Originally Posted by GDominy
I am going to have to flat out disagree with you here. Proper usage of Peat has been advocated in this hobby for over 30 years, and many people here have used it (or are still using it) sucsessfully as a substrate additive.
In fact, the "Power sand" that Takashi Amano uses and recomends is mostly comprised of Peat and Pumice, so unless you're saying that Takashi Amano doesn't know what he's doing, I fail to see your justification.
So we can't learn from our mistakes? We have gotten away from incandescent bulbs that were too hot, under gravel filters that clog and biological filters for planted tanks, plain gravel substrates with no nutrients, no CO2 input because CO2 was bad, no fertilizer input because ammonium and nitrates were bad....Yet many people managed to grow plants using those methods.
I agree that proper use of peat should be advocated, but using it in the substrate has not been advocated for even 10 years. Before the Optimum Aquarium came out hailing laterite the only book that really discussed plants was Rataj's book, and he advocated using plain gravel. Do we do that anymore, just let the fish mulm take care of things, eventually?
Anyhow you or Rex using peat is fine, you both have figured out how much to put in and are willing to live through the initial algae bloom, have fun. Just tell me why you think it is such a good idea to tell new people that don't know how to live with an algae bloom to use peat?
Maybe you guys should try a mineralized topsoil with no humis once and see what you get, no algae blooms and everything grows. Mix a little clay in there and you will have a substrate that closely resembles what you find in natural wetlands.
The Power Sand is a highly processed pumice and peat mix. If you have read the Aquajournal that ADA puts out you would come to realize that Mr. Amano is a wiz at growing plants and the master at aquascaping. However you would really notice that his is the worlds best at algae bloom eradication. His highlight tanks often are overcome with algae and his has become adept at battling it back. Massive water changes, large populations of shrimp and otocinculus, and replanting if necessary are some of his methods, and he can make them work in less than 40 days from the initial set up of a tank. I think part of the reason he can get past the initial problem so fast is that the Power Sand is so highly processes that the peat is highly fragmented and decomposes much faster than unprocessed peat.
I really wish he'd take the step and learn to stop the algae bloom before it happened rather than just expect it and compensate for it later. We can become such creatures of habit when we get good at something.