i use peat, but its not exactly a substrate for beginners and unexperienced. takes alot of experience and failures to get it right. it has alot of problems if not used correctly. i use it for only three aplications. one for daphia culture because if used correctly you dont get a algae crash but a steady amount of algae for the daphias. two for killies that are substrate spawner using boiled peat as a substrate and stroage meduim. and three for small 20g and under grow out tanks.
you dont want to use too much because it can have adverse effects like algae and root rot. lowers ph and makes water softer. water paramater spikes
i only use it in small tanks 20g because i dont want to risk my large tank incase somthing goes wrong, I get really good growth in my grow out tank but i tear it down every year and replace the peat but i also add high CEC substrate to act as nutrient locks and sand to prevent to much getting into the water coloum and distribute heat when the peat rots. . i did use the dust resdue in my peat bag and sprikled it as a impulse when setting up my large tank 150 or so gallons. and only use regular peat in my filters when i want to soften the water a deg or two. i relay on mulm for the most part since i dont plan on tearing the large tank down in a year.
125 ga. Pressured co2. T5ho