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Discussion Starter #1
I just scored myself a big chunk of raw laterite. About a 12lb slab in one big piece. Is there anything special I need to do to prepare it for use or can I just smash it into tiny pieces & put it straight in my tank with a couple of inches of gravel covering it?
 

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You'll need to smash it down to about 3mm gravel sized chunks and be prepared for nasty clouded water for awhile but it will work fine. I've tried pure Laterite and decided it was just to advanced for me (not that it didn't work but that it took to much time to get right) and I moved to sprinkling un-fertilized peat moss under my substrate for the same effect.

- Brad
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Brad. I'm prepared for the cloudy water so I don't mind that. I'm only going to be using about a 1/4-1/2inch layer of the laterite on the very bottom with another inch of aquasoil on top of that & then about two inches of ungraded black gravel to cover it all. I will have some Riccia as well as java moss & anubius 'nana' attatched to bogwood so I will be using Flourish as well. Do you think that will give me too much nutrients & cause algae problems or should it be ok? The tank will be fairly heavily panted with a mix of fast & slower growing plants with co2 at around 20ppm. 156w T8 lighting, 18inch deep tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was planning on about 3 months before adding fish but I'm not going to rush things along so I'm happy enough to spend as long as it takes getting it right before I add fish. Won't adding fish change the amount of nutrients I use though because of the increase in amonia & nitrate production?
Will there be any benefit in adding nutrient tabs to the substrate every now & again to help maintain nutrient levels within the substrate area?

I'm planning on using Flourish Comprehensive & Seachem Trace as my liquid ferts. I've had good success with them before but I have never used them with a nutrient substrate of any kind. I usually start at what I think will be not quite enough nutrient & then slowly increase the amount I use until I get the growth I'm after. I tried starting out with an OD of ferts the first time I ever did a planted tank & ended up with what I know now to be the predictable algae nightmare.
The lighting is 4 x 4ft T8 tubes. 1x Gro-lux tube, 2x Life-Glo 2 tubes & 1 Phillips Triphospur cool white tube. The co2 is from an injection system. This is all on the 4ft that is on my sig as under construction.
Thanks for your input Brad.
 

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That all sounds good and if your methods work for you then stick with them.

Since your running C02 and have decent lighting I'd at least take a look at the EI dosing method while it's a overdose by design it works really well for C02 setups as your removing the excess nutrients via the 50% weekly water change.

While it's not for everyone I use it for my high-light, C02 tanks and it works great. I use PPS-Pro or Pfertz for my non-C02 setups.

- Brad
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for that Brad. I haven't tried the EI method before but I have been doing some research on it & am considering giving it a try on this tank when it is complete. I'm wanting to try something different to what I usually do because my results in the past have been acceptable but I would like to be able to do better or at least learn a few new things. Thanks for your input, it has given me a few new things to consider & perhaps try out.:):)
 
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