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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you guys think of peat moss capped with eco-complete as a substrate?

The Peat moss can act like a sponge absorbing nutriments and soft for the roots to grow in but the eco-complete can keep the plants in place and prevent the peat moss from going all over the place.

Would this be an acceptable setup?

I have never been able to get carpeting plants to grow in the eco-complete alone so I am thinking about maybe trying these other methods.

Thanks.
 

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Eco complete isn’t easy to get carpet plants anchored, not because they won’t grow in it. It’s an inert substrate, same as using sand or a fine gravel. The only reason something wouldn’t grow in it is lack of light, nutrients, or co2. The Peat alone will make your substrate pretty acidic, I would at the very least mix the peat with some “dirt” or soil.
 

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There is little benefit to using peat and a lot of downsides. The peat will get everywhere being pretty fine stuff. It will in the short term heavily stain your water a tea color (possibly an advantage if looking for a blackwater aesthetic), and it will in the short term make your water acidic. In the medium to long term it will still get everywhere but it won't do the other things, so its not very reliable if you are trying to make your water acidic or if you like the tannin rich aesthetic.

If you want to include high CEC substrate with nutrients included you should use aquasoil. You can cap aquasoil just like you would cap dirt or peat BUT aquasoil won't cloud your water or make a giant mess anytime its disturbed unlike dirt or peat.

Eco-complete is an inert substrate that you either love or hate. I personally fall into the hate category. Its difficult to plant into, its a bit too big for delicate carpeting plants, and I don't particularly like the aesthetic it creates. I much rather use pool filter sand. Pool filter sand is cheap, easy to plant into, works well for carpeting plants, and comes washed and ready for use. It's also completely inert which is either good or bad depending on your perspective.

I've done several tanks with a 1/2" of aquasoil capped by 1.5+ inches of pool filter sand and it works quite well.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There is little benefit to using peat and a lot of downsides. The peat will get everywhere being pretty fine stuff. It will in the short term heavily stain your water a tea color (possibly an advantage if looking for a blackwater aesthetic), and it will in the short term make your water acidic. In the medium to long term it will still get everywhere but it won't do the other things, so its not very reliable if you are trying to make your water acidic or if you like the tannin rich aesthetic.

If you want to include high CEC substrate with nutrients included you should use aquasoil. You can cap aquasoil just like you would cap dirt or peat BUT aquasoil won't cloud your water or make a giant mess anytime its disturbed unlike dirt or peat.

Eco-complete is an inert substrate that you either love or hate. I personally fall into the hate category. Its difficult to plant into, its a bit too big for delicate carpeting plants, and I don't particularly like the aesthetic it creates. I much rather use pool filter sand. Pool filter sand is cheap, easy to plant into, works well for carpeting plants, and comes washed and ready for use. It's also completely inert which is either good or bad depending on your perspective.

I've done several tanks with a 1/2" of aquasoil capped by 1.5+ inches of pool filter sand and it works quite well.

Good luck!
I had a plant called Utricularia graminifolia that kept dying and dying and I looked up online what to do and someone suggested to add peat moss to the aquarium.

It was an extremely messy process because I did not realize that dry peat moss will like repeal water and float to the top and make a mess of things.

Eventually after days I was able to get a little peat moss under the substrate and the Utricularia graminifolia seem to stop dying and is now growing.

So I am wondering if maybe I started a new aquarium and put the peat moss on the bottom to begin with if that would help.

Does only Utricularia graminifolia (UG) benefit from peat moss and a more acidic environment or does it help other aquarium plants as well?

Thanks.
 

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Does only Utricularia graminifolia (UG) benefit from peat moss and a more acidic environment or does it help other aquarium plants as well?

Thanks.
UG is a soft water plant, one of the few that strictly requires that environment to thrive. More than likely why you may have seen an adjustment in it if you added peat. Not sure what your parameters are but unless your water remain on the very soft side it prob will eventually peter out.
 
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