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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2006, 05:19 AM Thread Starter
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peat under sand

i want to use laterite under regular home depot sand in my new tank. some sites (including rex's guide) suggest using peat along with it for better nutirent absorbtion.

my concern is that the water from the tap (ph 7) here is very soft and as a result the ph in my tank is around 6.5-6.7. so, would the peat contribute to the lowering of the ph in my tank (I really dont want that to happen) or will it sort of just create an acidic environment in the substrate only (and the rest of my tank will stay unaffected )?.

Thanks
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2006, 05:53 AM
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NY water is very soft, it depends on your entire setup and what you are doing, peat will affect the KH/pH, but a little would be good in a sand sub only for the slow decaying organic compound's that it will release, the plant's will appreciate and benifit from it.
Be sure to add mulm also if at all possible.
More information in what you are doing or going to do would help with a more successful answer

Make sure the sand is not to fine.. big no no...

Craig

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2006, 02:38 PM
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Just out of curiosity, what happens if the sand is too fine?

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2006, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
More information in what you are doing or going to do would help with a more successful answer
I have a 55g discus tank that has a growing crack in the frame , so i m moving the whole gang into a 75 (to prevent seeing my downstairs neighbor at my doorstep at some point soaked in my fish tank water ).

Right now the tank is planted with fast/easy to care for plants (wisteria, bacopa, anubias, microsward, ludvigia and some others). I plan expanding the variety of plants in the 75g. Hence, I want better substrate (but cant spend +100$ on fluorite, eco etc). Now, the 55g has regular sand nurished by tabs. As far as the water goes, I had to take a piece of driftwood out that I used to have in the 55 because the ph would go below 6 and my poor snails' shells started to dissolve. Taking the wood out resulted in the ph going up to 6.5-6.7. Then (very recently), I also added a couple of cups of some african cichlid sand and that brought the ph up to 7.1 and kh from 0 to 1. I want to keep it this way (or at least not let it go below 6.5). As i 'm writing this it seems that peat would not be such a good idea. Any suggestions/opinions would appreciated .

Quote:
Make sure the sand is not to fine.. big no no...
hm..my sand is regular play sand, so it's pretty fine. i have had it in my tank for over a year this way. my 3.5 gallon with shrimpies also has the same sand. i have trumpet snails that live in it and keep it moving. y is it a big no?


Thank you for your help
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2006, 09:54 PM
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If the sand is to fine it compact's like standing on the beach at the edge of the water, know how your feet kind of sink, it choke's the plant and that will cause the root's to rot, so a bit more course is good, the root's need/want free room to move=better growth.
So if you have used it in the past without any trouble, then maybe it is not to fine, but course is better, but you don't want sharp jagged sand either, tough on root's when planting and uprooting.

A lite dusting of peat would be benificial even with that soft water, (I like soft water) I would add just a smidge anyway.
To make the pH a bit more stable, you would just need to add a bit of baking soda to increase the KH which is the buffer for the pH... simple, or Seachem EQ will increase both KH/GH. or. ha,, learn how to use surface aggitation to airate the water which in turn increases pH by adding 02 and off gasing C02, this way you dont need the buffer compound's added at all.
Overall the plant's really benefit from the decomposing organic's the peat has to offer.

Hope that help's clarify thing's a bit.

Craig

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2006, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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A lite dusting of peat would be benificial even with that soft water, (I like soft water) I would add just a smidge anyway.
And I'm getting very tired of the soft water...even with the discus i'd rather it was just a bit harder and more stable

thanks for the help
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2006, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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this is probably a stupid question but:
would having a layer of peat then be ok if i also had some crushed coral and lace rocks (to increase my kh, ph a little) in the tank?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2006, 12:32 AM
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Don't mess with crushed coral or lace rock. Use baking soda to raise the kH and calcium chloride and Epsom Salts to raise the gH.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2006, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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is baking soda better then? but how? doesnt it also raise ph and kh, just like lace rocks and crushed corals? or is it better because u have more control as to how much u put in the tank?

and epsom salt- i dont have anything against it per se, but i know that discus people use it routinely when their fish have intestinal blockages. so, if i use it on a regular basis, wouldn't it affect my fish in that regard (wont they be in a perpetual state of diarhia)? (i guess maybe the dosages are different, 1-2 teaspoons/10g are needed to have an effect on fish).

thank you
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-06-2006, 03:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marinkus
And I'm getting very tired of the soft water...even with the discus i'd rather it was just a bit harder and more stable

thanks for the help
Its so much easier to raise water hardness than it is to soften it. You should be happy with the soft water


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