peat under substrate... how important - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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peat under substrate... how important

I just got a 30g hex tank for free (with it's own thread on here) and went and bought two bags of eco-complete, along with a bunch of other stuff for this tank and others ($144 grr). I'm itching to put the eco-complete in right now but have heard that it's good to put peat moss under the substrate for plant nutrients and it naturally lowers pH (which is good since ours is probably gonna be around 8).

should i wait and get some peat moss to put in first or just screw it?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 07:30 PM
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I personally just put eco in my tank and didnt add peat. Its been about a week and my plants are growing like crazy. I think peat just speeds up the time it takes for the eco to start releasing nutrients. But like i said its been a week for me and already i am seeing huge growth.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 07:44 PM
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IMO, the best part of peat under/in the substrate is NOT the lowering of PH or hardness. Rather, it is simply a safe, organic material that gets the nitrogen cycle started down there. Any similar product would probably do just fine...although nothing is coming to mind. Best solution would be mulm from an established filter/tank.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 08:56 PM
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Just to anyone that comes across this thread. If you need peat and don't want to buy a full cubic foot contact me. I can ship you out enough for your tank.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg View Post
Just to anyone that comes across this thread. If you need peat and don't want to buy a full cubic foot contact me. I can ship you out enough for your tank.
you DEFINITELY have a PM
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-30-2007, 11:20 PM
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I put a few handfulls of peat under the flourite in my tank. I have noticed that heavy root feeders like swords and crypts really seem to grab on to the peat. I pulled up both and the roots had bits of peat fiber stuck to them.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 03:18 AM
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Peat is entirely unnecessary when setting up a tank, especially for beginners. It's too easy to mess up the amount and end up with a mess. Also, as someone pointed out you can use any organic material to the same effect...i.e. topsoil from your yard.

It does aide to speed up the colonization of bacteria and provide a few nutrients from the start. Is it necessary though? In my opinion it's not.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 03:22 AM
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If you can read and follow directions then you won't mess up the tank.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 09:59 AM
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Aaron and Rex are both right, with EC you don't need peat, but if you follow the direction you are given to use it, peat won't cause a problem in the amount you will use.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-01-2007, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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got some peat from walmart. it's Schultz Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss. the only ingredient listed is Canadian Sphagnum Peat... this is the correct stuff, right? and at roughly $2 for 8 dry qt's... yee haw.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 01:00 PM
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I thought I would add my experiences...

I've always added peat. When I set up my 47 gallon in January there was a length along the front of the tank where the substrate (Eco Complete) spread out to around a half inch of depth. Eventually some of the peat pellets surfaced an are sitting on top of the E.C. This isn't so much a problem aesthetically, but when I was having CO2 problems, the peat was the first place that algae sprouted from... Tons of BBA, some read beard, and some staghorn.

Now my tank parameters are fine and I don't have algae (minus GDA/GSA), but I'm still a little paranoid about the peat.


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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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so after some thought... i don't know how to add peat, then add eco complete then add water and not mix everything up like mad. the new tank is in my office and on a stand and i don't know how to gently get water into it without disrupting everything in there. any ideas?
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 02:58 PM
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Put down the THIN layer of peat. You should still be able to see glass. If you can measure how thick it is then you have too much.

You can either wet down the peat before you add it or do so after. If you do it after then just spray it till it is moist.

Then carefully lay down the first layer of substrate by hand or cup.

Then add the rest of the substrate.

Put a plate on the substrate and direct the stream of water to the plate.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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the "stream of water" would be from me pouring it out of a pitcher though. i think that would flow over the plate much too quickly and cause disruption...
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 03:44 PM
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Maybe you should just forget about the peat.

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