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Delapool

Laterite gravel / clay useful?

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Hi all,

I wondered if laterite clay/gravel does make a difference to a planted tank compared to gravel? If anyone had noticed the plants did much better?

Also I have two yo yo loaches and was hoping to check in general that it isn't too rough on fish with barbels? These are 4 inches but thinking of getting some more little ones. They do ok with the existing fine gravel I have so was hopeful.

Thanks!

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diy substrates benefit from it because clay particles get the nutrients to the roots through cation exchange (some plants take up nutrients through roots while others take out of water column)

plain kitty litter reputedly can do the same job as it has clay in it

the redness usually comes from high iron oxides and lots of people swear iron makes a big difference to planted tanks

As long as you cap your growing substrate with inert sand or small gravel like you say you shouldnt have any problems.

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Ok thanks - sounds better than gravel. I figure I can't do any worse and my excuse was the postage cost was for set weight so I had to buy stuff up to that :)

I'll have to check out the catty litter. I'd love to find a dark clay for DIY substrate ferts.

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Ok thanks - sounds better than gravel. I figure I can't do any worse and my excuse was the postage cost was for set weight so I had to buy stuff up to that :)

I'll have to check out the catty litter. I'd love to find a dark clay for DIY substrate ferts.

Pottery places has clay you can use in DIY ferts

And as for the kitty litter make sure is 100% clay no fragrance

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So the laterite clay arrived. I was thinking more like the api laterite gravel or laterite fines whereas this is more like soil/clay. Lol - it really is clay. I can see why a gravel cap is required.

Thought what the heck and tried it anyway in diy substrate tabs. Plants in the tank are giant hygro and val (plus free-floating foxtail). Oh, and BBA has made a come-back (grrr).

The tabs are cellulose pills that I fill mostly with clay and a little with garden ferts. I can't face pulling the tank apart to redo the substrate so the tabs are as advanced as I get.

The laterite clay did make a differance in that the tabs sank a lot better and were easier to poke into the gravel. Haven't done too many at this stage though.

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