I've done a lot of poking around, and I've seen where some people recommend using a thin layer of Peat under eco-complete to help keep the PH down.
This fits right into the scheme of things in my blackwater tank with various valisnera, cardinals, and rams.
I am changeing the substrate soon (next week) from Shults Aquatic Soil to eco-complete. I consider it an "upgrade"... albiet an expensive one.
Back to topic.. every post I have ever seen reguarding this subject exclaims "Use only a thin layer!!!"
My question is... how thin? 1/4 inch? 1 inch? 1/8 inch?
My setup will be:
46 gallon bowfront
4 - 6 inches of eco-complete cover "thin" layer of peat. (exactly how thin???) (eco-complete 4 inches up front sloping to 6 inches in back)
90 watts pro life sunlight spectrum bulbs (Had 120 watts, but the plants were growing so fast they were using up all the nutrients and CO2 and I was getting PH increases... much better balance with 90 watts and PH is back to normal ranges, along with nutrients... plants growing pretty fast but not 12 inches a week...)
Airstone timed to come one when the lights go out, and go off when the lights (also timed) come on.
Fluval 304 with sponges and peat bags... nothing else...
10 watt UV sterilizer inline with exit hose of fluval 304.
@12 Jungle Val at back of tank and sides.. pruning 6 inches / week
@15 smaller, spiral Vals .. no pruning , removing 1 new runner from each plant every 2 weeks..
Some sort of low lying unidentified carpet plant for the open center area... pruning slightly, weekly.
@30 cardinal tetras
4 german blue high fin long fin rams
2 clown pleco's
2 clown loaches .. to be removed soon now that only trumpet snails remain.
2 ottocinclus .. all that survived