Peat moss, undergravel filter plates, and Fluorite - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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Peat moss, undergravel filter plates, and Fluorite

I'm overhauling my 29 tall, and I've decided to set up my substrate and do it right this time. I've got some ideas I would like to run by you guys:

I've heard a layer of peat moss from Home Depot under the substrate helps buffer the hardness. Are there any other good reasons to put this as the bottom layer? Are there reasons to put other things as the bottom layer instead?

I bought an undergravel filter (which I can return if needs be - I haven't even opened the package yet), with the intent of putting the plate underneath everything in the event I ever decide to use it and don't want to tear apart my entire tank to hook it up. Is this just a waste of tank space? I've heard some use the UG plate as an anaerobic bacteria trap as well, but that would send off alarm bells about potential hydrogen sulfide gas eruptions. Thoughts?

Thanks guys.

10 gallon acrylic fw planted. 6 neon tetras, 1 GBR, 3 Amano shrimp, 2 nerites, 1 BNP, Eheim Classic 2211, Finnex Planted+ 17W LED, Hydor ETH 200W In-Line Heater, InkBird temp controller.

10 gallon aquaponic setup, hydroponic basil, 8 HET rasboras, RCS, red ramshorn snails.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 01:23 PM
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Iím a little late, so you may have already finished.
I just thought I would give you my two cents worth about UGF. I did something similar (set up tank with the plate installed) I didnít use it for a month or 2Ö then I turned it on and all hell broke loose. Allot of the mulm / waste built up under the plate and when I turned it on poof mess everywhere.

I would also suggest running an UGF backwards it works great in planted setups.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 02:16 PM
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pretty sure most here would agree UG filters are not recommended for Planted tanks. The root system will eventually clog it up and cause problems. Never heard of running it backwards though.

As for peat moss I would do a forum search. Generally I think folks put it in their filter rather then under substrate. But have never done either myself.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 05:23 PM
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Ya Ugf don't do planted tanks well, affects the root system
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2011, 12:30 AM
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Peat jump starts the decomposition that is supposed to provide CO2 in the tank. I do not know how good a job it does, seeing as peat does not decompose very fast.

Used in the filter peat moss adds organic acids to the water, and may remove some hardness. It varies with the peat moss. There is no way of telling. Some are absolute vacuums for both GH and KH, and I have seen some impressive test results using peat moss for water softening.
In my own tanks I get a lower pH, but no reduction in GH or KH from the peat moss.

I removed the UGF plates after running them backwards (RUGF, Reverse Under Gravel Filter).
The only time reversing the flow really worked was when I stuck a hose down the up tube and really blasted it. Otherwise the debris just built up under there, and needed to be vacuumed out. Plants did not grow so well in those tanks, either.
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