I believe has a decent CEC (which refers to the capacity to absorb nutrients from the water column), but if you're not dosing ferts into the water column the chances are your plants are not getting balanced nutrition.

Personally, I like using fert tabs under my plants. WonderGro from www.GreenLeafAquariums.com are one of the few I've found that contain a pretty comprehensive list of the main nutrients needed by plants.





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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

I do dose after every w/c once a week since I don't add co2.

I guess to make it even more simple is what is the proper way to gravel vacuum? I'm sure everyone has their own way but if anyone wants to share I would be appreciative.

James

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 04:13 AM
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If I have a carpet of plants, I don't vaccum. I use a python, and I just stir up stuff from the bottom as much as possible with the tip of the python, without ever actually touching the bottom.

I've heard the idea of taping a chopstick or something similar to the tip of a gravel vac to help stir up debris, and I think that's a great idea though I haven't tried it yet myself.

If you have a heavy enough plantload, plus good circulation and filtration on your tank, the organics that fall down to the substrate should actually end up nutrients. Snails such as MTS (which I keep in all my tanks) also make short work of decomposing matter, so I typically don't get that much buildup.





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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 06:49 AM
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there is really no wrong way to gravel vac.

i have laterite mixed with play sand as a substrate. the thing with the laterite is when you stir it up it likes to spit out a big red cloud. the sand has small enough particles where stuff really doesnt penetrate down into it, it just rests on top. people say it acts a lot like a bare bottom tank. then i just wave the gravel vac around about an inch off the substrate so as to get the stuff waterborne so it can be sucked up or i try to stick my arm into the back of a stem plant jungle and just try to get out as much as i can off the substrate. i too use the python.

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