Peat - Did I screw up? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2004, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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So many articles I read before setting up my tank many in agreement many with opposing views but all claiming success. Well I liked the idea of adding a thin layer of peat (1/4") at the bottom of my substrate. One reason was to slightly buffer my pH down. Now after getting some feedback I see it might be throwing off my CO2 calculations by it's buffering effect.

So I am basically asking what I should do.

Disregard the CO2 calculations and go by bubble count and leave the peat?
or
I was thinking during a water change I could take a hose and push it down under the gravel and vacuum out some of the peat?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2004, 03:38 AM
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I see this goes with your other post concerning bubble count vs. tank size. I posted on that thread that bubble count is a very arbitrary number to use that won't transfer well to your own situation. People have all kinds of water parameters, surface agitation, and CO2 usage by plants that its too varied to apply universally, for example that 30bpm for a 40 gallon. It just won't work.

Sure peat is nice (be careful, terrestrial plant keepers will swear by it) but I think for us planted tank people it is rather too much trouble that the benefits are not appreciable to sacrifice not knowing our CO2 levels. Their are so many tanks growing beautifully w/o peat, I think you can do it too. When the time comes that the plants aren't growing fast, or algae is flourishing - you will really need to know the CO2 levels.

My suggestion, first of all because 1/4" is not thin, but a ton of peat, is to remove it all if possible. I remember rex always said that it should be used very sparingly, like sprinkled on the glass bottom.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2004, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo737
My suggestion, first of all because 1/4" is not thin, but a ton of peat, is to remove it all if possible. I remember rex always said that it should be used very sparingly, like sprinkled on the glass bottom.
So is my idea of removing it by vacuuming it out sound or do you have another suggestion? Once the hose is down to the glass I would start the siphon then move it around keeping it down on the glass.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2004, 12:37 AM
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That Idea wont work (experience) when I was redoing my substrate I tried and it made a mess and I had to go to the back and rinse it all out and start over!!
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2004, 03:04 AM
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This is why I was saying, a while back, we should avoid telling new people they can use peat in the substrate. They just don't know how much is 'safe' and how much is "not beneficial'.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2004, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCMurphy
This is why I was saying, a while back, we should avoid telling new people they can use peat in the substrate. They just don't know how much is 'safe' and how much is "not beneficial'.
Ding Ding Ding........we have a winner!

Actually I was quite successful in vacuuming it out. I did have to uproot the plants though. Very little is seen now from looking up through the bottom glass. The next several water changes I plan on using a gravel cleaner pushed down to help remove any last remains. The peat is extremely buoyant and I have doubt that it will go right up a standard gravel cleaner.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2004, 11:27 AM
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Tee, just curious, what made you use peat in the first place? I read some reasons before but totally forgot about them except softening the water.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2004, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninoboy
Tee, just curious, what made you use peat in the first place? I read some reasons before but totally forgot about them except softening the water.
Reef keeping I know a lot about, planted tanks are new to me so I dove into web articles extensively before starting this tank. I came across many that advocated it's use and I don't recall any really warning of it's side effects. Recently I even read a reply to a post that Tom Barr wrote saying he uses peat in his tanks.

From http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...amp;highlight= he replies
Quote:
FYI, peat will not "rot" unless you add O2, that's why it accumulates in wetlands, it __is__ anaerobic. Ground peat added the bottom layer is not messy nor causes issues, you do not add that much and then 3-4" of flourite will not allow this to come up for a very long time, peat will decay but it will take a long time(months at least).
I've used it for a long time.
Regards,
Tom Barr
There is even another reply in there that says,
Quote:
Don't forget to put a layer of peat on the bottom of the tank, but only enough to barely cover the bottom.
There were many more but I don't have the time to look them up but this is the theme that motivated me to add it. I only added a small layer.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2004, 01:20 PM
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You can find a good discussion Garath, Rex, and I had on the subject someplace around here. I used some improper words and voiced my opinion a little too strongly but there might be some good info in it for you, if you can ignore my bad additude.

I found it.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forum/vie...ghlight=#27262

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2004, 01:41 PM
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Wow, interesting arguments and good one I'd say :lol: At least you all use some firm sources to back up your arguments. I just got jumped by like a dozen of people in one of Canadian fish forum just because I asked someone to do water change to low down ammonia and nitrite level to save her fish. Everyone else think that water change will slow down the cycle and should leave it as it is and sacrifice the fish basically (a few of her fish died) :roll:
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2004, 06:43 PM
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Sean- what mineralized soil are you talking about? To put it another way, what is a good mineralized soil? And when adding clay, are you talking about potter's clay?

James
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2004, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaverde
Sean- what mineralized soil are you talking about? To put it another way, what is a good mineralized soil? And when adding clay, are you talking about potter's clay?
That was discussed in another thread. I don't remember which one, but I think I remember that I managed to tick someone off during that discussion too. Maybe I am having selective amnesia. Have you noticed a trend in my past discussions? Sometimes I'm surprised anyone talks to me. :lol:

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2004, 08:21 PM
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I think you need to... uhm... where am I again?

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2004, 08:37 PM
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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
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2004, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCMurphy
That was discussed in another thread. I don't remember which one, but I think I remember that I managed to tick someone off during that discussion too. Maybe I am having selective amnesia. Have you noticed a trend in my past discussions? Sometimes I'm surprised anyone talks to me. :lol:
OK, Sean, found two threads where my query is answered. I have to break down one of my 10s due to getting carried away with the peat thing (I don't believe the substrate is supposed to pearl, is it?) so I'll see if I can find some topsoil that matches your description.

The only way your memory was failing you was in assuming you got anyone ticked. There was none of that in the other threads. Guess you'll have to be a little more strident next time

James
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