01-23-2019, 06:55 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Brentwood, CA, USA
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
| | Re: Laterite and dolomite usage
Have you read Diana Walstad's book? I would strongly recommend reading it before going ahead with the aquarium. It isn't very expensive, if you have a Kindle or other book reader, but it is loaded with good information.
Dolomite is a source of calcium and magnesium, in a form that very slowly releases them into the water. Laterite is a depleted form of clay, good for slowly adding iron to the substrate. Neither one should have any harmful minerals in it. Laterite is not a good top layer. Dolomite can be used in place of sand/gravel, but it will continually add calcium and magnesium, making your water hard. That can limit the plants and fish that would do well with it. Mineralization is a method for converting ammonia based nitrogen in the soil to nitrate based nitrogen. It isn't essential in a regular aquarium, and isn't advisable in a El Natural aquarium. 20% organic fertilizer can be deadly, depending on exactly what you are using.
Reading that El Natural forum will help you a lot, but reading the book will help a lot more.