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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One site I read to use peat in a planted tank and the next site says that peat is not good to use but to use top soil. I was thinking of adding Laterite balls (since I have a huge bag of laterite already) and to add it to a layer of peat.....or top soil. But which one?
 

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PT Biologist
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Peat alone or mix some laterite into the top soil, peat is a dusting, you should not be able to measure thickness. Topsoil and clay (laterite) mix can be 1/2 to 1 inch thick under the cap material. I like to scatter a handful of dolomite and potassium sulphate under the soil.

If you are brand new to planted tanks PLEASE use a commercial substrate and maybe the peat (Flourite) or not (EcoComplete) or use their under layer material (Aquasoil and PowerSand). You'll have a tank that is easier to balance to start.
 

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PT Biologist
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To help the pH you would be better off either getting a RO/DI unit or conditioning your water with peat before using it. The idea of peat in the bottom is to give the plants something to latch on to (nutrient wise) while the tank is getting established. Mulm from an existing tank also works well for this. Your hard water is an ongoing condition that you can't solve just by layering some peat in the bottom of the tank.
 
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