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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I notice that quite a few people on this site use a peat layer before adding gravel, sand, etc... What type of peat do you normally use? Doesn't it begin to rot/smell after awhile? I plan on using the following in order from bottom to top:
1)peat or soil
2)mulm/old eco-complete (I stored a 5gallon bucket of eco from my original planted tank. I did not clean it after breaking down my 2yo tank & it has been sealed and stored for over a year.)
3)1st layer laterite
4)3-5" of soilmaster select - charchoal

Has anyone considered using high quility potting soil. My wife has a bag of "Miracle-Gro Moisture Control" potting soil that plants seem to love. Could a sprnkling of this be used with or in place of peat?
 

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Those layers are just going to get all mixed up.

Go with the peat and mulm on the bottom and the SMS. The larger particles of the Eco will end up on top.

The peat to use is plain ground garden peat. I have several cubic feet available if you need some.
 

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Those layers are just going to get all mixed up.

Go with the peat and mulm on the bottom and the SMS. The larger particles of the Eco will end up on top.

The peat to use is plain ground garden peat. I have several cubic feet available if you need some.

Or just get some from your local home depot or lowes for less than shipping would cost.
 

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I have been using thicker layers of peat (1in, maybe compresses to 1/2in after covering it with heavier stuff). Don't quite understand or follow the "high light - light sprinkle, low light - thick layer" logic. So what helps in low light tanks hurts in high light tanks?

Almost all my tanks now have this layer of peat, and I have not found any problems with it yet. Plant growth is great.

I think using peat and soil is a bit similar, only I know exactly what the peat is made out of, while the soil can be a wild mix of sand, loam, clay, organics, and fertilizer.
 

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so where can you find peat?

Do you just put the peat down first on the glass and then the substrate?

Greg how much do you charge for peat?
 

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You can get peat at most any garden center. Problem is most of the time the smallest bale you can get is 1 cubic foot.

How much peat do you want? The peat is cheap. Shipping.....depends on how much you want.
 

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I have half a bag of eco complete left, would it be a bad idea to mix it with soilmaster select? I know eco is a lot more expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have half a bag of eco complete left, would it be a bad idea to mix it with soilmaster select? I know eco is a lot more expensive.
Actually I am working on doing the something very similar. When I tore down my tank over a year ago, I stored my ecocomplete/gravel in 3 5gallonbuckets. Now that I am setting up my tank again, I plan on using a layer of peat, then the eco/mulm, then sms. The pain is seperating my eco from the gravel.
 

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Peat has alot of uses in the aquarium. Many fish actually feel alot more comfortable with it in the aquairum because of the way it effects the water color . It is also good for plant growth. The color it changes the water does take a little getting used to though.
 

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so for a 100 gallon tank, how much peat should i spread along the bottom? I put this down before the substrate right?
 

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Peat has alot of uses in the aquarium. Many fish actually feel alot more comfortable with it in the aquairum because of the way it effects the water color . It is also good for plant growth. The color it changes the water does take a little getting used to though.
I hadn't noticed any colour difference after a few days, it clears with filtration.

RachPreach
so for a 100 gallon tank, how much peat should i spread along the bottom? I put this down before the substrate right?

about 2-3cm deep under your gravel/sand, dont go too deep with gravel over peat, it allows hydrogen sulphide to build up. So best not to slope it as many people do, up to 4-5 cm of gravel only.

Hope this helps
 

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hmmm...what is hydrogen sulphide?

I was planning on about 2 inches of substrate...
 

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hmmm...what is hydrogen sulphide?

I was planning on about 2 inches of substrate...
Hydrogen Sulphide is a colourless, toxic, flammable gas that has a smell similar to rotten eggs. It results when bacteria break down organic matter in the absence of oxygen, such as in swamps and sewers. It also occurs in volcanic gases, natural gas and some water wells.

Then I would go for half inch of peat and 1.5 inch of gravel.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Then I would go for half inch of peat and 1.5 inch of gravel.
I was actually planning on just a sprinkling of peat with 3" - 5" inches of SMS on top, sloping back to front. Does this sound like a problem?
 

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When using peat/soil, any more than 2 inches of substrate above it will help build up HS.

I hear this is less so in specifically designed soils. Having not tried them myself, I can't comment. Maybe email the manufacturer?
 

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I was actually planning on just a sprinkling of peat with 3" - 5" inches of SMS on top, sloping back to front. Does this sound like a problem?
thats what i was planning on doing. I have sms soil also.

what exactly is the benefit of peat?
 
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