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Re: Laterite?

Jay writes:

> Hi everyone, I'm having some troubles again,
>  I added some laterite to my 30g tank in an attempt to help out the
>  plants, and now my Candidis are dying and my Cacatoide doesn't look good
>  either.
>  Is this stuff dangerous or what?
>  The tank conditions are exactly the same as they've been for a long
>  time, the only difference is the laterite.
>  I'm am now trying to remove the laterite with water changes and a diatom
>  filter. It is taking me a lot of time, and water, and clouding up the
>  tank.
>  Would I be better off putting the fish into an established 20g tank with
>  my filamentosa's until I can get that stuff out of the 30?
>  I guess it is stressful on the fish either way. 
>  Can or should I try to medicate the fish?
>  They are very drab colored and just laying on the bottom. It looks like
>  they are breathing a little fast.
>  They eat when the food comes thier way, but I don't see them swimming
>  around looking for it anymore.
>  I did not list all of the water parameters, because they are all the
>  same as they were when everything was fine.
>  I added the laterite and a few days later I noticed the fish were very
>  unhappy. 
>  I feel horrible about this and I hope I can save them.
>  If anyone can help I would greatly appreciate it.

The only problem that laterite might cause is if you installed it as loose 
dirt into an established tank.  If you broke the tank down and stirred the 
stuff into the gravel that would be fine.  If you made it into oven-baked 
balls and stuck it into the gravel, that would also work.  But if you just 
tried to pour it in, it suspended in the water and is clogging the poor 
fishes' gills.  Sure, they probably got some muddy water experience in the 
wild, but I suspect this is different.  I don't know what to offer as a 
solution, except to move the fish until it settles down.  

Lots of folks keep Apistos in planted tanks with laterite and other substrate 
additives in their tanks, myself included.

Bob Dixon

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