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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Forgive me, but my searches havent pulled up much info...

Im looking to setup my 46g bowfront possibly in a few weeks. Im accumulating supplies to do so now. Im leaning towards some eco complete, enough for about 3-4 inches in some areas of the tank..mostly probably 2-3 inches in others(I plan on doing steppes) Anyway, Im thinking about doing a layer of peat, then a level of laterite, then top it off with the Eco Complete. The reason behind this is my water is very hard, last time I actually checked was a few years ago, but if I remember correctly, it was gh 12, kh was like 10 I believe. Ph was around 8 out of the tap. (maybe a little higher like 8.3 or so). I will do another test before setup though to verify.

Ive got 156w of t5's going over the tank and also will have pressurized co2. I havent done a complete plant list yet, as Im just working on the substrate at this moment. I want flexibility to grow the heaviest root feeders, along with water feeders. Im probably gonna go with a school of neons or cardinals, and then maybe a pair of Angels..Thus the reason for the peat to make the water a little softer..

Anyone got any comments on this plan? Is the laterite overkill? underkill?
 

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Rather than rely upon the substrate for fertilizers it makes a lot more sense to chose the substrate for other reasons, like the color, the ease of planting, the presence of clay, etc. Then use water column dosing for the fertilizers you need. The purpose of the peat layer under the substrate is more related to establishing a local acidity for the good bacteria, than anything else - or at least I think that is so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No. See The Planted Tank FAQ The substrate section is almost complete. And read my Guide.
Rex thanks for the info...I have read your guide about starting up a new planted tank. I just read the faq though..theres good info there. I read in your guide/faq that you do recommend peat and laterite. Thats why I was thinking about adding it before the eco-complete. Would you recommend anything else to the substrate in preparing for a heavily planted tank? I have been doing my research on ferts, so I do know about dosing those. Im still a few weeks away, and just gathering stuff, thus the questions soley on the substrate..

I took a look at the ada substrate. That stuff looks pretty good, have you personally used it? I do have some hard water problems( If you dont know about Lubbock, Tx, its as flat as your table, and we get about 12 inches a rain a year, if that; Which means all of our water comes from the Oogla Aqua aquafier, which is very hard.) but do you think if I added the peat and the ADA substrate that it would lower my ph/hardness to low? Generally how low will those things lower water?
 

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If you are going to use Eco then forget the laterite and just use the peat.

I personally have not used the ADA substrates at all.

It's hard to tell how far your pH and kH will go down. It varies a lot.
 
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